It's been quite the past 3 days for the Carrs. I traveled by train on Monday evening from Valencia to Madrid in order to attend the appointment for the boys' visas. (We have to apply for residency in Madrid (a 6 hour trip from Denia) because our visa applications contained a Madrid address rather than the one in Denia) So, the lawyer was able to get them to give us an appointment for the boys (they refused to do us all at the same time). And since I speak Spanish, it was my opportunity to see the city's goverment offices.
Orange groves turned in to fields of olive trees, then into red clay, then big city Madrid. It was nice to take the train...quiet (my favorite part), and when you're in a uniform no one recognizes they tend to let you read your book in peace.
Tuesday morning I woke up to make some coffee before heading to our headquarters office to meet the lawyer. Well, apparently I didn't understand the whole glass top is not the cooking top thing, and just as I was getting myself some cookies the glass exploded! Not a great start to the day. Government officials make me nervous...and now I was going to have to confess to my boss I shattered the stove cover because I'm not that bright. (I swear, I'm not a complete idiot, I just have my moments.)
Anyways...the lawyer and I(after making copies of our ENTIRE passport) headed to the office of foreigners by taxi. It rained all morning in Madrid, which always makes treking in highheels from office to office a pleasant experience. The first office took all of our paperwork, glanced through the passports, and promptly handed it back to the lawyer. Because Jeff had returned to the States to retrieve the boys' visas after our arrival in Spain (which by Spanish law is allowed) the boys' passports never recieved an entry stamp within the time frame of their visa..so it's as if they never arrived in Spain. The girl at the computer simply said "You'll have to take them across a border and make another appointment when they have a stamp." (Mind you, Jeff and my visas only allow us to leave and re-enter Spain until Saturday) The lawyer asked to speak with the girl's boss. We were told that he was out having coffee and we would have to come back later. So the lawyer and I went and had coffee across the street and discussed potty training. When we came back the boss wouldn't see us and wouldn't make her an appointment (apparently they legally have to make an appointment for you).
At this point, I am praying "God, you softened Pharoah's heart to let people out, I'm asking you to soften people's heart to let us in." The lawyer decided to try another office. She told me it was a long shot, but we could at least try. So another taxi ride and discussion of electric cars later, we ended up in the Commissioner's office beside Madrid's jail. (What he was the commissioner of, I don't know, but apparently he was quite important.) He called the last guy that refused to see us, to try and sort the situation out. At first it seemed they were going to simply write a letter with his signature, verifying the boys being in Spain, essentially stamping their passports and then send us back to the previous office. After an hour of waiting with no return call and the lawyer pleading the case of "is this the impression of Spain and its citizens to upstanding outsiders who only want to be of assistance to the Spanish people", the Commissioner handed the paperwork to his 'secretary' (she did more than secretary work, but I don't know her offical title) and said "Here, just take care of this. I am going for a coffee if you need me."
The lawyer and I both were simply expecting them to take care of the boys' visas and get them squared away for residency. (In Spain, children and adult applications go through seperate offices and therefore often end up separating family residency applications.) The lady asked for Jeff and my applications and she did ALL OF OUR RESIDENCY APPLICATIONS! God is SO good! The whole family has now been registered and the only step in the process left is for us to go to Alicante (a much, much closer office) to get our thumb's printed and get residency cards!
As we were leaving the office with all our paperwork taken care of, I said to the lawyer "See, I told you I have pretty good luck with these government things so far. And I have a good God." To which she responded "And a good lawyer."