The Ball’s Rolling

I think I see a light at the end of this Never Ending Story!

“Dear parent of Zamir,

Thank you for applying to Qatar Academy Doha!

It is a pleasure to inform you that your child Zamir has been offered a space in Grade 11 الصف الحادي عشر for the academic year 2016-2017.”

This news takes a large load off of my shoulders.  Both of my boys will be attending the same school.   This makes me very happy.  Doha offers an IB curriculum and the facility is beautiful.  The boys will be in a position to look out for one another and I feel secure with having them together.  Can you see my smile?

Today I went to court for my custody modification order.  My ex-husband has been very cooperative with this whole process.  The judge was like, “You all were my nicest couple today, nothing like all my other cases.” My ex and I were both like, “You should have seen us 10 years ago!”  We don’t get along but we don’t fight or argue either. We’re not together anymore so there is no need.  We don’t have to like each other; respect is all that is needed.  My expectations for him as a father were and still are very high but he is who he is.  I am grateful that he agreed with no qualms today.

Next steps: Take the new order to Harrisburg.  Get a stamp.  Send it off to ProEx documentation authentication.  Send them 36.00 more dollars.  Get the modification order translated in Arabic. Not sure of the cost of that yet.  I’m guessing $90. Wait for FBI clearances and get them authenticated.

I think I see a light at the end of this Never Ending Story!

Advertisements

SOON

I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.

I received this email yesterday:

“Dear All,

I am in the process of booking your one way ticket to Doha. However, in order to book your ticket(s), I will need the following information from you in the next 36 hours.

What is the closest airport where you will be flying from in August?

What is the full name of the airport?

What is the three letter airport code?”

This is very exciting news.  I can see the light at the end of the tunnel.  Soon I will know exactly when my family and I are leaving. Soon we will start our new life.  Soon I will be leaving the life I know behind.  Soon I will be nervous as hell to take that flight.  Soon I will miss the rest of my family terribly.  Soon I will meet and make new friends and connections.  Soon I will be in another part of the world. Soon!

Side Note

Do they really move this slow in the Middle East?

“Good Morning Kennesha,
I have received a copy of your CV through Teach Away and understand that you already interviewed with our director, Dr. ___ in January. If you are still interested in an elementary teaching position in Kuwait starting August 2016  I would like to arrange a Skype interview with you as early as possible. I look forward to hearing from you.”

This is an email I received today.  It was unexpected to say the least but refreshing.  After all this time I am still being considered  for a position in Kuwait.  Too bad I already accepted  an offer from Qatar Foundation.  Not too bad for me. I mean I wanted Qatar more than the others–but why did they take so long.  Do they really move this slow in the Middle East?

Well criminal history reports, degree and transcipt have been sent to PROEX for the final authentication process for a measly $264.  I saved almost $200 by driving to Harrisburg and getting the first part done myself.  My girlfriend Michele drove with me; we enjoyed 4 hours of girl talk.  It cost $15 each to get the documents attested in Harrisburg and $18 both ways for tolls.  While I wait for these documents to come back, I have court next Tuesday for the custody hearing.  Once the courts send me the modified order, I have to get it notarized, translated in Arabic and authenticated.  The FBI clearances will be the last of the paperwork, also needs to be authenticated.  I’m getting closer.  Only 4 months to go.

Side note: This blog was meant to help others who are considering teaching in the middle east and as a way for me to track every step of the process.  It is also intended for others to follow my family’s journey and be inspired.  But there is someone else out there, someone extremely bitter, who has chosen to use my information from my blog for something else, for their personal gain and to use the information against my family. So to my husband’s ex-wife, Edna, I say, I see you, hi hater…I hope you are enjoying my blog.

The Never Ending Story

…I feel like this paperwork is a never ending story with twist and turns and that I will never accomplish my goal.

I love the movie, The Never Ending Story.  I remember my mother took me to the movies to see it when I was a little girl.  I was fascinated by the thought of one’s life being read by someone else in a story.  I used to believe that people, somewhere, were reading about me and my life.  I guess that is kind of how a blog is.  Anyway, in the movie, Atreyu, the Native American Warrior, was trying to save Fantasia but he kept hitting brick walls, in a sense. Every turn he made, he had to overcome another obstacle, in order to stop the ‘nothing’ from engulfing his world.  When he finally arrived at the empress, he thinks he failed his quest but in reality the whole journey was necessary.  Right now, I feel like this paperwork is a never ending story with twist and turns and that I will never accomplish my goal.

Where do I start?

The last time I posted about all the paperwork, I was in the process of requesting our FBI clearances.  Well, on a day in which Darryl was working from home and I was off, we went to the Philadelphia State Police to get fingerprinted, only to find out that they no longer do fingerprinting for employment abroad.  We left there feeling disappointed but not discouraged.  I called around and found out that the Abington Police still do the fingerprinting for a $20 fee each.  So that’s where we went.  Afterward I called the FBI, just to confirm our applications were complete before sending them off. I was informed that there is a 13-15 week processing time. (Can you see me with my mouth open?) So I sent off the applications, fingerprints and $18.00 money orders.

All of our new passport have arrived.  I was worried that we wouldn’t be able to take our trip to Canada but the passports came in, that same week thankfully.  Darryl’s state criminal clearance finally came in the mail.  The boys old school never responded to my emails so I searched and found their report cards and scanned them to QA Doha and QA Sidra schools.  My ex-husband signed the sponsorship letter and I had both the letter and and divorce degrees translated as requested.  I used ABS Translation Interpreting Services, Inc.. Aram was very quick with the turn around of these documents and super nice.  I definitely recommend this company.  I paid $98.00 for the translation of these documents, only to be told that my divorce decree was not sufficient for sponsorship of my sons because it didn’t mention a custody order.  So getting that translated was a waste of time and money.

Everyone got their blood work and medical forms completed.  I found out I have high cholesterol.  So now I take a pill a day for that. While seeing my GYN she discovered a lump in my right breast.  I had to go get a mammogram and ultrasound just to be on the safe side.  Took care of that and got a clean bill of health.  Thank God.  Even went to see the Dermatologist. So I’ve been poked and prodded by everybody.  But I’m happy to say, I’m in pretty good health.

I located my custody order that was agreed upon in mediation, but it was hand written. That didn’t go over well.  I spent a day down town at Family Court getting a copy of the official custody order, and requested a modification of the custody order (at the request of my Qatar hiring manager due to the weekend visitations).  The copy and hearing request cost me approximately $45.00.  I was told I would get a court date in the mail probably for some time in July and in order to request an expedited court date, I would still have to wait until I receive the official court date.  At that time, I could return to Family Court, pay a fee, and prove reason for expedited service or enter a custody stipulation with required paperwork (for a fee, I’m sure).   A custody stipulation is an agreement between my ex-husband and I, signed and submitted to court to modify the current order and then signed by the judge without a court hearing.  I have spoken to my ex-husband and he is being really supportive and agreeable.

As of now, the only things I am still waiting for are: FBI clearances, a Court Date for modification of custody and a Judges signature on my custody stipulation.  In the meantime, I am beginning the authentication process.  My degree, transcipt and state criminal clearance as well as Darryl’s have been notarized.  Tomorrow I will be driving to Harrisburg to get these documents authenticated at the state level. Then I will be sending them to a company to finish the authentication process. Sure I could just send them to the company to complete the whole process, but this way I save myself a few dollars.

And in this story there is some light:

“Dear parent of Zarien G,

Thank you for applying to Qatar Academy Doha!

It is a pleasure to inform you that your child Zarien has been offered a space in Grade 8 الصف الثامن for the academic year 2016-2017.”

My youngest son has been accepted.  The Admin at Doha along with the Admin at my son’s current school arranged for him to take the admissions test at his current school and he did well, I assume.  My son said he thought he did well and well this email proves it.  I am so proud of him.  One less thing to worry about.  My oldest son will complete his test tomorrow.  I truly hope that Doha is a good fit for my boys.  I have heard mixed opinions about the school but the campus is beautiful and I like the programs I’ve read about there.

So as you follow along in my Never Ending Story, I ask that you root for me, like Sebastian did for Atreyu. This journey is necessary!  Only 4 months to go until the new chapter begins.