If I had hair, I’d be bald, but I already am and therefore have none to pull out and none to lose. If I was light skinned, my face would be red, but I’m brown skinned, so therefore you can’t see my meter go up. LOL. I have to laugh to keep from crying, because this whole process is frustrating and a lot of people in my shoes would have probably given up by now. But not me, although sometimes for a brief moment of insanity I want to. But then all of this would have been for nothing, and a HUGE waste of time. [Side note: I hate wasting time! It is a pet peeve of mine.]
So let me tell you a little about this Qatar Roller Coaster but please keep in mind that everyone’s situation is different and not everyone takes the same Roller Coaster to QATAR. If your situation is similar to mine, (married, divorced, school age kids by first husband, remarried) then please learn from my mistakes.
- I drove to Harrisburg to get my modified custody order authenticated and they turned me down. The paperwork did not have the proper certification or signature.
- Called PROEX to continue with the authentication of the Degree and state criminal checks so the custody order wouldn’t hold up those items or the beginning process of my visa. [Thank God I did, keep reading]
- Received my authenticated paperwork back from PROEX! YAY
- Went to family court after numerous phone calls to confirm I was doing this right. Paid $41.58 to have the court certify and sign the custody order.
- Mailed the form to Harrisburg
- Harrisburg couldn’t authenticate my custody order. WHY? Because the certification that I paid for, was incorrect. [SCREAM] Hopefully the information I got today over the phone is correct or hopefully I understand it correctly. So here is the scoop: My modified custody order needs to be taken to the Court of Common Pleas, City Hall, not Family Court. It is there where I must get it certified, and signed by the Director of the office of the Judicial Records for another whopping $41.58. [Laugh to keep from crying] Guess what, I have to wait for Harrisburg to mail the order back to me first, then take it down there, then mail it back to Harrisburg. Blessing: I didn’t drive all the way to Harrisburg this time, I mailed it. I only wasted the price of 2 stamps this time and avoided a meltdown at the state office.
- FBI still doesn’t have me in the system (OMG U.S. CAN BE JUST AS SLOW AS THE MIDDLE EAST) but they are opening mail postmarked from March 14, 2016 as of today, which is when mine was postmarked. So fingers crossed ours gets opened this week. P.S. call them every week to see if they have hit your date.
- I received an email from the H.R. rep saying my family flights to Doha were secured for August 19th and our housing has been requested.
- I emailed him back and requested that date be moved up to Aug 15 or 16. Because I am supposed to start work on Aug 21. If I leave on the 19th, I will probably still be jet-lagged and I need time to settle in.
- Hey at least our flights are booked.
- Everyone has their luggage. TJMax has great luggage. Keep checking your favorite TJ Max store, as they get new shipments of luggage weekly. That is where I purchased the boys luggage. I got mine from Boscovs. My sister and brother swear by Boscovs and now I am a believer. I couldn’t believe I found the luggage I wanted there.
- I also purchased packing cubes, a luggage scale and a lavender eye mask from Amazon. I don’t want to have messy luggage, go over the luggage capacity or be awake for a 12-14 hour flight.
- Only 2 weeks left at work! YAY!
- One of my girlfriends have agreed to take Zoey, the dog! YAY! She will be picked up in July. I hope she likes her new home. There’s 6 kids there and another Shih Tzu.
- Booked a flight to North Carolina for me and the boys for the end of this month. We are going to visit, Toketha. She is another teacher that is going to Qatar that I met via Facebook. Her son is around the same age as Zamir, so we thought it would be a good idea that they meet. They have already connected via the Book.
- The bright side of the paperwork is that the custody papers should be back from the authentication process from the state and the FBI clearance should all arrive around the same time. Then I can send them off together to PROEX to have the process completed. That will be the end of the paperwork, HOPEFULLY!
- My translated custody order is in the mail.
- I’m 50% through with my TEFL online course.
So as you can see, there is a lot of behind the scene things that are occurring. Sometimes I look at others situations and get discouraged because many of the other teachers are already done with all their paperwork. Some weren’t even required to get documents translated. Some saved money by completing the whole authentication process on their own. But hey this is my situation, my life, our journey. And I’m on it for the long ride.