I had visited our local library to return some school materials, and noticed a display of cruise related books. I thought it might be a good idea to spend an hour or so flipping through a few of them, in case there were some tidbits of info on packing, embarking, touring, and the like. So, I checked out three of the thinnest (I don't have much time to spare) on the topic. One in particular, was the size of a jello container (kind of cute...I'm a visual learner), so I began with "The Essential Little Cruise Book" when we reached home. Little did I know how "essential" the book would be. Within 15 minutes, my eyes fell on a tip that made me panic: "Make sure that your passport's expiration date is more than 6 months from the time of embarkation, or you will not be allowed on the ship". Mario's passport immediately came to mind, so I rushed to my "safe keeping" drawer, opened his passport, and to my dismay, discovered his expired in 5 months.
I immediately emailed my travel agent, who is a liaison between the Greek company who is organizing the tours, and ourselves. She confirmed that yes, I needed to renew Mario's passport by the time we left for our trip, which at that time was a little over two weeks. Well, at first, I panicked, but I am learning to take everything to the Lord in prayer. I did some research, and in doing so, almost used an agency that would have charged us over $100 extra to expedite the process. Again, the Lord was with me, and I discovered it just in time, with help from my agent. I was able to gather all the documents (photos, renewal form, Mario's immigration and birth certificates and a signed and notarized form that allowed Dan to give his consent without his presence and a bona fide itinerary to prove the necessity to expedite the renewal) in less than a day. My experience gathering adoption documents was a help at this point. I took it to our local PO, (an approved passport processing center), and mailed it Wednesday. On Thursday, it arrived at it's destination. It's now in the Lord's hands...we pray that it will arrive back in time for our travels. Had the Lord not brought that to mind, we would have been sent home when we arrived to embark on our cruise...
To quote a verse of the hymn, "Rejoice, Ye Pure in Heart" will summarize how I feel at this point:
With voices full and strong, As ocean's surging praise,
Send forth the hymns our fathers loved, the psalms of ancient days:
Rejoice, rejoice, Rejoice, give thanks and sing!