After a night of very limited and not restful sleep, I rose in the morning to begin dealing with the passport issue. I have to say, when I crawled into bed that night, I felt a little weird. I said to Doug, “There's no way for me to leave Sweden right now. I have no papers.” When you live abroad, the ability to get to your loved ones in another country is a high value. At that time, I had no idea how long it would take the U.S. Embassy to process my papers so I felt a bit weird. It gave me enormous empathy for people who live in that in between place for their whole lives. Hardly a week goes by when we are not praying for someone who is seeking “permission to stay.” They have come as a refugee with no chance of returning to their homeland and yet, they have not been granted permanent stay in their new country. This is a very stressful place to be. I felt a tiny amount of that stress in the few hours I lived without a passport but I lived with it knowing that in due time I would be issued a new US passport, I had money to pay for the documents, late fees, phone calls, etc. and in the meantime had a job, a home, and stability. And I had legal status, just no proof of such. And yet it was still hugely stressful for me. I have gained an enormous amount of empathy for the people in our world who are living in between, for whom permanent stay or permission to stay is a hoped for yet often elusive goal.
|Happily reunited with my new passport|