Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Definitive Limbo

We've been living in the UK for just over 2 years now.  Two years ago we sold our cars and electronics in the States.  Said farewell to dear ones.  Movers packed up our belongings.  And we got on a plane bound for London.

In July of this year, we accepted another international transfer opportunity.  To Dublin, Ireland!

A few weeks after accepting the job offer, we eventually received our PIK (Personal Immigration Kit) from the immigration support company which included a list of documents required for our Irish visa application.  Within about 36 hours, we had gathered, scanned, emailed, and overnighted the necessary documents required from us back to the immigration support company and HR in Ireland.  And then we waited.  Followed up with relo support.  And waited some more.  Went back and forth with different offices looking for a status update.  And then we waited again.  Until it had been 4 weeks of waiting on the correct paperwork just so our visa applications could be submitted, not processed or issued, just submitted, to the Irish government.  Finally, finally, yesterday we received confirmation that our application is complete and has been submitted to the authorities in Ireland!  Whew.  It got ridiculous a couple of weeks ago with the waiting.  After 4 weeks, it just became absurd.

So we are now waiting again, but this time it's an anticipated bureaucratic process: government visa processing.  And no, there is no "expedite" option for Irish visas, unlike the process we went through to obtain our UK visas.

In the midst of all this waiting, we have had "goodbye" play dates so C could say fair well to some of his little friends from preschool.  Some of the families of his friends were travelling in August, so we wanted to be sure he got a chance to say goodbye before we left for Ireland, as we were unsure of our departure date.  It's hard for C to go through another big change, but we are supporting him as best we can and know there will be new little friends for him in Ireland. 

The movers also came to pack up our belongings and we left the house that has been such a good place for us to live over the past year.  It was honestly hard to leave that house.  It really felt like home to live there even though we were renting.  It was so nice to live in a townhouse with a back yard after living in an apartment our first year in England. 

I will  miss this view from the kitchen window.

Our stuff was packed into large crates to be stored in a warehouse here in the UK until we send for them in Ireland.

Our stuff being loaded into crates for storage.

The week we moved out of the house we endured a bit too much of chaotic limbo for my liking.  We were scheduled to stay in temporary housing while we wait for our visas, but declined to stay at a dirty apartment in a shady building (it's really not a good sign when all of the mail boxes have been vandalized and pried open in the hallway).  When the "director" of the accommodations met us a couple days later dressed in t-shirt, shorts, and flip flops during business hours to show us an alternative apartment in the same building, well, it really cemented the "hen and stag crash pad" vibe of the premises.  So we were in and out of the Holiday Inn while we waited for the relo support company to find us a new apartment.  And after a few days of waiting on them, we went out and found a nice place on our own where we are now living for at least the next 2-3 weeks.
Z is still going to work every day and C and I are hanging out in our temporary apartment while we wait.  As we will turn in our lease car and fly to Dublin once our visas arrive, we are living with only the things we can take on an airplane.  So our belongings essentially consist of 3 suitcases, 2 backpacks, and 1 car seat for the next couple of months. It is a bit like being on a rather monotonous holiday. 

We took C to the cinema for the first time last weekend (Planes in 3D) and even rented a row boat to take out on the little lake at a local park this past weekend.  And thankfully, the apartment has the largest couch I have ever seen in Europe, with lots of pillows and cushions for daily fort-making. 

At the Cinema for 3D film (with popcorn and gummy worms)!

Rowing on the lake

 There is some deja vu with this relocation: living out of suitcases for several weeks, starting from scratch with house-hunting, researching and applying to a new school for C, finding new friends, and did I mention the paperwork?  But this time it feels different because we are going to leave a place that was temporary from the beginning.  And chances are, we will not return to live full time in England.  We may visit with the friends we have made here, but we won't return "home" to live here because it's not our base.  And that is a different kind of goodbye. 

Temporary Apartment August 2011

Temporary Apartment September 2013

God has been gracious to us and we are excited for the next Adventure.  Now, if we could just receive our visas and book those plane tickets, we could get on with it.



  1. Hope things take shape quickly for you! You always seem to have such a good attitude about all you're going through and I really commend you for that! Can't believe how much C has grown from the first temporary apartment picture to the second! Wow!

    1. Thanks, Gretchen! :) I always like your comments on our blog. :)