I've never met my birth father. While this has never caused much more than curiousity, it means that the line for Father's Name on my short form birth certificate is simply non-existant. When we started the process for going to France, we began accumulating documentation, but, then, we bought a house, and were half-convinced France simply wasn't going to happen.
Finally we decided we /really/ need the break, and so we bought tickets, but by that time it was too late to do the normal passport procedure of paying money and waiting a couple months.
No problem, we were told after calling an expediter, if you do A-B-C you'll get it in 24 hours. So we did A-B-C, well, after I finally got a LONG FORM birth certificate with the Father's Name line on it but blank, so that it would match when I wrote N/A on the passport form. And after Fuzzy got a long form of his birth certificate as well, since he didn't have an original.
(Note: You have to have originals. If you don't, they're useless.)
So we did the expedite thing, and while we could've taken a day off from work rather than paying the expediter to handle the paperwork for us, neither of us had a clear enough schedule to DO that.
Wednesday, we got email that our stuff had been received, and we had a FedEx date of Thursday. Close, but no problem. Thursday we got an email that they'd been sent, and a tracking number was provided. I looked it up Thursday night, and it said it wasn't in the system yet.
This morning, I checked tracking again, and the package had mysteriously arrived in Soda Springs, near Lake Tahoe. Um, yeah. Very helpful. We called the expediter, in case they'd provided the wrong tracking number. They hadn't. They read the address, and everything was right. So, after numerous phone calls made between FedEx and the expediter, all done by my far-more-polite-and-patient-than-I-could-ever-be husband, we were told they'd TRY to get them here tomorrow, but since there's massive SNOW in Truckee they can't get anything in or out, and they don't actually have STAFF in the Reno facility during the day to help, and our best bet was to go to SFO, and plead with the regional officers, w/o an appointment, if the guards would let us in.
Maybe it was because it's the holidays, or maybe it was just a Friday thing, but the guards were helpful, and the will-call guy was helpful, and they processed “replacement” passports for us without us having to pay any more money.
We did have to wait around in SFO all day, to pick them up between 3:45 and 4 PM, and it was rainy and blechy, and we were both tired and stressed, so that was less than fun. But, we have passports.
And of course, since we have them, the original documents will show up tomorrow, right?
Ah well, such is life.
If I don't update again before I get back on the 29th, may everyone have safe happy holidays, surrounded by loved ones.