Two weeks passed and we had less than two weeks until Brian and Carol’s wedding so we no longer expected that Brendan would be able to move here in time. Our plan B was for him to at least visit and be Brian’s best man, but even that couldn’t be managed as he tried to get business and household stuff in order for moving. Plus, his coming for a visit while his visa paperwork was in process could be viewed as his trying to get in illegally. In the end, he bought me a ticket to come back to Australia just a few days after the wedding. It seemed like the only option to address our misery of separation.
As we counted down to Carol’s wedding with no visa papers approved, Brendan and I realized that we would have to postpone our original wedding date as well. By that point, I actually felt okay about it. I called the wedding director at our church and told her the news. With gracious encouragement, she assured me that we could keep planning and adjusting as necessary. We checked out dates in May–I think there was only one open, and the next date was in July. I wanted to trust God for May.
Having Brendan miss out on Carol and Bri’s wedding broke my heart, but their day turned out to be beautiful, and I sent Carol off, a married woman, with kisses, hugs and tears of joy as well as some sadness. A few days later I left for Australia still with no visa paperwork in sight. It had only been a month so I tried to be realistic about my expectations while trusting that God could still do a miracle and shorten the time. Little did I know that while I was flying to Australia, someone was reviewing our paperwork.
The kids began to ask when they would be moving to America for the wedding. We talked to them honestly telling them that we had to just keep praying and trusting God with the timing. Blair said he wanted the visas right then and had a feeling they were ready. We wondered at his little boy understanding, but actually, when he said that, the approval was being stamped and mailed.
The papers were in my mailbox when I returned home. It had taken only six weeks–a step that was supposed to take six months at least! Naturally I called Brendan as soon as time zones would allow in order to give him the good news…and the bad; there was still a mountain of paperwork to be filed by him in Australia. This was just the initial approval. It said that if we hadn’t heard from the Australian consulate in four weeks’ time, we could contact them for further instruction…