Thursday, August 26, 2010
A few days ago I was sending in our passports to the visa agency that secures the Russian travel visas for us. I happened to mention in passing that this would be the first time Nastia would be flying to Russia on her US passport. "She was not born in Russia, was she?" The woman asked concernedly.
"Russia will not issue her a travel visa on a US passport unless she renounces her Russian Citizenship."
What do you mean? She is a US citizen with a valid passport!
"Russian law does not recognize her as an American. She must fly on only her Russian passport.
" But it is expired!"
" Well, she must get a new one. It takes at least three months. I'm sorry."
So, my American daughter is being denied a travel visa by her birth country. Just like her sister was denied a travel visa by our country. Why, in all these years, did no one tell me she could not fly on her US passport? Why is this not mentioned on the Russian Consulate website or any US Consulate website? Why must our governments, both of them, make things so impossible?
The Consulate will not answer my calls or emails. No? Well, then I will fly down there and park myself in the Consulate itself until someone helps me. There must be someone with a heart somewhere in that building. I am devastated that our trip is, once again, put on hold. Anya is beyond devastated. I worry for her well-being.
So, I ask for your prayers. I ask that someone at that embassy sees past the rules and forms and have-to's and must-not's and sees this mother simply trying to give these sisters what they want most in the world -- each other. I pray that someone there finds a loophole to either allow her to travel on her expired Russian passport next week, or allows a travel visa in her US one. I pray that I don't lose my temper. I pray that I remain calm and focused, and that I come home on that late flight tomorrow night with the knowledge that Nastia will be travelling with me.
Please pray. I don't know how much more of these roadblocks I can take. I really don't.
MIDNIGHT UPDATE: I just had to move the trip to Monday. Long story. NO way around it, but I am now thinking it is a blessing in disguise. We can now return to the Consulate the following day if required. ( Which I heard we might.) Prayers still needed, welcomed and appreciated!
Posted by Keri at 4:51 PM