WASHINGTON, D.C.- I woke up on Wednesday morning filled with excitement. The day we have been waiting for since September was finally here. I rolled over to Sean and whispered in his ear “We are going to Germany today.” Sean smiled wide and promptly asked me, “Babe, where are our passports.” A little dumbfounded I responded, “I have mine.”
We both promptly got out of bed and rummaged through all of our suitcases. We unpacked and repacked them all searching everywhere for the passports. Sean then went to look in the car and at his parent’s hotel nothing was found.
Sean reached out to our moving company to see if our boxes were still in the D.C. area. Almost as soon as he pressed send he received a phone call from our moving coordinator. She said she was composing an email to have our UAB shipped that day. She held off on sending the email while Sean and I drove out there to look for the passports.
We drove the 45 minutes outside of D.C. to the warehouse in Maryland where all of our items were being stored in wooden crates. Here, we met a few other people who helped pull our crates and helped us search. I had the inventory we made during pack out in my hand and we started with any of the boxes labeled papers or office supplies thinking we would have the best luck with these boxes.
We went through 2 of the 3 UAB boxes- nothing. Then we moved on to 4 of the HHE boxes- nothing. Finally, we had them pull our storage boxes from the wall of wooden crates, we went through 6 more boxes, nothing.
At this point the reality of not finding the passports was starting to set in. It was now 11:30 am and our flight left from Dulles, Virginia at 7:00pm (remember we are in Maryland). Our time was running out. At this point we left the storage unit and from the car Sean reached out to his boss at State Department and informs him of the situation. Sean was told that there is no easy fix for this, if we don’t find the passports we will have to stay behind and reapply for the passports and visas. We would be stuck in D.C for several weeks- this was great news because we just moved out of our apartment and had no place to stay.
Throughout the day Sean was asked by everyone, “When was the last time you had your passports?” This line of questioning never got old. Sean told the same story over and over. He was cleaning out his bedside table and he had the passports in his hand. He organized everything and then placed the passports somewhere…. On the tense ride ride back to D.C. Sean told this story one more time trying to figure out the end. He was going through all the items that were in his bedside table. As he went through the list we noticed that there were three items namely old expired passports, a photo album and passport holder we did not see when we were going through the warehouse. Sean pulled over and said, we need to go find the items, we need to go through ALL of the boxes again.
I was skeptical but Sean was insistent. He called our moving coordinator again and asked if we could come back to go through the boxes again. She graciously agreed. It was now 12:30pm…
The staff at the warehouse had to pull down our boxes yet again and Sean I went through them again. We look through the storage boxes, box 1- nothing, box 2- photo album but no passports; box 3 -nothing, box 4- old passports but not the new ones. We go through the other two storage boxes and nothing. As a last ditch effort I ask Sean to go through the the last UAB box while I repack the storage boxes. The third UAB box is labeled linens and this is why we didn’t go through this box the first time. I am slowly packing the boxes and taking deep breaths while swearing under my breath when I hear screams. Sean screaming. I run over and there he is, 3 passports in hand hugging one of the large burly men who was helping us all day. I can’t begin to tell you how lovely this felt.
At this point, everyone who worked in the warehouse and office came out and congratulated us. Clearly, we were the hot topic of the day and they were all genuinely happy for us. They hurried us out of the office as it was not 1:00 and we only had a few hours to get to the airport which is now 2 hours away.
On the ride back there was lots of hooting and hollering. I told Sean he owed me a dirty martin once we got check in at the airport.
It was delicious!
Sean and I were met at the airport by our friends and family. We are so lucky to have so many people supporting us.