Thursday, 15 November 2012

A passport for Emilia - Part 1

On December 6th we will be taking our first fight with Emilia. If everything goes well (fingers crossed!) we will all be flying to Pescara as a family. For this, we need a passport for Emilia. As the daughter of American and Italian parents, Emilia is entitled to apply both for an American and an Italian passport. Moreover, being born in the UK and since Rob established permanent residence in this Country, she can also apply for a British passport. Rob and I are both very keen in creating as many possibilities as possible to facilitate Emilia's future. By having these three passports she will have access to many countries should she decide to study, work, and live abroad. You can never have too many doors open in life.

While we are very eager to have three passports for Emilia, we had to realise that applying for a passport is no fun, especially for a baby who was born in the UK but neither parents is British. There is a lot of bureaucracy and paperwork involved. The adventure started a couple of weeks ago when we took Emilia to a photographer to get baby passport photos. As you can imagine, it's not easy to have a picture of a baby that complies to all the passport regulations. The baby cannot cry, cannot smile, cannot be held by a parent...too many restrictions for a two month old baby! But, Emilia proved us wrong, she was incredibly good and the pictures were taken in a matter of seconds. On Friday November-2nd, then, Rob and I went to the UK Passport Office in Victoria to apply for a British passport for baby Emilia. My mum and grandmum were in town, so at least they could watch the baby while we were out, much easier than taking her with us. Getting there was super easy and the place was super organised, there were lots of people but it took no time to be called. The bad news is that our application wasn't successful. First of all, they thought the pictures were too bright and wouldn't scan. We were livid, the photographer assured us that they would be just fine. Second of all, they asked Rob to leave his passport for all the checks and verification. Of course, Rob had to fly to NYC in two days. So no deal. We had to make another appointment, the earliest they could do was November 19th. Let's hope it will work out this time. We need a passport in three weeks!

So, the British option is pending. Don't get me started on the Italians, since they are still processing my registration to be officially resident in the UK ( I sent the application back in July!) and then they will start processing Emilia's. By the time she turns 18, maybe, we'll have an Italian passport. Oh joy! So, the American option was our last resource. Rob made an appointment with the American embassy for this morning at 8am. He had to fill in not one but three applications and we spent most of last night checking that everything was in order and that we had all the documentation needed. We didn't want to make any mistake this time. The annoying thing is that the American embassy requires the baby to be present at the moment of the interview. So, Rob and I tried to schedule the feeds so that we wouldn't have too much trouble at the embassy but as you know, a baby's routine is very unpredictable. Also, to make things worse, at 3.15am, about an hour after we fed Emilia, the fire alarm went off. When we heard the excruciatingly loud noise in the middle of the night we couldn't believe what was happening. Of all the nights the fire alarm could go off, yesterday was definitely the worst! Oh well, I tried to laugh at the situation. I must say, I was amazed at the speed my brain worked at that hour, and in seconds I got dressed and grabbed all the things we may have needed for Emilia while out: dummy, formula, hat, blankets, toys. The impressive thing was that Emilia didn't wake up, not only she was still sleeping in the flat, but she kept still while we were going down the stairs in a super hurry, and outside when the fire brigades arrived. Now we know, when she is out, she is out, no need to lower the tv or whisper in the house! Anyway, despite the horrible start of the day, we made it to the embassy twenty minute early for our 8am appointment, the queue wasn't too bad and by 10.30am we left with another official American citizen in the house. I am outnumbered now! The passport should arrive by December 1st, which means that even if the British passport won't arrive in time, we will still be able to fly to Pescara. That will be another interesting adventure!

No comments:

Post a Comment