Monday, October 27, 2008


Hello all,
I am excited to write my (Brian) first post on our blogspot.  Things are going really well with the visa process.  So far it has been about a month long event, but I think we are winding down.  We just finished with our doctor visits and the last applications have been sent to the embassy, so we should know something within the next couple of weeks.  I have really enjoyed our time in Kansas City. I have gotten to spend a lot of time with Erika and I always look forward to our Friday night date night.  In the last 2 months we have grown so much together.  Other big news, we have just sent out our prayer cards and letters, and are excited to see God work through those.  It is so amazing to me that we have already seen God working through those.   Erika told me it would be funny if I did a shout out to somebody, so I just wanted to give a big shout out to Cheryl Dick.  I know that is totally random, but I picked you Cheryl because you are my newest friend on Facebook, and I dearly hope that this gets back to you.  Oh my goodness I am laughing so hard right now.  Oh as you can see that Erika is a much better writer than I am.  We are also sitting here watching Dancing with the Stars...... blah, but I like to sit here with Erika. Well I have thoroughly enjoyed blogging for the first time.  Please stay tuned, I will be doing this much more, and please stay tuned to some more shout outs!!!  We love you all and thank you so very much for your prayers and support!


Tuesday, October 7, 2008

The Great Visa Adventure

Before I begin the post let me clear up any possible misconceptions that may be drawn from the title of this post, this post has NOTHING to do with a Visa Credit Card. Let me repeat, nothing to do with a credit card. I understand that some of you may think that since I(erika) am such the "shopper" that it must have something to do with me maxing out a Visa Card...nope nothing of the sorts. Since we have all possible misunderstandings of this post out of the way, let me proceed.

Last Tuesday evening, Brian & I began the exciting adventure of obtaining a student Visa. A student Visa will allow Brian to study and work and allow me to work for our full stay in Sydney. Despite all of the horror stories we heard about Visa fiascos, the application process was fairly painless. The Embassy has a website and you can apply for your Visa online! After Brian completed the application and submitted it, it told us the next, and hopefully last, step in the application process-doctor visits. We are required to get very basic physicalls and chest xrays. Not a big deal, right? Well, the following day I called a local doctor to set up our appointments. This was the most RIDICULOUS phone call I've ever participated in...unbelievable actually. As you read the following conversation you will be tempted to think I'm making this up for a good post or fabricating the 'real' story, but please believe me when I say the following events actually happened...

Me: I would like to make an appointments for my husband and I to get physicals.
Receptionist: What kind of physical, full or partial?
Me: (Wondering to self what a partial physical is) Well my husband and I are going overseas for 3 years and we need to get physicals to get our Visa to leave the country. I have a checklist of things we need the doctor to check for us. It is a very basic physical.
Receptionist: Visa? Why do you have to get a Visa to leave the country?
Me: Well, you need one upon entering and staying in a foreign country.
Receptionist: I still don't understand why you need a CREDIT CARD to stay in another country.
Me: (in utter shock and disbelief) Ma'am I am not referring to a credit card but a document that allows you to enter another country.
At this point my office is roaring in laughter (I made the phone call on my break at work). I'm to shush them and proceed on the phone.
Receptionist: Well isn't that what a passport is for? I've never heard of this Visa thing. So I don't know what kind of physical you are going to need and I can't schedule you for an appointment until I know.
Me: Well I have a checklist of things that we need done during the physical and I can read them to you and we can determine what kind of physical we need.
Receptionist: That won't be necessary. Hang on.
Receptionist: (after putting me on hold and making me listen to horrid elevator music for 5 minutes): Why don't I give you the codes for each of the different types of physicals and you call your insurance company and see which physical they will cover and then call me back and we'll set you up for the physical they cover. I don't want you to have to pay more than you have too.
Me: I appreciate that but I'm not concerned about what my insurance will cover. I cannot leave the US without this checklist completed. Can I please just tell you what I need done and then we can plan accordingly?
Receptionist: Okay, well I need you to call your insurance company first so we know what they cover.
Me: (utterly frustrated and desperately wanting to hang up) Okay, go ahead with the codes.

And that is the short version. I was so utterly frustrated that I immediately called Brian and told him that he was going to have to call her back and deal with her; I simply could not. And after two trys, Brian successfully made us appointments for a "basic physical" and chest xrays. Turns out it was much easier than the receptionist was making it. And there you have it, our Visa adventure. And that was the short verstion!

In other news, I turned the big 2-5 on Saturday. We had a BLAST partying it up with my family last weekend. And this weekend Brian is taking me out for our own celebration and then we get to celebrate with Brian's family...I love dragging my birthday out as long as possible. Be looking for our next post...Birthday Edition!