In which I confess that I suckI've lost our passports. Both of them, which gives me some faint hope that they are together, but after systematically rifling through umpteen drawers, bags, and file folders, they continue to elude me.
Since I'm not planning an imminent overnight in Paree, this shouldn't be a big problem. However, I need to acquire a citizenship document for my daughter, the price of which increases astronomically at the end of the month*. In order to acquire this document, I need to provide her original, Chinese-issued passport, which is the one that I lost. **
They are not where I always keep them. They are not in my luggage. I even went page by page through the contents of each possible folder they might have been mistakenly dropped into. I painfully and painstakingly exhumed the contents of my husband's dresser, even though I know that my sister (who kindly packed up all of his small personal belongings when I was too devastated to face them) would Never. Be. So. Foolish. As to pack them away like that.
My passport can be replaced, of course, with a certain amount of time and inconvenience, as befits an idiot who loses her passport at home. And I am sure that China has a replacement policy for passports, too, but not one I care to embark upon in English, from across the Pacific, for a child who was removed from their country over three years ago.
This is the second major calamity of its kind. The other thing missing is my wedding photos. All of them. Which I packed up very carefully, to be moved by the family. But when we moved, my husband was in intensive care, and the boxes ended up all over the place.
So the exercise is not being done, the article is not being written, the dog is not getting out--all while I paw through the various nooks and crannies of my house, the antique tax returns, and the heartbreaking memorabilia my husband left behind. Ergo, it sucks, and ergo, I suck.
* Seriously. By, like, 100%, if that means that it will now cost twice as much. Or would that be 200%? Actually, it will cost twice as much, plus some. Total extortion. And this is why I'm a Humanities prof.
**Apparently, a U.S. birth certificate, social security number, and adoption decrees from both China and the U.S. do NOT guarantee citizenship after all. Since I don't really want my pre-kindergartner to end up at Gitmo when they come after my for my anti-administration ranting, I'd better get her more, and more costly, documentation Because my husband was too ill to travel, she arrived here with insufficient citizenship status, and had to be formally readopted in the U.S., and issued a birth certificate. Had she been fortunate enough to have two healthy parents, she would have received the certificate automatically. Sigh.