The Paperwork: Moving yourself half way around the world is more than just packing up, booking tickets, and going. Especially when that country isn’t a part of the Hague Convention. We have to go through a lot of paperwork, verifying who we are, and that all the document copies we’ve submitted so far, are indeed, legitimate.
After being hired, the first step in the process was to obtain the following documents:
- marriage license
- diploma of highest degree earned for myself
- teaching certificate
- birth certificates for all three children
This all SEEMS easy, but it’s more than just sending in our originals or copies. We have to have all 6 documents notarized, because it doesn’t matter that we have the originals, or that they were certificated…they want to be absolutely sure. We then had to send all the documents to the Utah Secretary of State. The Secretary of State attested to the certifications and notaries, attached a sealed paper to them, and sent them back. I’m done, right? Nooooooo. After the Secretary of State, I then had to send all the documents to the U.S. Department of State to get them, again, authenticated…which was done my Hillary Clinton. Done? Not yet! The last step was for the papers to make their way to the UAE Embassy in Washington D.C.. There, they authenticated, once more, all the documents. This process from collecting all the original documents, to going through each stage, to getting everything back in my hands, took about three and a half weeks. That was a lot of waiting, and a lot of nail biting while all of my original documents were traveling around the country.
Now we are in another waiting hold. After receiving all my paperwork and approving it, I was sent a travel form to fill out. This would give them all the information needed for my family in order to obtain a residency visa and plane tickets. We sent this in two and a half weeks ago. We are still waiting to hear of the visa approval status. As for the tickets…we won’t receive our e-tickets until 3-4 prior to leaving…which could be August 8th, 15th, 22nd, or 25th. Talk about living in the moment! And we won’t know if my family comes with me at first until we get the tickets…they will either send all of them, or just one for me.
So, back in March when I was hired, I figured I had 4 months to pack up our lives, easy, right? I got a big jump start out of excitement. I packed a lot right away, stuff I knew we didn’t need right now. But then I didn’t touch a thing for the next two months. I figured we had plenty of time to pack, including a 4,000 sq. ft. home. Plenty of time to organize items into piles of D.I. (donation center), “To Sell” (Ebay/Craigslist/Garage Sale), Kid to Kid, Take to Abu Dhabi, and Returns (everything with tags!). I also had furniture for sale to help ease the amount of space we needed for storage. Well, here I am July 20th, and it’s our last week in our home. We are now scrambling to get it all done. Good news is, we have renters for two years, and we’ve sold one of two cars. GREAT start.
The kids have already been told we need to pick and choose what they can bring. Each of us is allowed two suitcases…since the kids are small, their clothes are small, which means one of their suitcases will be for their clothes alone. Their other suitcase will be for toys, blankies, favorite stuffed animals, books, etc…while trying to stay within the weight limits of course! That is another interesting feat to attain. Each bag can only be 50 lbs and there’s a total inches allowed as well! I’m shipping a box of just teaching supplies as well…that will be a small fortune!
We have started the suitcase process with the kids. They have gone through their toys and decided what was most important to them. I then went and found other things I knew they couldn’t live without as a surprise to them when they get there and see them. I feel bad for them, having to leave behind so much. I find myself “spoiling” them in the packing process. I am allowing much more and facing possible extra weight charges. 🙂
As my husband said, we’re not moving to Vegas where we can just come back next week if we don’t like it. We’re moving across the world! There’s a lot that goes into preparing for the move of a lifetime. I just hope it all works out smoothly! Wish us luck! Oh, and if you’re in the area, come help us pack! 😉
Our next post will be really fun! We’re going to show you exactly what 10 suitcases, 5 carry-ons, and a box to Abu Dhabi looks like and what’s in them. The kids are excited to share with you what they are bringing too!