We applied 12 weeks ago for an updated passport so he could travel to Mexico with his daddy on June 28th. Because of the new law which passed back in January, we knew Shane had to have a current passport. His had expired a few years ago. We were also told it would take longer than normal, anywhere from 8-10 weeks, to receive it, due to so many folks applying now for trips to Canada, Mexico, the Islands, etc. In the past, one didn't need a passport to visit those countries, only birth certificates or proof of American citizenship. We applied 3 months ago thinking surely that was enough time for us and saving us the extra bucks in not having it expedited. We were beginning to think we had made the wrong decision!
In the meantime, we heard on the news that a 3 month extension has been given to travelers to the above mentioned regions, due to such a huge back log of requests for passports. We heaved a big sigh of relief at that news last week. However, because our little guy looks so "Mexican", we always feel better having him travel with a passport when we go to Mexico. We did the same for Josh. Even though it wasn't mandatory in the past, we didn't want to chance the authorities thinking we were trying to sneak a child out of the country illegally! Goodness, can you believe my sister had trouble one time trying to leave Mexico with Jackie! The airport authorities in Mexico City detained my sister and her hubby, demanding proof that Jackie was an American. They were even taken "upstairs" to the commissioner's office to speak directly to him! How many of you have seen photos of Jackie on our blogs? She is blond with blue eyes and fair skin! Of course, about the time Clint convinced the authorities that Jackie was indeed not a Mexican baby, Jackie started spurting out Spanish words very fluently! She was about 18 months old at the time. We can laugh now, but for a few minutes, my family was a wee bit frightened! So we have continued praying for Shane's passport to arrive before the trip just so we can rest a little more easily.
Today, we heard the doorbell and were oh so pleasantly surprised to hear the FedEx man exclaim that he had a package for one Shane Alexander Rios! He went on to ask if we were expecting a passport, as that is what he believed it to be! Whoo-Hoo! Shane got so excited! After opening it and admiring it, he went right away to call his dad at work, then he called his Grandpa!
I have never seen such a beautiful passport! The outside looks the same as the old ones, but once you open it up, many wonderful, patriotic scenes unfold! The inside pages now aren't so boring with little round stamps and names of states. Instead, you will see emblems which so represent our wonderful country. Right inside the front cover is a picture of Francis Scott Key looking over to Fort McHenry. Some of the words of our national anthem are scribbled at the top. "O say does that star spangled banner yet wave, O'er the land of the free, and the home of the brave." Then on the page right after your photo, you see a colored picture of our flag, wheat, an eagle's head and these words: "We the People of the United States, in order to form a more perfect union, establish Justice, ensure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America." Then as you turn the pages, you see scenes from the southwest, i.e. cactus and deserts,then from the northern regions, snow-capped mountains, then the Liberty Bell, Mt. Rushmore, the Statue of Liberty, and many other scenes to remind us of our great nation.
I just love it! I love my country!