A Passport Nightmare

About five weeks ago, Dad Gilbert was inspired to ask me,
"Does your passport have your married name on it?"
NOPE, it sure doesn't!
(remember, we leave for our cruise in less than a week)
I freaked out and immediately went online to figure out what I needed to do.
I had checked my passport several times (yes, several times...I have a brain full of anxiety) to make sure it wasn't expired, but when I looked at the passport it never occurred to me that "Kelli Davis" is no longer my name.
I mean...I've had that name for 20.5 years--and this "Gilbert" name (which I love dearly) for less than 1.5 years.

Anyways...it was a tedious process to get everything together that I needed for a name change on my passport.
But I got it all sent out within about 48 hours of the realization.
I talked to a lady at the passport office--she recommended not to expedite it.
She thought I would get it back in time without having to pay the expediting fee.
Plus, she told me that I can expedite it at any time throughout the process--so if I checked the status and got worried that it wouldn't get to me in time, I could decide to expedite it then. Make sense?

Well--about a week ago, I started getting worried.  I had been checking the status and it kept saying "processing."
Does it take 3 weeks to process!?
I decided that I would call the customer service line and expedite it so I wouldn't have to worry.
But guess what?
Apparently, when it's in the "processing" stage, you CAN'T expedite it!
Lady #1 told me I could expedite it at any time!
I asked when it would get out of the "processing" stage and lady #2 told me to call back in a few days.
So I did.
And I got the same answer:
"Unfortunately, it is in the 'processing' stage, and we are unable to expedite it at this time. Try again in a few days."
I called...everyday.
How long does this "processing" stage take!?
I began getting anxious, upset, frustrated, and extremely annoyed.
I was NOT going to miss this cruise!

(for the record...Dad Gilbert told me to expedite it from the beginning. I wanted to save money and avoid the fee, so I decided it against it...plus, lady #1 deceived me a little bit. But I should have known--listen to Dad Gilbert, dad's are always right!)

I have been praying non-stop about this passport issue.
I called the passport office twice today.
Same answer.
We leave in a week.
What was I going to do!?
After hanging up with the second person I talked to today, I said a prayer, while sitting in my empty classroom.

Then...miracle after miracle.
Ready for this?
Miracle #1: As I was grading papers (shortly after I had said the prayer), I get a call from a New Hampshire number.  I don't know anyone in New Hampshire--and I never answer unknown numbers.  Plus, my phone number used to belong to a spanish-speaking man named Jose, and I always get calls for dear little Jose.
I figured that's what this New Hampshire number was.
So I let it ring.
On about the third ring, I felt very strongly that I should answer the phone.
So I did.
And guess what?
It was the passport office.
No way!

Miracle #2: The lady on the other end of the phone asked me if I received the letter they sent me a few days ago. Nope...sure hadn't.
She told me that the letter they sent to me was informing me that I needed to send in my original marriage license, and not just a copy of it.
She told me that the wording on the application was a little confusing, and they have this problem frequently.
On the application it says: "Include a copy of your original marriage license."
See how it can be taken two ways?
Anyways...here's the miracle.
She said that my application was sitting on her desk, and she looked at it right before she was leaving work.
She saw that I was traveling in a week, and so she decided to call me to see if I had received the letter.
Thank you, sweet woman!
Can you imagine if she hadn't called?
If I had to wait to get the letter (which I still haven't gotten), I probably wouldn't have had enough time to send out the marriage license and then wait for them to ship me my passport! Such a scary thought!
This sweet woman gave me all of the information I would need to get my passport in time.
She was so nice and so helpful!
She even ended the call with, "I'm very confident that if you do everything I just explained, you will get your passport in time!  So take a deep breath!"

Miracle #3: I rushed home to get my marriage license.  It was a little after 5 when I got off of the phone with her. I work 30 minutes from home...fed-ex closes at 6pm.
 She told me to choose fed-ex since I was going to have to overnight it.
I booked it.
But when I got home...disaster.
I couldn't find our marriage license!
We just had it a few weeks ago to make a copy of it.
Where did it go!?
I looked everywhere.
It was 5:45.
I started to cry.
I do that when I'm stressed.
I went a little crazy--what would I do if I couldn't find it?
I seriously tore our house apart in less than 10 minutes.
Then I knelt down.
And I said a prayer.
It was simple.
"Father, please help me."
Then I kept looking.
And suddenly a very distinct thought came to me.
"Check the copy machine at Mom and Dad Gilbert's house."
I booked it across the street.
Ran upstairs to Mom's office.
Opened the copy machine.
There was a paper face down.
I took a breath and hoped beyond hopes that it was our marriage license.
Flipped it over...and YES!
I screamed and ran downstairs to tell Mom Gilbert the story.
But then I realized what time it was.
And I left halfway through my story to speed to fed-ex.

Miracle #4: I cried a little bit more on the way to the post-office.
I realized that sweet dear woman never gave me an address to send to.
I called the customer service line (which was basically on speed dial at this point).
And the lady I talked to took the time to give me a million pointers of things to write on the outside of the envelope to make the process even speedier.
I even made her repeat it a million times so that I could remember every detail.
Just chance that she happened to get my call?
I don't think so.

Miracle #5: I pulled up right before fed-ex closed their doors.

Miracle #6: I sent that dang marriage license (and a large check to expedite it) off.
I can breathe.

How can you not believe in a loving Father in Heaven after a day like that?
The Lord is surely looking out for this little 21 year old over here (even for something as silly as making sure I get to go on my cruise ;)).
And I am so beyond grateful for that.
He hears my prayers.
He listens.
He knows me.
And He helps me.

So, take a deep breath with me.
I think I'm going to Jamaica in a week!


  1. I so loved your story,I just sent off to renew my passpot, and was not to sure I wanted to read about a passport story. we are leaving to go to Germany in about seven or so weeks and I was stressing over making sure I got everything right on just the renewal papers!! I to am praying hard all goes well and my passport gets here in time.

  2. It sounds like quite an ordeal you have gone through to go on this cruise. I hope that everything turns out okay for you. I am glad that you turned to your Heavenly Father to help you. Also, what nice people you were able to talk with about your problem. I don't think this was by chance either. The Lord will always help us when we do our part. I have found this to be true in my troubled life. I know that you will have a nice time with your parents, Jamie, and Chris. You have always been an inspiration to me in the way you handle difficulties when they arise. I love you, Kelli. Tell Taylor hi for me. Love, Grandma

  3. I like the comment that "Dads are always right!"


  4. wow, this is amazing...my heart was beating real fast in the middle there! haha glad everything worked out.

    ps i cry when im stressed too..thank goodness for patient husbands.