Residents At Last

IMG_4989My hands are still excitedly shaking even hours later. When I think back to last night, my eyes pool up with tears of inexpressible joy, which is actually kind of surprising because I totally thought I had cried out all of my joy-tears before I fell asleep. Maybe having an endless amount of tears is a superpower…? We’ll go with that.

Last night, at 11:17pm, we received an email from our lawyer titled “Stay Permits for Social Workers Granted” – the 6 most important and wonderful words we have been waiting for. As a refresher, here’s a short timeline of what’s taken place in our life the last 6 months:

November 10: Kicked out of EU for accidentally overstaying our Tourist Visa. Not literally kicked out, but we were left by the side of a highway, so almost literally.

November 14: Went back to the States for what we thought would be only 2 or 3 weeks.

November 15-February 10: Worked frantically to fix our troubles. Spent a lot of time with best friends and family. Toured the US for 3 weeks visiting family. Experienced boredom of the truest kind. Never really fixed our troubles. Ended up staying 3 months.

February 11: Flew back to Vienna on Tourist Visa. Alles Gute.

March 21: Successfully applied for a Social Worker Permit which would allow us to stay in Vienna for 1 year. Excessive nail biting. Celebration-Gelato for dinner.

March 22-April 22 – No word from anyone about our permit. Began making arrangements to leave the EU again. Stress and anxiety started to move in.

April 23, 6:00am-10:30pm – Resigned ourselves to knowing we would more than likely have to leave the EU. I fell asleep with a heavy heart, Will read in bed but he’s manly and not emotional so I won’t say he read with a heavy heart because then he’d read this and be like, “Really, Holly?” So… he read with a normal feeling heart.

IMG_2146And the timeline brings us to now. At 11:17pm, Will shouted my name until I woke up. Instantly I assumed something was terribly wrong, like Kendrick Perkins not being able to play in the NBA Playoffs or something. I flipped over to face Will and he said, “We got them! We got our permits. It’s over.” Because I A) was sleepy, and B) am convinced that the older I get the more emotional I become, I immediately burst into tears. Will’s words took a second to sink in, but once they did there was no stopping the waterworks. It felt like hundreds of pounds of weight fell instantly from my shoulders. We forwarded the email to our team with “WOOHOOOOO!” and “Praise God!!” at the top. We announced it all over Twitter and Facebook. We called our parents who rejoiced with us. It was an amazing half hour.

But THEN our night got even better. After all the phone calls and status updates, we bought tickets to see Paul McCartney – my lifelong heartthrob (Will is more of a George Harrison kinda guy as far as Beatles heartthrobs go). We’ve known about this concert for a few weeks and under normal circumstances would have bought tickets immediately. However given the uncertainty of our future whereabouts, we held off and prayed the tickets wouldn’t sell out in case we received this exact news and were able to stay. Truly, when we got the news from our lawyer we thought two things: One, WE HAVE TO TELL EVERYONE and two, PAUL MCCARTNEY! So we will be IN HIS PRESENCE on June 27th. I’m anticipating happy tears when he first walks out on stage, and I’m anticipating lots of happy tears if/when he plays Hey Jude and Let It Be. Will is anticipating happiness but no tears.

We somehow managed to get a little sleep last night despite our excitement along with our phones vibrating almost non-stop throughout the night with text messages full of exclamation marks and smiley faces. Today is the first day since November 10th that we were able to wake up free of worry, free of stress, free of complicated questions. We can finally breathe easy and concentrate fully on our purpose here in Vienna, and that is the best feeling in the world.

P.S. – If you don’t have any summer plans, come visit us in Vienna. WE’LL BE HERE!



About Holly

Vienna-based American wife/mom/expat.

7 thoughts on “Residents At Last

  1. How great is our God. We are so relieved for you and so excited that you can finally devote yourselves to your mission in Vienna. We would have loved to have you back with us for awhile, but we know you have important work to do, especially with the team breaking up and part coming for furlough. We love you and pray that Vienna will be your home for many years.
    Joyce and Bailey

    • Bailey and Joyce,
      Thank you for celebrating and rejoicing with us! We love that there are so many dear friends who are just as excited as we are about this news. We would have loved to see you too, but for now we’d like to see you over here on our side of the ocean! Thank you for your love and prayers, and we hope to see you two very soon.

  2. This is so awesome Holly! I’m beyond happy and excited for you guys and can’t wait for your future in Vienna! I know you guys are doing great things there! Love you!

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