I’m home! I’m home! I’m home! I can’t believe it! It still feels so surreal. After ten weeks of craziness and major highs with major lows, I’m here. I may only get to stay for three months (legally) but at least I’m here for now. I’ll gladly take that.
Friends, thank you so much for praying for my trip over. It was the best trip ever. Every step of the way I was blessed by those around me who either tried to get me the best seat they could or helped with my bags without me asking or even held Milo if I needed without me asking for that either. Everyone was so sweet and the trip was flawless. Milo slept the entire time, as I thought he would, and was only grumpy for a small portion of it on the last flight. I totally recommend Iceland Air!
As for the border control issue that I was worried about, total miracle there. Just as a recap, I was so scared that I would be denied entry into the country because of my denied UK visa. The worst that could have happened was that because of that denial for settlement now attached to my passport, they could have denied me entry based on the belief that I had come with the intention of overstaying my welcome. You are allowed to stay for three months at a time but because of my strong ties to Scotland (as in my daughter and husband) they might think that I’m choosing to come here anyways despite the refusal. So obviously that made me nervous!
I spoke to my lawyer and she said to go armed with lots of documents that prove my intention to return back to the US after my trip. I had contracts for sessions signed, affidavits of residence, affidavits of family ties, return flights, bank statements of funds, etc. All in the hopes that if they ask my intention of being there and proof that they should let me in, I would be well prepared. But honestly, I prayed that they wouldn’t even ask any questions at all yet knew that the chances of that were slim. However, I still prayed but played out various scenarios in my mind of how it could go, all of which ended in tears. I honestly didn’t really let myself believe that I would make it to Scotland until I made it through border control. Geez, my imagination really ran away from me.
So I disembark the plane in Aberdeen and head towards border control making sure that I was last in line as to not cause a scene. I was shaking. Truthfully. I was so scared. I waited in line as person after person was let through trying to gauge which border control woman would be the less severe of the two and I ended up with the one that I thought would be really tough. Up I go and the first thing she does is greet Milo and talk to him. I hand her our passports and this is our conversation:
Her: Hello little guy! You’re so smiley!
Me: Aww are you smiling at her? Her: So you’ll be here for three months? Me: Yes, just shy of three. Her: Do you work?
Me: Not here but in the US. Her: What do you do? Me: I’m a photographer. Her: Have you been here this year? Me: No Her: Ok because sometimes if you come more than once in a year for three months it can look suspicious. Me: Yeah I understand. Her: Welcome back!
Done? That’s it? Are you sure you don’t want to see my book of documents that I prepared and see the waterworks I had been practicing?
Oh. My. Goodness. I could barely contain my excitement and almost burst into tears multiple times collecting my bags and making my way out to see my daughter and husband. I do have a video of it but I don't have it to share yet! Soon though!
I am sooo happy to be back! I am so happy to be back as a complete family of four! So many more beautiful photos that I’ll be sharing and an update on life coming soon! For now though, here are a few photos. :) And be sure to scroll down to see the amazing view from our temporary house!