Not quite killing me. But it's certainly a challenging time in the poppet household.
For those of you who are unfamiliar with the expat process, I thought I'd explain our experience so far.
My husband's company offered him a transfer in May (though it took almost a month for an acceptable contract from them). At that point one's brain shifts into 'moving country' mode. I stopped the business, as you all know, and started planning and making lists. A few weeks later the immigration lawyer in Toronto got in touch with us and asked for various documents to aid their submission for the visa. Hubby had all of that ready to go (we've done this before) and sent it through immediately. Three weeks later the lawyer finally put the application into immigration.
By this point we have started to think about life in Toronto. We are scouring the internet for rental properties and looking at the cost of purchasing a car. We are sifting through our stuff, giving some to charity and friends and packing up a lot of the rest. My workshop begins to resemble the storage facility it is now and we are generally getting our 'skates' on.
However, the lawyer will only say that the application will take 4-8 weeks to process, and that he will follow it up at the 4 week mark. There is no way of tracking it, no way of knowing how long this will all take.
So we stop packing and sorting and try to just live again until we get closer to that 4 week date (next week). But all this waiting, inability to plan and complete lack of control is taking it's toll. As you know, I have been picking at the skin around my fingers and munching compulsively on carbs (certainly putting a stop to that!) and husband has bitten his nails to the quick. We are feeling very stressed and frustrated, days are just being ticked off the calendar as we count down to...what? Just because 4 weeks was mentioned doesn't mean anything will happen on that auspicious date. It could easily take another 4 weeks to hear back from immigration.
Or it could be a couple of days. I feel a bit like this...
Image from Pinterest.
Husband's employer asked him this week how quickly we will be able to travel after we get the nod from Canada, implying that less than a week would be their preference.
And now we will put our skates back on. After this weekend our house will consist of the absolute minimum of belongings and furniture. We will pack everything we can into the workshop so that we are able to fly on short notice.
We have found an amazing house in Toronto, but what do we do? We can't give an exact date to the landlord, so are now asking her to wait as well. The new school year starts at the beginning of September and Poppet can't be enrolled until we have a lease and we can't take a lease until we have a date and we can't get a date until...
We have been ready for months. But we are not in control of this one, 'they' are. We love you Canada, we really do, but your immigration process is crazy. We only want a temporary working visa, we're not emigrating. And guess what? Once we have the 'nod' from immigration we may be able to fly there. But upon arrival we have to go to immigration and line up for hours to get the paperwork stamped. Before we collect our luggage but after we've complete 30 plus hours of transit. Being part of the Commonwealth doesn't seem to simplify this process at all.
And then we will wait. Again. Who knows how long this will take. One day at a time is our mantra, but it's an enormous challenge to live like that.
Image from Pinterest.
Expatting is not for the faint hearted. Not remotely. This is a big bundle of stress and we haven't even left Australia yet. But there are so many wonderful experiences ahead of us. This we know. And this I will share with you all.
I just don't know when.