Our Italian Visa applications have been approved!

We clearly saw God’s hand this morning in response to His people’s prayers. We got up 4 hours before our 9:30am appointment to be sure we had plenty of time to travel downtown, get parked, and get to the Italian Consulate early. And we did have a smooth drive in, time to eat at our favorite breakfast place, and arrived 45 minutes early for our appointment. We were there when the office opened and the first ones to arrive so even though we were a half hour early once they opened a representative called us up right away.

We are especially pleased to report that the representative who worked with both of us was a “happy Italian” woman (just as you all asked of God)! She did take nearly every piece of paperwork we had to give her (double the amount on the “Required Documents” checklist they provide) so we were very glad we’d taken the time we did to gather and organize them over these past couple months. Jon chit-chatted with her while she looked through Erika’s application and we found out she is originally from Venice and her husband even had an art showing in Turin once, which is near where we’ll be living. After she looked everything over she assured us that our visas should be processed and completed within 10 days or less and we should have them in hand the day after they are finished (via overnight mail)!

Outside the Italian Consulate - Happily Approved!

What a relief it is to have this mountain moved and the way open for our departure to Italy! To celebrate we walked around a bit in the city to enjoy the Christmas sights and sounds.

In front of the Christmas tree in the plaza downtown.

Then used the last of what we had on a gift card to have dinner at another favorite restaurant in Chicago. Our waitress even brought us a complimentary chocolate cake dessert in commemoration of our celebration!

Dinner Celebration at Wildfire

We are now researching our flight options and hope to buy plane tickets for a departure date just after Christmas! Thanks so much for your prayers – we’re so thankful for God’s kindness and excited about the next step!