On our way home from our short holiday in Salzburg we stopped at the U.S. Consulate in Munich to register Michael as a US Citizen. I have never been a fan of official paperwork and red tape so I was a little nervous about everything and double and triple checked everything I needed.
We had an appointment for 09:30 and we made sure we got there on time. It was a rainy, overcast day, but since we weren’t sure about whether they would allow the umbrella that we had in, we left it in the car and hurried to the embassy. Only to find that there was a line and we would have to wait outside until it was our turn. Michael didn’t enjoy that very much, and neither did we! But finally it was our turn and we got to the door…
Now, anyone who has been to a Consulate knows that cell phones and such are NOT allowed. I knew it as well, and reminded hubby several times to make sure he didn’t take his in. I even made sure that I didn’t put any of our electronics in my purse before we left the Villa that morning just so I wouldn’t have to worry about it when we got to the Consulate. The officer at the door asked if we had any cell phones on us… “No, we don’t”. And in we went. The security is just like at the airport and I always get flustered when going through. But no beeps or anything and all was well…until. “Ma’am, you have a cell phone in your purse, please take it out.” “No, I don’t.” “Please, take out the cell phone…” So, I looked in my purse and lo and behold, there in between our passports was my phone…oops!! (I will add here that I hadn’t used my phone all week, because the screen had gone bad and I was waiting for the replacement to come in). The officer asked me to turn it completely off. I tried, but since the problem was the screen wouldn’t respond, I couldn’t get it to turn off. They asked me to put it in airplane mode, which thankfully it already was in, and then they placed it in a plastic container with our car key and gave us a card so that we could reclaim it when we came back out.
Now, I was really on edge and nervous! We went in, told who we were and waited to be called. Before long we heard our name being called and we went to the window and began going through all the paper work. Since I am the one that is passing on the American rights I had to make sure I had all my paperwork in order. And since I was home schooled AND spent several years abroad it wasn’t so easy to come by everything that was required. But in the end they deemed it enough proof and we were told to go wait while they entered all the info into the computer and they would call us when they were done.
We had noticed that Michael was smelling quite nice, so I decided to go and change his diaper while we were waiting…only problem is, I had forgotten to bring some wipes, and there were no paper towels in the bathroom. Toilet paper DOES NOT work so well, especially when it was practically a blowout!! But we got him cleaned up the best we could, and when I went back to sit down he was ready for a nap and fell asleep within a few minutes of putting him back in his car seat.
They called us to the interview room, and after a few minutes the Consul came in, asked a few questions, asked us to swear that the documents were 100% true and had us sign a few places. And that was it.
We didn’t have the right German birth certificate, so they sent a letter home with us and the next day I went to the Standesamt and got the certificate and sent it back. And now we are waiting for the Consular Report of Birth Abroad and his Passport. I just wish we could have gotten a few pictures to record this milestone in his life…oh well!
But overall it was a good experience, and if you know what is needed you can be in and out as fast the system allows you to be. But, even with that, I am glad it will be a little while before I have to do that again!!