There is no leading up to a grandiose announcement--Tully got his pardon today and all pertinent papers have been delivered to the investigations division of DSS in Columbia. It should hit the head office at some point tomorrow. I can hardly believe it!
Now for the details...of course we were late due to a 15 car fender bender mess on I-26. I seriously wonder how those people ever get to work on time that live there. Traffic is hideous. The pardon started around 9 and Tully and I went in and faced the Pardon board members. They opened up the affair by asking various questions. Tully of course did not get a peep out of me to help but those board members seemed to want to hear from him mostly, and any of you that watch us in conversation know that it is a bad habit of mine to offer him my words when his might tumble around on his tongue...but not today. I tried to sit still and not bawl...the adrenaline is wicked in that sort of pressure. Getting up at 5 a.m. and consuming half a pot of coffee does not help. But it was only minutes later and we were escorted back to where my mom had Evan in the lobby. And we waited for their verdict. The NICEST woman came in to tell us his pardon was granted. I fought back the urge to bawl and the big boulder rolled off my chest. They even knew we needed our certificate of freedom right then and did what they could to provide it in about 15 minutes. That was it. I realized on the way there this morning that Evan thought we were actually getting Marina today but other than that it went much better than anything I could have expected. It has been a long exhausting busy day and tired is an understatement so I close with thanks to everyone who prayed and wrote letters and made phone calls on our behalf, which is really Marina's behalf. Life got a lot brighter for her today I think. Once we are approved through DSS which I expect soon, we can send off our information to request permission from immigration (USCIS). This will be the most difficult time frame. I must go finish some dossier paperwork now and research the immigration process since it changed 9 days ago. This must all be approved and notified back to us by Nov. 20th. Exactly 3 weeks. Or no travel date until the spring. Don't stop praying now!! Thanks fervently all of you, Cath