When I called the Dutch embassy to ask what paperwork we needed to arrange for our little girl, they couldn’t give me a straight answer. The scenario Dutch girl living together with a German guy without being married, in Indonesia, and expecting a baby was not a standard scenario.
After some calls back and forward they gave us a list with all the paperwork we needed to arrange so our little Sunny would be able to get a Dutch passport, a German passport, an Indonesian residence permit, and Andreas would be officially her legal father.
As everyone knows, getting something done at an ‘official authority’ always sounds really easy but always ends up being a complete nightmare. But luckily we don’t give up easily and after ‘just’ 2.5 months we got all the required documents and an appointment at the German embassy in Jakarta.
We made a plan and booked the flights
We would take the afternoon boat from Gili Air to Bali, book a hotel close to the airport, take the first flight to Jakarta on the next day, visit the embassy, have lunch and fly back to Lombok in the afternoon. Sounds like a pretty good plan right? But as most of you know by now, nothing in our lives ever goes according to plan and this time was no exception.
It was 1 PM in the afternoon when I ask my Sunshine: “Do you know where our passports are because they are not in the safe?”. And while I’m asking the question I suddenly know the answer. Our passports are at the immigration office as we are in the process of extending our residence permits.
The last boat to Bali leaves at 3pm and our passport are at the immigration office in Lombok. We look at each other and start smiling. We really thought we had everything sorted this time and were prepared for a smooth and easy journey to Jakarta. We start doing what we do best; working as a team, and making the best out of a crazy situation. In these moments I’m so proud of us.
It’s been almost five years
Almost five whole years walking beside this beautiful man. Since I’m together with him, my heart has never stopped with singing. It always is whispering a soothing melody to me. A song only I can hear. My special song. We have come a long way since then.
While I cancel the boat to Bali, Andreas is calling our lawyer and explains the situation. At first, she says it’s impossible to get our passports on such short notice back but after explaining the importance of the situation she says she will try. But we need to be quick. It’s Ramadan and the immigration office is closing at 3 PM. I check the time, we have a bit over an hour left.
It almost seems impossible to make it but as we don’t believe in impossible we decided to try.
In less than five minutes our bags are packed and another five minutes later we are sitting in a private speedboat on our way to Lombok. Our driver is already waiting on the other side. We explain to him we have less than one hour left to make it to Mataram and that on the way we also need to stop at our lawyer’s office. He start smiling and nod his head, he always likes a challenge.
Miraculously, we manage to be at 2.50PM at the doorstep of the immigration office. It looks like we are actually going to make it. But suddenly we get stopped. I look confused at the security guy, not understanding what’s wrong. We are both respected the dress code and made sure our legs and arms are covered, and I’m even wearing a head scarf.
The rules have changed, again
He’s pointing at our feet and explains in Bahasa Indonesia that the rules have changed. (for all of you who never been in Indonesia, they love to change the rules here. Every time when you think you get the system, a new rule will be added to the game). What do we do now? We only have 10 minutes left and I really wouldn’t know where we could buy some proper shoes around here.
An older man walks up to me and takes off his shoes. “You can borrow my shoes sister, no problem”. I look at his sandals, they definitely fit the category ‘most ugliest sandals you’ve ever seen’ but as I don’t really have another choice I gratefully accept his offer. My Sunshine borrows the shoes of our driver and with just five minutes left on the clock, we enter the immigration office. We made it. Life is never boring here!