AND, after a harrowing few days at the US Consulate in Mumbai (seriously, I don’t know that I’ve ever bitten my nails so much in my life), last week Geeta received a student visa that will allow her to attend the Phillips Exeter Academy Summer Program, where she has been granted a full scholarship (!!) to attend the five-week program this summer.
Anyone remember this girl?
Well, this little Geeta of ours is not so little any more. In fact, in the 5 and a half years since she arrived here, we’ve been pretty blown away by how incredibly mature, compassionate and insightful she’s become.
And those days of speaking broken English? LONG over.
After much running around to government offices, Geeta is now the proud owner of a brand new Indian passport:
I am so, so excited for her, and extremely grateful that the stars aligned to make this happen after our disappointment trying for Aakash last year. We’ve been so fortunate that everything was able to come together this year – government officials agreed to issue necessary documents, the passport came through in record time, the visa interviewer was compassionate and truly wanted to see Geeta have this opportunity, the Phillips Exeter Academy administration has bent over backwards to help us through this process in addition to giving Geeta a full scholarship, a very generous supporter stepped up to arrange for Geeta’s flight, volunteers and supporters around the US have come out of the woodwork upon hearing about the trip, offering to do anything they can…
[And for those wondering about what Aakash is feeling – you’ll be happy to know that he’s handling this well and is very excited for Geeta. He very graciously came to Mumbai for her visa interview, and has been supportive of her and helpful throughout this process. He has elected to skip 9th standard and take the 10th standard board exams externally this year, so he is knee-deep in studies at this point, and recognizes that it wouldn’t have been possible for him to try again this year anyway. We’ll see what kinds of opportunities come his way after his exams are over next spring, though…]
There is still much to do, and her departure date is THIS COMING FRIDAY. Oh yes, you read that right: in a mere SIX DAYS we will be putting Geeta on a transcontinental flight by herself. I feel like I should be nervous, or apprehensive, or something…but somehow, I’m not. I know that Geeta can hold her own and handle any new adventure that comes her way. Of course, I’ll still probably tear up a bit when the time comes to drop her at the airport, but only because I am incredibly proud of her and can’t wait to see how she takes this new experience and runs with it.
Six days and counting…