At last!

They say that a picture is worth a thousand words. So, without further ado, I give you two thousand words packed into what we think are some very pretty pixels …

© 2013 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved
It was obvious to us what was in the envelope, so we had to open it right there in the post office …
… and there was much celebration!

Now, if you’re not entirely sure what this is all about …

In a nutshell, our marriage has finally been recognized in France! After getting married on July 19, 2010 in Washington, after fighting for marriage equality for the next three years, and after jumping through just a few more administrative hoops, we are officially a French family! For the backstory, check out these earlier articles:

Life, Liberty, and the pursuit of Happiness (July 4, 2011): “Yesterday, I celebrated with joy the civil union of a friend here in Paris. Almost a year ago, I celebrated with joy my own marriage in Washington, DC. But all of this joy is tinged with the bitterness that neither the government of my husband’s country nor the government of my own will recognize our very real marriage.”

The Patience of a Butterfly (August 15, 2011): “This love story hasn’t been easy, and it probably never will be. Sometimes, even now, I wake in the middle of the night with pangs of anxiety about how we’ll be able to manage this long-term, knowing that there simply is no guarantee that we can always live together in the same place.”

It’s time. (November 18, 2012): “The marriage equality debate is not about politics or religion — it’s about love and respect. It’s about the real lives of real people, who simply want the integrity and security that other families already enjoy. It’s about our friends, our neighbors, our sons and daughters, our sisters and brothers. It’s about all of us.”

Marchons, marchons (December 18, 2012): “As far as my eye could see, we were surrounded by nothing but positive energy, warm feelings, and abounding hope for the change that’s on the horizon.”

Love knows no boundaries. (January 30, 2013): “Unexpectedly, we found ourselves marching under blue skies, even though the forecast that morning had called for gray skies and showers. I guess when your cause is just, the heavens sometimes smile down on you.”

Goin’ to the chapel … the city hall … a meadow? (May 19, 2013): “And if we don’t get to have a French civil wedding after all, we can still have a bohemian one next spring in a meadow full of wildflowers … to celebrate one more time the beautiful marriage we already have.”

Diplomatic Pouch (July 10, 2013): “Dear Madame Consular Official in Washington, as long as you have all the paperwork you need, I’m quite content to sit back and wait. And if I get that livret de famille before September, I promise to apologize for every bad thing I’ve ever said about French bureaucracy …”

A Watched Pot Never Boils (September 24, 2013): “That got our file moved to the Busy Bureaucrat’s ‘urgent’ stack, and he gave us an intriguing prediction: we could expect our livret de famille in the mail within 10 days!”

It’s been a long road, but …
Love finds a way, if you learn to live with the patience of a butterfly.”

© 2013 Samuel Michael Bell, all rights reserved


21 thoughts on “At last!

    1. Thank you! We were ecstatic! When we picked up the envelope at the post office, my hands were trembling, I was so anxious to open it. I was a bit in a daze at first, while shopping for champagne at Super U, and then once we got home, I just cried. I was so overwhelmed with emotion. ❤

    1. Thank you! I was quite surprised as well. I guess that call to the Embassy on September 16 was exactly what we needed to do! The marriage was transcribed the very next day, and Busy Bureaucrat was good to his word: the letter arrived in La Courneuve on Friday — we had a notice of a “recommandé” in the mailbox that day — but we couldn’t pick it up until yesterday. “In under 10 days” = in 9 days, not counting weekends. Well done!

  1. Félicitations, Michael! Hard work and perseverance always pay off, in the end (especially when dealing with civil servants, here or there… Ha!) Congratulations to both of you, with wishes for many years of happiness, here or there… Veronique (French Girl in Seattle)

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s