Pursuing the expatriate life in Italy–rambling musings ’cause I’m a ramblin’ guy

Gradually I am crossing things off my “To Do” list. Today I was able to order my adoption decree. It could be weeks before I get it. That means it will probably end up in my p.o. box and my buddy Barry will have to send it to me. No matter. As long as I get it within 4-8 weeks I feel I’ll be good.

Tomorrow I will be ordering my birth certificate. Even though both documents do not prove lineage, I still want them to provide to the tribunal in Italy. My adoption decree does not include my birth father’s name but it does have my birth mother’s name. I still have to order a copy of their marriage certificate. I’ve ordered my birth mother’s death certificate and now I have to order my birth father’s death certificate. His birth certificate I will have to obtain in Italy. I am also going to order my brother’s birth certificate. He has copies of some of these documents, but I need notarized copies. Then I have to have them all translated in Italian. It’s called “apostile”.

If you’re following along, you’re understanding (I hope) that this aspect of the expatriate experience is unique to me. If you’re considering a move overseas, much of what I’m doing is relevant. Because I am an adoptee pursuing an Italian passport, I have many more hoops to jump through. The amount of documentation is enormous.

Yesterday my brother generously offered to have me stay with him for a month when my three month maximum stay expires in Italy. He has just moved to Astana, Kazahkstan. I told him that I must leave for three months and he was surprised. While I appreciated his gesture, I have to admit that I was not too keen on the prospect of living in Kazahkstan. It’s a heavily Muslim nation, subservient to Moscow, where few speak English. And I would be there, an English-speaking American during a time of crisis involving Russia and militant Muslims. I’d be walking around with two bulls eyes on my back.

I was touched that he made the offer, though. I see more and more how much he wants me around and it gives me a great deal of joy. When I think of the decades we spent mistrustful and angry it pleases me that things have improved so much.

I think he might be considering a quick trip to Italy so we can get the DNA samples and have the DNA test done. I know he’s anxious for me to get to Italy. He’s even commented about how envious he is of me moving there. He’s said several times that, within ten years, we’ll all be living in Italy. My ex-sister-in-law is already planning on a move to Turin within the year because she wants so badly to get out of Russia.

I have to admit that I’m gradually developing butterflies in my stomach. As much as I want to go to Italy, there’s a bit of anxiety. As I’ve stated before, there will be a lot of loneliness and a lot of work and a lot of worry about finances. But, I spoke with three friends today and they all said the same thing, that I have to do this and they’re excited for me.

And one friend said that, not only is everyone rooting for me, but everyone was living vicariously through me. Why? Because it’s ITALY! It’s the romanticism of Italy with it’s art, architecture, romance, cuisine, wine, history. It has it all. And I’m going to be partaking of it. I guess I have to go now to please everyone else!

However, I can’t get my ex out of my mind. I wish so much that he were making this journey with me. We would have had the time of our lives. My family adored him so much, so did my brother who still talks about him and misses him. In speaking with a buddy of mine, he drilled the point home–forget him. It’s over for good.

And he’s right. However, while I’m still in Oregon I continue to pine, continue reminisce. I continue to hope for a call from him, a text an email. It won’t happen. Not until I board that plane for Rome will I be able to start putting him and twenty-four years behind me. And when I get to Italy, I’ll be consumed with my Italian passport, documentation, buying housewares, settling in, finding work. I’ll be so preoccupied that I won’t have time to moon over him. But, when the day is done and the darkness sets in and I’m listening to The Monkees on my iPhone, that’s when my defenses will be down.

Guess that will be the time that I’ll have to focus on my writing.


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