Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 33 seconds

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 33 seconds

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 33 seconds

Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 33 seconds

Reflecting Allowed

Maha Bali’s blog about education

Thumbelina Seeks Entry 


Estimated reading time: 2 minutes, 33 seconds

I write this with a light heart but also deep down I am frustrated. Just trying not to let it get to me.

So today we had a really successful US visa appointment (thank you God). They asked us two questions: have you ever been to the US? (stupid question because the application shows our previous visa numbers and our Texas Driver licenses and Social Security numbers so I am guessing it’s either an ice breaker, or a trick question to check your lying skills or something).  Second question is why we’re going to the US. All good. Visas approved.

With a glitch. My husband and daughter get their visas in a week. Mine is on hold, technically. Because: They need those above age 14 to provide biometric data aka fingerprints (electronically captured) of all 10 fingerprints. 

Unfortunately, I had a wart on my thumb surgically removed a month ago (just before my UK trip, I didn’t realize such a tiny thing would create such a huge wound when removed and the doctor didn’t tell me i had less invasive treatment options and it was painful and I didn’t wanna keep it) and I have a crater in my thumbpad up until today. I need to visit a doctor and understand why it hasn’t healed and what I can do about this.

The first time this thumb posed a problem was upon enry to UK because they ask you to offer two fingerprints (thumb/forefinger) during passport control. We panicked. The guard looked at me calmly and said, “either hand”. And we laughed over our panic. 

Today, I discussed what to do with the visa officers at the US embassy. They were baffled. Never seen that before. Need all 10 fingers. No room for exceptions in instructions they are given. I asked if I could get a letter from the doctor. They asked if it was permanent. God I hope not. But at this rate I wonder if it will heal by July or August. 

The thing is, I am not too concerned about the visa. I assume inshallah we will find a way. Either it heals or I get a letter that this wound makes my thumb unfingerprintable for x weeks.

What I am worried about is entry into the US and starting this conversation again. If my thumb hasn’t healed by then, I mean. Which maybe it will have because really it’s been darn annoying living this way and opposable thumbs? Yeah. Really important functionality. Everything my kid wants needs thumbs. On two fingers. Cutting up fruit. Opening boxes. Needle through thread and sowing clothes for Barbie. 

Sigh. At least it isn’t my dominant hand. At least it’s just my thumb. 

Still, not really concerned. Will see what the doctor says and go from there. Wish me luck! Either in healing or in getting a letter of “unfingerprintable in near future” that they would accept.

Or, you know, it would be nice not to get fingerprinted that often in my life. Aren’t 9 fingers enough anyway? 


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