It's not our anniversary. But it almost was!!!
Chopper and I have never been the type of people who have a "day we met anniversary" and "day we got engaged anniversary". We just have a wedding anniversary -- one that I'm rather fond of actually. With all of the prep work needed for the move (no date yet though), we've been tracking down every official document we have. Chopper had to provide proof of marriage and proof that the children are ours to the army so that they will pay for us to get to Germany. We've also gone ahead and gotten our passports so that it's done. So through the past 13 years of marriage, we have used a "certificate" that we were given on the day we married at the Washington D.C. temple. It's not official -- in fact I think it's really just a copy of the marriage license. But no one has ever questioned it. Well with this emphasis on things being official, I decided to order an official marriage certificate from the state of Maryland just in case. Boy am I glad we did.
A few weeks go by and a letter comes in the mail -- it's a form letter stating that they do not have a record of our marriage and it's because (check mark next to the box) "The minister return form was never received." Crap. There's a 6 month limit on when you can use a marriage certificate and if the minister return form doesn't get filed, the marriage never happened.
So Chopper and I spend a weekend half laughing, half panicking that we're not actually married legally. Brilliant. Also ironic given that as a people, Mormons tend to preach abstinence before marriage. And here we are 4 kids later . . . And yes, I know that we're married in God's eyes (that whole religious ceremony thing) and that the world probably doesn't care if we're legally married or not, but it's still a big deal to me!!
So step #1: Call the temple and see if they have records that they can resubmit. I did this on the Saturday that we received the letter and although I wasn't able to talk to the head recorder, the gentleman on the phone was able to tell me that they don't keep records back that far.
Ok then, step #2: Call church headquarters and find out what records they keep. They keep records of the sealing, but not legal documents. Makes sense really but still not good.
On to step #3: Start to panic and find the information on what we need to do to get married here in Texas. Good news -- no blood test required but we will have to get a marriage license and then wait 3 days before we go to court and just get it done. Chopper is all for going straight there.
I hold out for step #4: call Maryland and talk to a supervisor. Find out that they are in a meeting and will call us back. Send an email to the individual who sent the letter and attach a picture of the document that we have and ask if they can generate a marriage certificate based on this information.
Monday afternoon -- get an email back that says "we found it!"
Rather than sending me a letter saying -- too bad so sorry -- maybe I could get a letter saying -- can you give us any more information to help us find this? I'm not very impressed Maryland.
End of story. We are still married and won't have a second wedding anniversary or have to explain to our children why there are two wedding anniversaries (phew!). But I was already planning a wedding reception and gift registry. There should be some advantage to this right?
Bonus -- Chopper and I had to examine our marriage -- should we stay together? Of course. We still love each other!