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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

The Needs of the Service

Recently, Brandon received an email from his CDO.  He forwarded it on to me, and I read it while preparing breakfast for the children.  Something had come up in Baku, and they needed us a little earlier - August 2011 instead of July 2012.

My thoughts were 1. hooray!  Now I can skip trying to find a house, living temporarily in DC, and move to our next post; 2. shoot, what about those things we were going to purchase and ship on while in training; 3. I suppose I'll make all of those visits I was planning on next go around; 4. boy, that National Aquarium membership was a waste of money; 5. and the GPS, too; 6. well, maybe the GPS was still worth it; 7. oh, what about that baby?

And then I remembered the baby.  And how we had specially planned things to take advantage of living in the US to have a trouble-free birth.  One that didn't involve trans-atlantic plane flights alone with three children followed by three months of living out of suitcases (again, for the second time in an eleven-month period), separation from Brandon, separation from my things, and separation from my life.  Again.

I think that if this news had come while I was happily living out my life in Cairo, it would have been less distressing.  I've done one medevac.  It's no picnic, but like most things in life, it's bearable.  But the thought of another evacuation, another separation, a whole new set of logistics to work out after working out the logistics of this evacuation, moving back to Cairo for three months, home leave, shipping our car, our things, and 2,500 pounds of consumables to Azerbaijan was a little much for me to handle.

But, this is what I signed up for.  After all, that's what happens in the Foreign Service - unexpected things.  I just didn't know that I was signing up for a year of turmoil, multiple separations, three-month stretches of stability, and six (yes six) trans-atlantic flights with three children under the age of five.

And then I counted weeks and realized that I would only have to deal with four flights - because I wasn't going to Baku (while Brandon was) until after baby number four is born because of dates.  And then I finally cried.  And maybe threw something against the wall.

But thankfully, there is mercy in this world, and she currently works at State.  Brandon emailed his CDO, explained the situation, and asked if perhaps we could delay our arrival in Baku until December, with all six of us together.  She said she'd talk to the appropriate people and see what could be done.

In a mercifully short time, the answer came, and that part of my troubles were solved: we were allowed to take language training and stay until everything is settled with the baby.  After such a crazy year (and it's only April!), I'm grateful for a such a happy ending to a potentially horrid situation.  My thanks go out to all of those involved.


UnkaDave said...

I'm glad to hear that someone was on the ball at State, and put some common sense in to the equation. Also, glad to hear that Brandon can do some language training before going to Baku.
Selfishly, we can maybe see Baku when we get back in 2013. Sunscreen? Bathing suits? Hawaiian shirts?

Nisa said...

Oh, that is a relief! Life is so crazy sometimes. I can't believe all you've had to go through! *hugs*

Smallbits said...

Thank goodness for some common sense from the powers that be! You guys have already been through so much. I'm glad you get to go to post together. We'll be in DC starting in August. Please let us know if we can help out with anything. Happy to watch the other three for you when you need to nip off to welcome number 4.

Bridget said...

Sounds like mostly good news to me! I hope it works out as seamlessly as possible.

Lemur said...

Wow, what an emotional ride! I'd been looking forward to being back at FSI at the same time as Brandon - glad to hear that you managed to keep at least some time for language training, especially considering how much simpler it will be for y'all in terms of baby planning!

These things often seem to have a way of working out for the best... though not always!

PaulaJean said...

Common sense prevailed! Not that government agencies ever lack common sense. . .

Latter-day Guy said...

So glad that things worked out -- at least somewhat! Miss you guys!

Daniela Swider said...

Wow! Glad to hear you were able to get the timing you needed in order to go to Baku together. I bet you are relieved!

Brooke said...

Yay! I'm so glad things worked out. And I'm glad that you are headed back to Cairo to be together as a family.

I have so appreciated reading about your experiences as of late - your positive yet realistic attitude has been very helpful for those of us who might experience evacuations in the future.

Take Care!

Mama Bear said...

Hooray for hopefully having Brandon with you the entire pregnancy!