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.