Welcome to the Wandering Drays!

Not all who wander are lost...

Welcome to my blog dedicated to my family and our crazy foreign service life. Never content with staying in one place, we are excited to share our journey. We've survived two unaccompanied tour (Baghdad 2010-2011 and Baghdad again in 2015-2016), multiple TDYs, and enjoyed a two-year family assignment in Cairo, Egypt. The fab hubby is currently learning Turkish for our next assignment...Istanbul, Turkey! We leave for Turkey sometime in summer 2017. I write about what I know. Which is mainly kids, tween drama, gross pets, dealing with lots of government info, our moving adventures, being a nurse, yoga, running, living on too-little sleep, and an addiction to coffee lattes. I hope you'll enjoy this glimpse into our lives.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

[Somehow] It Ended Up Exactly As Planned

Spending a stress-free moment with the little man.
After a bit of a snag, and a whole lot of worry, our passports and visas arrived via FedEx today.  No fanfare; no cheering.  In fact the FedEx dude casually dropped the package on our front porch without even a knock on our door.  Which, in hindsight, was probably a good move on his part - had he knocked, I likely would have opened the door, burst into tears and covered him with sloppy kisses while chanting "thank you thank you thank you!"

Turns out that it's not uncommon for visa stamps to hiccup along the way to their final destination (that would be to our passports and then to us).  But without that stamp, we couldn't have entered Egypt legally.  I spent a few afternoons last week calling special issuance and asking them eagerly if they'd heard from the Egyptian Embassy about our visas.  Much to their credit, they were incredibly patient with me, explaining the process and letting me know that sometimes it takes a bit longer than usual.  I panicked and emailed some spousey DS friends, who confirmed all of what special issuance told me.  

But me and my type-A-psychotic-need to have it all done exactly the way we planned got the better of me. If the visas didn't process in time, we'd have to change our travel dates. 

CHANGE OUR TRAVEL DATES? It screamed over and over in my head.  

How can that be? We have to leave on the day already set - we have someone moving into our house literally the day we are scheduled to fly out.  And packout is just two days before we fly-out.  Everything needs to occur precisely along the timeline we've established.

UNACCEPTABLE! It screamed over and over in my head. And over and over and over.

I was sick, nauseous, couldn't sleep.  I felt as though we had lost control over everything we had worked so hard to get in order.  It's hard planning this so far away from Main State - we haven't done it before, and everything is new to us and takes probably three times as long to figure out.  (Maybe we'll look back at this on our next move and laugh?!).  Where would we go for that time while we waited - a hotel?  But we wouldn't have a car?  We'd need a rental.  But I'm supposed to start work the 11th in Cairo; I'd already put in my notice at work in Ohio.  How would we get the kids to school here in Ohio if we weren't in the district (because of the hotel)? When would we find out when we actually could fly out? How would I get the dog's international travel papers re-vouchered since it has to be 14-days or less before flying, if we only had a few days notice?!  This is only a small sampling of the questions reeling through my mind.

Somehow I'd forgotten that things have a way of falling together.  Everyone told me to relax, that most likely they'd arrive in time for our set plans, and if not we'd figure everything out.  It always works out that way in the end.  But I couldn't accept it.  I couldn't let it go.  The feeling of losing of control over everything suddenly was overwhelming, suffocating.

I wish I could say I did just got over it and accepted things the way I should; that I found I could let go and not be so perfectly in control over every detail to the way I envisioned it.  But I'll never know if that is ultimately how I'd respond (although I truly hope it would be).  Because we got an email yesterday about the visas stamps being en route to our home via FedEx.  Which arrived so very quietly today.

*Happy Dance* 

Now our plans continue along the path we set, and things seem to be coming together the way we planned.  I know that I need to figure out a way to deal with things like this because honestly, these are the kind of things that are likely to happen multiple times over the span of our FS moves and the hubby's career.  Maybe next round of visas and packout planning...I'll learn to let things just...be.

But I'm going to have to save that for next round.  

Having been able to [finally] relax, I asked the fabulous hubby to take the kids and me to the lake today for a nice afternoon in the sun.  He was just glad to have me NOT asking questions about our upcoming move and enjoying something other that the arrival of our passports with visa stamps.  I was, too.


  1. Awesome! I am so glad it worked out okay for you guys. Best of luck with the move.

  2. Whew! What a roller coaster! So glad it's all on track again. Adorable photos!