So…2018 seems to have started off with a bang. Things have changed significantly in our lives since my last post. In the middle of January we were medevaced back to DC for what I thought was going to be a couple of weeks of counselling for my son. So I packed a single bag for A and I to share, put the dog in a kennel, and one of our co-workers agreed to watch and feed our cat at the house.
Well, things haven’t quite gone as planned. A couple weeks has turned into a month, and we’ve been informed that A is going to need extensive therapy…probably for the next year, and that we need to start immediately.
So we’re currently on extended medical leave and will not be returning to Reykjavik to finish our tour. Before the taxpayers get nervous, don’t worry…I’m not getting paid to not work. I’m blowing through the two months of sick leave that I’ve accumulated over the last seven years.
I found out officially on Friday that he will not be cleared to go to Brussels this summer. So after months of waiting for the handshake…it arrived today via email, and I had to turn it down.
I am so utterly disappointed and still trying to process our abrupt change in circumstances. BUT I know that we will get through this eventually. Assuming I stay with State until I retire, I still have a good 20 years left in the Foreign Service, so I’m sure we’ll have plenty of time to get out and about again (knock on wood). And the important thing is to get my kiddo the care that he needs.
For now we’re working on refocusing our lives here. The folks at Embassy Reykjavik have been absolutely fantastic and supportive. They helped me ship the dog here last week, and our Management Officer even brought the cat over as accompanied baggage on her way to training to save us some money. They’ve found our spare keys and moved our cars from the short-term parking to more secure locations.
I was hoping we could get a UAB shipment with some more clothes and toys, but apparently we have to wait until we officially change posts for that to happen. So we’re making due with what we have…plus a few extra toys from Target.
We have to find a school for A so he can finish second grade. Since this was originally going to be a short trip, I didn’t bring his birth certificate or any of his school or immunization records that he’d need to register. But I was able to reach out to his school in Reykjavik and to the medical office at Embassy London, and they all sent me his records electronically, which was awesome.
Happily I had done quite a bit of research on DC when I thought we were being posted here at the end of last summer. Guess I should’ve hung on to that FSI position after all! But I’m sure something will work out, and we’ll be settled in a few months.
But I will truly miss Iceland. At times it felt like three years was too long to live in such a quiet place. But I hated to leave so abruptly…without being able to say a proper good-bye to all of our friends or visit our favorite restaurants one last time. Maybe catch one more aurora or a good snow storm or swim in a hot spring.
Ironically it’s pretty much been snowing the entire time since we left. Figures! Meanwhile it was 66F here in DC yesterday. I guess I will just have to keep my fingers crossed that we’ll get one good Mid-Atlantic dumping before the end of winter.
In the meantime we’ve tried to get out and see the sites and not make things all about the medical appointments. We’ve been to the Air & Space Museum, the National Zoo, and there was a pretty cool traveling dinosaur exhibition at the armory the other day. And we have some great current and potential friends that are posted here. So we shall keep our heads up and make it feel like home eventually.