Today has been a day of utter frustration, of feeling powerless, and of trying very, very hard to rise to the occasion and not let the stress get to us. In light of my most recent post, it all seems extremely petty. Nonetheless, when you are living it, it can be difficult to let it all go. We have been blessed, I think, in that Dominick and I haven't "lost it" with each other over the past few days. Well, I take that back, I flung the hair clippers on the counter last night when giving Dominick a haircut and becoming totally aggravated with the stupid things that weren't working right. I don't mind giving him a haircut, but I didn't become a barber for a reason...I have no patience for fussing with hair (as is obvious by my own less than fashionable 'do).
In the past 24 hours, here are the issues we have been dealing with:
1) Dominick and the boys made the 10 hour round trip to Denver for more apostilles. Our agency gave us the option of having them mailed to them, then mailed to Almaty, then mailed to us in Petropavlovsk. That seemed like a few too many "mailed to's" to leave us feeling confident, and since we could squeeze it in we decided to be on the safe side and do it ourselves so we would have it in our hands.
2) Somehow immigration had not properly handled our updated fingerprints, and as we checked to see that they had cleared...something that should have been as smooth as could be...no one seemed to know what had happened. So on his way home from Denver Dominick stopped in at the local CIS office and asked them to check it out. When they gave him a dumb look and shrugged their shoulders in a less-than-helpful way, he simply sat down and told them they better figure out who to call and what had happened, as he was going to camp out in their waiting area until they did their job and provided "service" that the "service center" was created to provide. Over an hour and several phone calls later we had a faxed updated I171H form in our hands.
3) Our bank was supposed to have a mortgage refinance completed for us to sign before we left. Not done, won't be done.
4) The new bills we ordered from the bank are not in.
5) Kenny broke a bracket on his braces and it had to be fixed...at his specialized orthodontist 2 1/2 hours away. Dominick took him to get that done on the way back from Denver.
6) A couple of uncomfortable personal things are going on for me at the same time as all the rest of this which I will not go into but which are taking up brain space and heart time.
And I have a couple of other friends going through some very difficult times at the moment, things I can not help with in any way other than to offer some moral support.
Oh yea...and the most important of all...we have no visas. No passports in hand. No flight on Wednesday. I was mentally prepared for that, and it really isn't the worst thing to happen. We can reschedule.
+++As I type this blog post just this moment I received an email from the US Consular Section in Kazakhstan saying they have no record of our fingerprint update!! HAHAHA!! All I can do now is laugh, this is almost too much!+++
I am not sleeping, the insomnia has kicked in big time and it is not all due to an excessive amount of Diet Coke. Despite my best efforts, I am letting things start to get to me. Overall, I think we are all doing really well with being flexible, and in fact I think the one thing most people would say about our family in general is that we "go with the flow" better than most.
But personally, this is testing my limits in ways I have never been tested before. The thoughts running around in my head are not pretty at the moment.
And I can not describe this, I can't explain what it feels like. There is a lot of preparation for an experience like this, and the majority of it is internal, not external. For me, at least, there is a lot of self-talk going on...of preparing for possible outcomes, of keeping expectations well grounded, of sort of training myself to key in to clues of distress or discomfort in any one of the 7 of us and to be thinking about proper reactions to those things. There are mental checklists, there is an attempt to ground yourself spiritually so you can feel God's presence and gain the peace that is needed to remain flexible and not make a stressful or uncomfortable situation that much worse by having my worst self come out.
It is a build up to the time you arrive and meet your child, and it is sort of like a professional athlete getting in "the zone". When you have that process interrupted it is jolting and disorienting, and that is where I am at the moment. A little disoriented. And I realize that nothing I am saying is probably making any sense to most of you right now.
Being in "the zone" for me is terribly important. It is what allows me to be wholly connected to my children, who at the time of the greatest change of their lives need to feel complete confidence being exuded from us as their parents. They need to have a sense that we understand what they do not have the language to understand, they need us to orient them to their new life and interpret it for them as well as anticipate the questions that might be going through their minds and offering them answers to those questions without them having to even ask them.
Sounds silly, doesn't it? I know...but it is my approach and I can't change that.
So I sit here tonight, not yet knowing exactly when we are leaving, trying to remain on an even keel so that I don't create greater chaos in the hearts of those trying to work on our behalf, trying to show grace when I want to get angry...even when it is no one's fault in particular. I am trying to think of everything that might have been missed or needs to be checked on.
And I am trying with all my heart to find some light at the end of the tunnel so that I can at least feel that somewhere along the line in all of this, the joy will eventually arrive. We seem to be pretty far from it at the moment.
Except...except when I stare into the faces of our sons. Except when I think of the ones who wait for us. Except when I refuse to allow myself to wallow in fear and worry about as-yet-to-occur events which might not ever occur. Except when I am reminded of those who have daily phoned and emailed and gone out of their way to help us, knowing how difficult this is becoming.
Except when I am reminded that God is walking this with us.
Missing a flight is not a tragedy, neither is a bank mortgage not completing in time. As I have been sadly reminded this week in more ways than one, what we are walking through might be frustrating, but it is nowhere near a tragedy. No one's life has been lost, no one's house has been lost, no one's health has been lost.
A little sleep has been lost, a little patience has been lost.
But the end goal is still in sight.
We learn more tomorrow about Plan B. Stay tuned, we will keep you posted as soon as we learn anything significant. We are likely to be delayed only a few days.
Funny how writing it all down can somehow create peace and bring perspective.