Thursday, June 18, 2015

Aren't you moving to Turkey?

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If you've been reading the past couple of blogposts about the Hogan Farewell Tour (thanks! You da best!), you know that Mike left last week for Turkey.  When you read that, you probably thought something along the lines of "Wait! Didn't you get married?  Aren't you supposed to, ya know, be together for better or for worse?  Yes! We did get married.  Here's a picture in case you were beginning to doubt us. :)

Despite our nuptials last fall, we realized about a month ago that it was starting to look like I might not leave for Turkey the same day as Mike.  We were knee deep in the Hogan Farewell Tour when we got a phone call that I needed what is called a No-Fee Passport.  I had a tourist passport (the blue one) that everyone has, but needed the No-Fee Passport because it lets other countries know that I'm travelling as a dependent of active duty military stationed abroad. Because it is a "no fee" passport, we were unable to pay to expedite it and were told it usually takes about 4-6 weeks to get approved. Lucky for us (note the sarcasm), we were at the peak of travel season, as well as military move season, so images of millions of waiting-to-be-approved-passports sitting in piles on desks were flashing through my head when I received the news. 

We begged.  We pleaded.  We cried. Okay, that was just me. I cried.  Despite all of this, we quickly realized there was not much we could do except wait and say some prayers that it arrived on time. 

So we waited.

And waited.

And waited some more.

As time progressed, the likelihood that I would be leaving with Mike grew smaller and smaller. I REALLY didn't want to fly by myself across the world after leaving my entire family, friends and life behind.  Something told me this wouldn't be good my emotional state. 

When we realized that it wasn't going to be possible for us to both leave at the same time, we cancelled my flight.  So, the plan was for Mike to leave on Wednesday June 10th and arrive in Turkey on Thursday June 11th.  Meanwhile, I would take the train down to Virginia Beach and wait for my passport to arrive. It's a weird feeling leaving each other, not knowing when you'll see each other again.  Add in all of the other emotions of moving to a foreign country and you get something like this....

I wish I was being dramatic....

Amidst the uncontrollable sobbing, I boarded the train and headed back to Virginia Beach. Mike boarded a flight and made his way to Turkey and that is how we ended up married and (temporarily) living in two different countries. 

Once I got to Virginia Beach, I began harassing calling anyone I could about my passport. I became besties (again note the sarcasm) with the people in the Navy who are in charge of international moves. I had the phone number on speed dial and one day I called them six times.  I even called my congressman. I may not be a lot of things, but one thing I am is persistent.

When I called the congressman's office, they said they checked the status and said that it had been approved.  When I called the Navy, they said it was still pending.  So, I just kept calling the Navy and having them check.  

Finally, I called today and it had changed!! Cue the emotions!  Joy! Excitement! Nervousness! Sadness! All in one!  It will take a day or two for the passport to reach the transportation office in the Navy, so it won't arrive until tomorrow or Monday.  Plus, there's the factor of me being in Virginia Beach.   Therefore, I won't be leaving until Tuesday, but it is something. I'll arrive in Turkey on Wednesday. 

In the long run, I think it was a good thing I couldn't leave with Mike.  I'll get to spend Father's Day with my family. It gave me an extra week at home, which was good for my soul.  I've spent the extra week at home, cherishing the long walks, family dinners, and the special little moments that make being home so special.