Down the Rabbit Hole

“We have orders.”

“We do? Where”

“Germany.”

“Germany? Eeeekkk!”

Drink Me? Why Yes indeed. I’ll tip that little bottle up!

The last time I had been to Germany was as a child. Perhaps my fondest and most magical memories came from there. It was a place where a child could be a child and where everything made sense. Christmas in Munich, bakeries on every corner, book mobiles in the summer, and brotchen for breakfast. And now my heart fluttered because my children would have a chance to make their own connections. How often does one get a chance to experience another culture?

The limited time to get ready meant that there was a lot to do in 4 months. It was our little race with the other animals in the same boat. We ran the race because we needed to. Plus there is a prize at the end. At least we hope there is…

In a PCS move there are things we can do and things we have to wait for until we have the amended orders in hand. Honey Bear went to a school 13 hours away to learn about his new job.

3 months out of the 4 spent guessing on where and what I needed to do next. Wrapping up unfinished business. Things we wouldn’t be able to attend to while traveling or getting settled in.

We worked on passport photos and getting the no fee government applications ready. This meant tracking down parents and getting notarized signatures from the other parents. The joys of having a mixed family. Then sending it off and waiting for 6-8 weeks.

The timing of it all meant maybe 6 weeks before we flew, we might have passports in hand. For me that’s cutting it close. Although I heard stories of a lady getting her passports an hour before they flew…

Most of my anxiety could be tempered with an Oreo cookie. Most.

Medical checkups and an Exceptional Family Member Program (EFMP) review. Everyone needs it so they can see if the incoming base has the resources to help you. Once we have this we can take the signature back to his command to officially submit for command sponsorship. And we wait.

Nothing else to do but get ready for the move.

I went through the house and decluttered. What could I live without? What would I need within in a couple weeks of arriving? What will I need 3-6 months later? We are leaving in the summer but by the time household goods arrives it will be fall/winter. The time honored tradition of a PCS Purge…

Purging was mainly successful because of two reasons… Almost every month I walked through the house threw away or gave away stuff we didn’t need/ didn’t use/ didn’t want and at every opportunity I looked at each and everything and asked myself… “Do I want to unpack this?” Is it worth unpacking?

Less stuff meant less to unpack.

Which is good because it takes me up to a year to unpack and get my house the way I want it. I call it Feng Shui. It’s like a never ending puzzle… and 30 days before the movers came I finally found my perfect fit. I would never need to move or reorganize anything. It was exactly where it was meant to be. I enjoyed the peaceful resolution and then watched the packers place it all in boxes. I laughed at the irony. Ready to start the process all over again.

And I breathe.

1 week before Brian graduates and comes home, the local passport office tells us they have the passports ready for pickup. Most of them.

Come to find out they did not approve our 6 year old’s passport because we sent the “wrong” birth certificate and we needed a special circumstance form. I did send them the items they asked for so I asked for clarification. It takes a week to get a response. It’s cryptic. A copy and paste of the information on the website.

The next correspondence makes it sound like the application and supporting documents are missing. Then we have confirmation that they found it. Nerve wracking…

On one side of the mushroom we have Lil Man’s birth certificate which was challenged, but not his sisters. All 3 birth certificates came from the same office with the same basic information. Why one and not the others? No reason was given and we were left to figure it out.

We were given a website to purchase another. The website indicates it only issues one kind of birth certificate, but the preview looks like the one I have in my hand. Follow the cookie crumb trail…

Back to the other problem. They want another special circumstance form… but I don’t understand what’s wrong with the one I sent. We withdraw the application because time is running short and decide to take it to Atlanta. By the time everything (but the application and the special circumstance form that wasn’t good enough) gets back to us we have two weeks before we fly. We head to Atlanta…

Now we are trying for a regular passport. Which I am now starting to think the no fee government passport is a waste because it only allows you to go to the country you are assigned to. Eventually you have to get a regular passport if you want to explore the surrounding areas.

They explain the bit about a long form birth certificate. I call the vital statistics office back home. They have an option for general use and passport application. The plain and simple clarity is refreshing.

Now the Atlanta Passport office throws us a curve ball. They question the wording in the custody agreement of “Exclusive right to geographic location.” They want it to say “Exclusive right to apply for a passport” instead.

Just go get a Judge’s order that says you can and we will give you a passport.

Yeah. It’s that simple.

So they think…

It’s Simple as a Tea Party in September

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