OK, I am trying very hard to see everything about our current situation optimistically.  I mean, hey, we may not have a home in 3 weeks, but then again, we were tremendously blessed with an amazing realtor who helped us avoid potential disasters twice!  Furthermore, I got to get away, visit a beautiful area, and even get snowed on in mid-May!!  Yet, the hits seem to keep coming.

The military has a program called EFMP (Exceptional Family Member Program), in which any member of a military family who has some type of disability has to enroll.  They must go through a medical process to evaluate whether they are healthy enough for future military PCS assignments.  I was diagnosed in 1984, and we only encountered an issue once in my childhood, despite the fact that the military moved my dad roughly every 5 years.  Then I got married, and moved 3 times with no trouble due to EFMP.  Suddenly, when we were assigned to move to our current location, the EFMP came up, and my husband was told I was supposed to be enrolled in the program since I was diabetic.  This factor arose at the last moment, and the ridiculous amount of paperwork and authorizations involved actually delayed our move somewhat and added all sorts of difficulties.  Not only that, but the paperwork was lost on 2 different occasions, causing S to have to completely re-start the process TWICE!  Nonetheless, we made it through.  We were told at that time that I was now officially enrolled, and we wouldn’t have to worry about it any more.  That it is was primarily designed to protect me from being sent to an overseas assignment where I couldn’t get proper medical care, and that since I was now enrolled, that wouldn’t happen.  So we moved and life went on. 

When S finally got our orders, he assumed everything was good, just as he had been told.  Orders aren’t even issued until that EFMP paperwork is completed anyway.  He had a nagging feeling, though, so he decided to check shortly after he got his orders.  Sure enough, one computer system says I am enrolled, another says I am not.  So he investigated and discovered that he had to repeat the entire process.  Not only that, but this time, they required an in-person health interview to determine if I was healthy enough to move!  I even had to very quickly set up dental appointments so a dentist could approve that my teeth were healthy enough!!! It was ridiculous!  When it was time for the medical interview, we discovered that all my medical records had been lost in the last move.  We THINK they were returned (or never transferred to begin with) from the last base, but we have yet to truly determine that.  Thus, I had to do that process with no medical background history–except for what I had collected personally, like recent lab work and doctor reports.  Thankfully, a doctor agreed to use what I had, filled out his report, and we proceeded to schedule the final interview.  The timing of this interview actually caused us to have to cut short our originally planned house-hunting trip.  That is why we couldn’t stay and try to work something else out. 

So, we drove 800 miles, through a winter storm even, made it home around midnight last night, all so I could make the ever-so important appointment today.  I then drove almost an hour to the required base to meet the interview team.  I sat down, and they proceeded to ask me if I had any history of mental illness.  Although I would have loved to crack a joke at that, I got the impression this uniformed team would not appreciate my cheesy jokes.  So I simply replied No.  That concluded the interview.  Seriously, could they not have asked that over the phone, or simply used the box my doctor checked claiming I was mentally OK?  Then they informed me that apparently all the past paperwork had been dropped from the system and I had to fill out several forms.  WHAT?????????!!!!!!!!  Oh, and to take matters to another level, once I completed the paperwork, it was a 3-6 week process to get me enrolled in the EFMP!  I pointed out that we were PCS’ing in just 3 weeks and didn’t have that kind of time!  They said they would do what they could to push it through, but it is protocol.  Then they instructed me to leave my paperwork at the front desk, and not to worry ‘they’d get it!’  I did as instructed, but certainly have my doubts that the paperwork will ever find its way to the right person.  I have dealt with similiar situations far to many times. 

So, what does it mean if the paperwork doesn’t get done?  Technically, it means my beloved moves without me.  Realistically, it means we will vacation to the farm until the paperwork gets done, as I cannot sign up to the new base until this enrollment process is complete.  So, at this point, we must plan to go to the farm after all for a “vacation,” and see what happens.  If the process is complete by mid-June, we can all return to the new base and life goes on.  If it isn’t, then S will have to return and possibly leave us “vacationing” at the farm until the process is complete.  In the mean time, I won’t have a doctor by the end of June, which I have been counting on since my insulin prescription expires very soon.

So, all I can ask is “Now what?”  The human in me wants to feel completely discouraged, give up, curl into a ball, and have a pity party for a few minutes.  No, of course it all isn’t the end of the world.  Of course it will work out in the end.  It is the not knowing and trying to plan life and care for my children with so many unknowns that overwhelms me.   I had to smile earlier, though, when I decided to relieve my stress in my goofy way by making myself busy.  I decided to pack a few things.  I reached up to grab a cute little Blessings Unlimited block set I had sitting on a shelf.  The set contains a frame with little blocks that you interchange to form different phrases.  When I reached up, this is what I saw:

I guess I can’t argue with that.  So, we wait.  And wonder.  And dream of  3 1/2 years from now when we can retire from the military, and settle at Red Gate Farm.  And, above all, trust that God always has a plan that will allow things to work out in the end.

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