Last night was difficult- but not for the typical reasons (snoring still occurred). But I kept having dreams about family coming to see me in Nigeria. Just to visit and keep me company. I’ve never been away from home like this for so long, and I’m beginning to think about all my friends who have family in the military or who are in the military and how difficult those times must have been for them. And single parents who have no support group and are going at this alone. I know my situation is only temporary, but for many this is a reality.
I worked at a camp the summer after my freshman year of college. That was the longest I had ever been away from home, and I hated it. Every day I woke up dreading being there and every night I went to sleep dreading the next day. Mostly it was because I didn’t agree with the way the camp treated their staff: we weren’t allowed to have our phones until we had an official break (which didn’t happen often, only a few days out of the entire summer!), so I felt pretty isolated from my family and friends. This is very much like that experience. Thank you for continuing to pray for me.
Tomorrow the Wilk family will move in for a few days- it will be nice to not be alone for Christmas. Hopefully we can keep each other sane for a while! Ruth will be so happy to have other kids to play with, too. She is just so used to having kids around all the time- and I know she really misses Allen. It will be good for her, and hopefully when the Wilks have to move back we can find some things for her to do that involve other kids, we’ll just have to see.
We also have to go back to the island tomorrow to have her TB test read. We were pleasantly surprised at the quickness of the visa-required medical exam. If Christmas (and a couple other holidays) weren’t right at the beginning of next week, we probably could have gotten her completed report on Monday or Tuesday! It’s just nice that something is happening faster than expected.
Oh, I did forget to brag on how well Ruth did yesterday. She was content during that whole long process at the Consulate and she didn’t even flinch when they used the needle to implant the TB test under her skin! She was a real trooper. We took a walk today to get some things (I needed a backpack for documents and for the trip home), so I got her a few new toys as well. She picked out a doll, but she was hesitant to play with it for like 10 minutes! She finally picked it up, but I wondered if maybe I just wasted money, ha!
I received what I hope is good news today. A wonderful woman in James Lankford’s office, Tuca, has been corresponding with the Lagos Consulate for me for a while. We cannot get Ruth home on a medical emergency visa, however, if we send the reports from the specialists on Ruth’s need for surgery they can prioritize her case and hopefully have the processing done before the 2-4 week timeframe I was initially told. I am happy with anything that shortens our time in Nigeria. As of now, the report from the Nigerian specialist is done but I haven’t received it. And I hope to receive the report from the specialist in OK by the end of his day (this time difference really stinks).
Tomorrow is Ruth’s TB reading, as well as our first day with the Wilks as company! It will be very nice to spend Christmas with them as opposed to spending Christmas alone. And Ruth definitely needs some kids to play with. She went from living with tons of kids to just one and now none. I know that’s not easy for her.
Made some jollof rice and fish tonight for dinner. I really liked what we ate at the beach and I wanted to recreate it. But I think I went a little heavy on the spice, ha! Which is actually pretty typical for Nigerian cuisine. Ruthie loved it! Although I had to sneak some fish in her rice to get her to eat the fish. She definitely loves her rice!
Thank you for continuing to pray for us. This process is not getting easier. If anything, the longer it goes the harder it gets. I know I will feel substantial relief when I know when we’re going home, but it doesn’t look like I will even know that until the day before or so. This is a process that demands patience and flexibility- two things that I definitely do not have. Continue praying that God gives me patience, understanding and wisdom in this situation.
To help me cope, I’ve been making a list of things I want to have or do when I get home. Just for kicks, I’ll put what I’ve got so far:
Steak, medium rare and creamy garlic mashed potatoes! *drooling*
12 hours of uninterrupted sleep in my own bed- desperately want this!
To never watch “Shimmer and Shine” ever again. Ever.
Frank-n-Swine chili cheese dogs and baked beans!
No more traveling for a VERY long time!
Five Guys cheeseburger and Cajun fries
A lifetime subscription to Orkin (you don’t want to know why this made the list)