Yes! The long-awaited, much-anticipated Packet. And while I won’t divulge everything about it, there are a few things that I especially loved about it. Get this: on the front of the folder the label reads, “Welcome to the State Department… and the Foreign Service!” Shiver me timbers, people! I got goosebumps just reading that little label. And then on the inside were all the official documents, like contract to sign, salary info, and then, what got the kids excited were pieces of information about Washington, D.C. Thomas looked at the back of the brochure for the National Aquarium and saw that it is around the corner from the White House, and he said, “Mom, if we walk this way, look what we might see!!” Yes, indeed! We will see the White House, and so much more! (Sorry for all the exclamation marks, especially to those of you for whom they are a pet peeve, but today totally warrants their use!!!!!!!!!!)
My other favorite part was found at the end of the letter. “You are joining a select group of America’s best.” And you know, from everything that I have seen and read and witnessed, I believe that to not be mere words of flattery, but the very truth of the matter. I have seen unselfish love flowing from members to their peers in time of need. I have seen people jumping to help answer questions from people newer to the service. I am proud that Travis has taken this course for him, for us. It is a life we enter with sincere joy.
When I think back over the past year, I can hardly believe all that has occurred. Last January we were unaware of the existence of the Foreign Service. (Seems quite ignorant at this end of things, but there you have it…). It was in February of last year that Travis got an email blurb about this little talk the State Department would be doing at the school where he was getting his MBA. And it wasn’t like he was looking for work. He already had a job, and it was a job he knew he’d be at for at least 3 more years. And I was about to have a baby, and had she been born when we thought she would be, he would’ve missed that little talk. But she wasn’t born then. She was born 11 days past my EDD, (we’ll save our discussion of how little those dates mean for another time…) the only child I’ve ever had later than expected, so he went to that little talk. Found out they really want facility managers. He went ahead and filled out the application, a long process, that again, was amazing because had they not extended the deadline he wouldn’t have been able to complete it– because, by then I had the baby, and our focus was majorly diverted by falling in love. Then came the flight to DC to interview, and then the loooooong process of medical and security clearance. I remember when we went to have the kids blood drawn and they were crying, and it really wasn’t pretty, thinking is this really going to happen? and what if it doesn’t, and we made our kids go through this for nothing? But, I trusted. Because, ever since he came home and told me about the job, I knew this thing was going to happen. I didn’t know how, but I knew it was a perfect fit for our family.
And here we are. Two months from seeing Houston in the rear-view mirror. Wow. Wow!