Plan A, Plan B, and Plan C
For the last year, the word "plan" hasn't really been in our family's vocabulary. We've had to roll with the punches as they came and hope and pray for the best. Now, as we approach the one year anniversary of Earth and I's return to the Marshall Islands, we're starting to make a lot plans. They all revolve around the whole family moving to Kwajalein because Earth's case has been delayed due to COVID19 - in January, D applied for and got a job working for the Army here on the base. The application and deployment have been slowed by all the safety measures and interruptions that happening in everyone's lives right now and that leaves us with multiple paths for the near future.
Plan A- Have Visa, Will Travel: I was able to obtain another tourist visa for Earth to visit the US and he and I have plane tickets to fly back to the Tucson on July 22nd. It could be months until D's orders and travel approval come through and since the rest of the family can't come here, we're going to go to them. Earth's visa will allow him to be in the US for six months and we're going to retain our apartment here and continue to have him enrolled in school which will allow us to maintain our residency in the Marshall Islands. Hopefully either Earth will have had his interview or the family will have returned to Kwajalein together by the time his visa expires but if there are delays, we can cross that bridge when we get to it.
Plan B- Get The Ball Rolling: From my conversations with D, it sounds like his new supervisors really want him to deploy out here so that he can start work and are talking about making it happen as soon as possible. Of course, he can't leave Sky, Fire, and Water in the US with no one to watch them so his deploying here for work would mean that the kids would have to come with, which would take some major policy approvals. We have told his new employers that we'd be happy to cancel our plane tickets for July if they can provide concrete flight arrangements that would have the family here in August. D has done everything he needs to move the hiring process forward so at this point, we're just waiting for more information from the Army.
Plan C- Apart, Together, Apart: This version is our least favorite but still likely enough that we have to consider it. It is entirely possible that Earth and I will fly back to the US in July to rejoin the family and D will get travel orders that don't include the rest of the family. He's asked not to be deployed without the family but he's considered mission essential and the family is not. We have been told here on Kwaj that it will probably be December or January before the families currently stuck off-island will be repatriated through quarantine. If this option is how things work out, then we could be apart again with D on Kwaj and the kids and I in the US for three months or more.
As with all things in this journey, we are seeking control in a situation that completely out of our control. Really, it just feels good to know all our options and be able to discuss how thing might pan out and how we would handle them. It also feels great to know that regardless of how things turn out, the end of our separation is approaching. No matter what, we will be together again and together our family can handle anything that comes our way!