Thursday, April 23, 2009

pretending everything is okay

A year ago I was finally told how bad the situation was. Belarus had told the U.S. to reduce staff again, this time down to five. Washington was refusing to provide a list, as they had done in the past. It was certain that we would be leaving, we just didn’t know when. I had basically figured that out weeks ago, but it was nice to have finally been 'officially' told. There would be a meeting later in the day, and it was quite possible that the news would come at that time. I had so many mixed emotions, so many things I wanted to do, so many people I wanted to see, at least wanted the opportunity to say goodbye to.

On top of worrying about how many days/ weeks I had left, I also had the concern of making sure I had enough medication. If the FET worked, I would need to be on some of the meds until 16 weeks. I had been told that there were hotel reservations for us in Lithuania, and I had done enough research to know that there is an infertility clinic there, but it’s not as though I could just show up on their doorstep. I had to tell my RE that I needed more medication, without telling him too much information about the political climate. I made the phone call and was thankful that he didn't ask any questions. We would occasionally joke about things, the situation between our countries, but when things were serious, he knew not to ask.

I was still going to my Russian lesson several times a week and still being assigned homework. Everyone who worked at the embassy knew things were bad, but I couldn’t talk about how very bad they were. My Russian instructor was fantastic. He was an incredibly kind man and a very gifted teacher. I wanted so much to tell him why I was distracted, why I was so sad, but I couldn’t. I had to pretend that everything was okay, even though we both knew things were far from okay.

Later that afternoon I got the call. We had been granted one more week. Belarus had given the U.S. seven more days to hand over the list. For a moment I was ecstatic, one more week. Maybe it wouldn’t be so bad, maybe they would continue to grant us more time. No, it wouldn’t happen that way, I knew that. The entire previous ten weeks had been such a roller coaster. Every time I thought the situation was hopeless, I would run into someone who gave me some hope. Every time I was optimistic, someone would say something that would shatter my optimism. It finally seemed that our time was coming to an end. At least I had seven more days.

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