Just under 2 years since my very first post and we’re on our way.

I can’t believe I’m writing this, thinking this. But as of this afternoon, we have a long road ahead of us and we’re seeing green lights all the way.

It’s been a whirlwind of a weekend, and I’m not even talking about my birthday festivities. On Friday Sean got the notice from the Medical Council of New Zealand that we’d been waiting for! It said that he is qualified to practice in New Zealand…pending an interview. Yay, right? Almost. We kept reading. The way it was worded, this interview and namely the possible ramifications of the interview (a 3-6 month training period during which Sean would be observed by other doctors at a big, academic city hospital), threw everything into question. When would this interview take place? Would he have to go down ahead of me and the kids. (The thought of me flying the kids down to New Zealan–solo–sends me into cold sweats.) Would they determine that he is qualified to practice at the more remote hospital where he has a job? Would he have to practice at a tertiary hospital? We kind of panicked. He doesn’t have a job in one of these bigger cities! Do we still move down there and scramble to find a job at a tertiary hospital? Will the Gisborne job still be waiting when the training period is over? There was now more uncertainty than ever.

Our thoughts and fears were all over the map about what was happening, or rather, not happening. What if we can’t find renters? What if we can’t find employment for Sean? It might be kind of fun to find ourselves in Wellington or Auckland for 3-6 months, but how will that brief stint go over with our kids, who surely need to have some kind of stability. Would Sean be considered the equivalent to a resident? Would he have to go back down to a resident’s salary? Could we afford all this if that is the case? GAAHHH. There was mild freaking-out happening.

However, on Sunday, literally in a matter of minutes, we got a call from the realtor letting us know that we had tenants to start on Sept 1 (another huge source of anxiety for us) AND we heard from Sean’s recruiter (who’d been unreachable all weekend and was getting back to us Monday morning NZ time) who translated the Council’s language for us. Basically, he told us that the job in Gisborne and the start date was NOT in question. That would all go as planned. And Sean doesn’t have to go down early for an interview. He can do the interview after we get there and before he starts work on the first of October. What the council was getting at, is that in order to have the equivalent to the board certification he has here, he may have to do some training at a tertiary hospital over time during our two years there.

What relief!  When I heard from these two people, the recruiter and the realtor, it was an overwhelming 5 minutes. However, we were still waiting for the medical assessor to approve Sean’s medical section of his visa application. And given his complicated medical history, there was a small chance that they might decline him (although he’s perfectly healthy now) and all of this would’ve been for nothing.

And then this came into Sean’s in box earlier today:

“Good news. The medical has been cleared. I’ll issue the visas and send them out by FedEx tomorrow.”

Now it is real. It is going to happen. Clearly the anxiety and tension about all this uncertainty had wound itself into a tight knot, so that when it began to unwind, I couldn’t hold in the tears of relief. Auric looked up at me from his trains where we’d been playing before I saw this email come in and said, “Don’t cry, Mommy. It’s okay.” We’ve been living with so much doubt and uncertainty, waiting and seeing, crossing fingers and holding our breath, that I almost can’t believe that we are staring at a road ahead of us with solid green lights all the way.

So there it is. We can make travel arrangements. We can arrange for a house in Gisborne. We can arrange for school and preschool for the kids.

Stay tuned as the adventure does really and truly begin to unfold.

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