Once you finally get an assignment, things start moving at a blistering pace. We were just HR-paneled, which means we were officially approved for our new assignment to Jordan. When that happened, a cable was generated welcoming us to post and giving us information on applying for visas, shipping cars, shipping pets, shipping household effects and so on. Then a housing cable arrived, instructing us to fill out a questionnaire listing our housing preferences in order (close to Embassy or far? Ground-floor apartment or higher up? Covered parking? Close to shops? Residential?). Based on our preferences, our rank and our family size, we'll be assigned something the next time the housing board meets. It'll likely be an apartment, as most of the housing in Jordan is composed of apartments. It will also likely be within a 10-minute drive of the Embassy, possibly even walking distance - such a welcome change from our current commute!
I've already contacted the school we're planning on using for the boys, and I'm busy filling out forms, pulling report cards and test records, asking for teacher recommendations, etc. We also have to choose a pre-school for Kyra, sight unseen, because they fill up fast. I'm looking into sending her to the same school as the boys if we can afford it - the only problem is, she won't learn Arabic in pre-school at that school, and I was kind of hoping for a bilingual pre-school. So we'll see.
We can't make summer travel plans yet, because the gaining post (Amman), the losing post (Beijing) and the Bureau all have to argue it out and decide who gets my husband, when. Unfortunately, the person he's replacing doesn't have an onward assignment yet, so we have to wait for his assignment to fall in place before those negotiations can begin. But I think we're planning on leaving here just as soon as school ends in June, doing a month of home leave and two weeks of training/consulations in DC, and then heading to Amman in early August, just in time for school to start. That's what we hope will happen, anyway. So much of this is still out of our hands.
But it's real, people, and it feels a little bit scary, a little bit sad and a little bit exciting, all in turn. Only 4 and a half months to go in Beijing....