Back in the USA…

So I have been back in the good old USA now since December 19th 2014.  It has been a stressful and emotional return to the US.

Its been stressful because –

+ Dealing with reverse culture shock.  Yes there is reverse culture shock when you have been away from home as long as I have.  Its been three years since I left the US in September 2011 to serve with Peace Corps in Morocco.  I had adapted more or less to Moroccan culture and the daily life rhythms of Morocco.  Suddenly I was back in the rush rush over connected culture of the United States – never mind the stop over in Dubai International Airport – that was extreme jarring.. the airport was just one HUGE mall.

+Getting connected with public services such as MediCal, WIC and Foodstamps.  This is a time consuming, paper filled process that is made so by the lack of the system being digitalized and regularly updated.  The health care market place lies when it says in California you can get Kaiser Permanante MediCal because its only an option if you had KP coverage in the last 6 months.

+Preparing to give birth without my husband.  My husband and I both agreed returning to the USA is where giving birth would be safest and less traumatic than in Morocco at a local clinic where no one speaks any English.  He wanted to be there but the Protection Civile did not give my husband authorization to leave Morocco or approve any of the requests for vacation that he submitted well in advance of the birth.  It was a long labor (21 hours start to finish) and was in my definition natural childbirth as I didn’t get an epidural even though I did start screaming for one due to back labor because the hospital only has one anesthesiologist and he was busy with a C section at the time which by that time I was 10 centimeters dilated.

+Trying to help my husband get his job at the Protection Civile give him the paperwork he needs to leave Morocco.  We are still working on this as every government branch my husband has been to for help has been unresponsive!

+ Figuring out my next steps – ie do I stay in the US after the birth? if so how long? Do I return to Morocco after the birth?  Forever or just to visit my husband? and all the further questions that entails.

+Missing my husband – I miss him so much.  SubhannaAllah.  He really is my rock and the person I turn to when life gets to be to much.  He is always willing to lend a hand to anything I want to do or goal I have.  I know he is missing so much of his daughters first year of life.. already she is three months old and  I can not give him that time back that he should have had with his daughter.

I turn to the Qur’an for guidance in our situation and I feel this is the best verse – 2:286 –

Surah Al Baqarah  - 2:286

Allah does not charge a soul except [with that within] its capacity. It will have [the consequence of] what [good] it has gained, and it will bear [the consequence of] what [evil] it has earned. “Our Lord, do not impose blame upon us if we have forgotten or erred. Our Lord, and lay not upon us a burden like that which You laid upon those before us. Our Lord, and burden us not with that which we have no ability to bear. And pardon us; and forgive us; and have mercy upon us. You are our protector, so give us victory over the disbelieving people.”

I say Ameen to the dua within this verse because I know I am reaching my limit of what I have capacity to bear.