Sunday, July 23, 2017

Stepping Back

The temptation to try and recreate my Albuquerque life here in Cleveland has been almost overwhelming at times.  Of course we'll have to find a doctor and dentist (if we ever get insurance cards...), and a church goes without saying, but I spent a fair amount of time trying to figure out the right search terms to find a nice library stitching group, a great home school art class for Katie, and a church with an adoption ministry.  Although we definitely wanted to move closer to family and felt like it was the right time, I liked my life in Albuquerque.  

Instead, we are looking at a monumental life change, and I don't mean moving to Cleveland (that ship has sailed).  When I first knew we might move to Cleveland, I searched for a Mandarin immersion program.  I've always said I would home school unless the kids had the chance to do a language program, and lo and behold, Ohio's only Mandarin immersion school is in Cleveland...on the West Side...10 minutes from our house.  When I thought we were moving to the East Side, it was out, and when we moved here in July, I thought it was out because we'd missed the lottery.  I still clicked on the website one day, and I was quite surprised to discover it is not out of the question.  They are enrolling K-2nd grade in the Mandarin program, and it starts August 9.

I was home schooled all the way through, so I have absolutely ZERO experience with public school.  Katie is a bit outside the optimal window for an immersion program, so it would probably be a pretty challenging year for her.  With everyone in transition and no support group, part of me thinks I'm crazy for changing things up so much.  At the same time, MANDARIN IMMERSION!!  How can I pass this up for our family, with all the China connections, and our desire to live there some day!  And Luke/Liz/Titus would be in on the ground floor, learning Mandarin during the optimal time. 

I am trying to remember that although moving closer to family was the original impetus for moving, maybe God brought us to Cleveland for more than just a shorter drive and a closer relationship with them.  As the strangeness of it all presses in, I want the familiar around me--knitters and a home school group and my adoption people and everything else I had back home.  Instead, I get a totally new experience to help me remember to be open to God's plans...which right now, look like an immersion public school!

Thursday, July 13, 2017


Note to self--maybe don't think you'll start blogging regularly right before you begin the most monumental change in your life since having kids. 

It's been a pretty crazy three weeks for us, and I wish I could say things have settled down.  Ha!  Things have just changed in a dramatic, surreal, and very wet way.  It's rained since we got to Cleveland on Tuesday, and when I see people running at three in the afternoon, first I think, "they're crazy," then I remember it was raining all morning.  When the kids explored the backyard, they were all marveling over the 'green stuff' that was growing in the rocks and tree (moss, for you desert people). 

Here are a few highlights from our crazy road trip:

--The stops:  NM to KY, KY to OH, OH to KY, KY to VA, VA to IL, IL to NM (by plane!), NM to IL, IL to OH.  

--75 hours:  Although I didn't clock it precisely, we spent at least that much time driving.  I love driving.  I'll probably write a blog post about how I love driving.  When we got in the car for our last drive from NM to the Midwest (sans kids, no less), I was NOT very excited about driving any more. 

--A house:  I am amazed that we arrived in ABQ eight years ago, found a house in two days, and it all worked out.  This house hunt has been harrowing, although we did find a house to rent for the next year.  The market here moves really quickly, as we found out when most of the houses we wanted to look at were off the market when we arrived three days later.  I'm so grateful for my cousins who helped us figure out some new neighborhoods to investigate, and for the realtors/agents who were able to work with us at the last minute.  We naively drove back to KY with three great possibilities in hand, only to see two disappear in the next 48 hours.  Choice number three was secured, though, and we were set.

--Excitement:  We saw David's family, my family, and my dad's side of the family, and everyone was really excited about our move.  It's been hard to say goodbye to everyone in NM, so that was a nice counterpoint.  I hope that in addition to our immediate families, we'll be able to hang out more with my extended family.

--Goodbyes:  In addition to saying goodbye to NM, I also said farewell to my grandparents' home.  They lived in a basement apartment in my aunt and uncle's house for many years, but the house will soon be put on the market, hence the VA portion of our trip.  I have so many wonderful memories of Christmas celebrations there with all my aunts, uncles, and cousins, and of course my grandparents.  It was a little hard to add this on top of our big move, though.

If you've made it this far, I'll leave you with a few prayer requests.  We are currently camping in our house because (of course) there was a mix up at the moving company, which means our stuff will be delivered on the last day of the delivery window, if that.  Pray for patience and that all of our stuff arrives intact after being loaded and unloaded multiple times.  You can also pray for a smooth transition--we've had a few bumps already here, and there are still many, many things to get into place.  Pray for David as he begins his new job next week, and most of all, pray that we will find a church family quickly.