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!