Friday, August 18, 2017


Last Friday was our one-month anniversary here in Cleveland.  It's a little hard to believe, and I think I told the people at church on Sunday that we'd been here about six weeks, because it feels like we've done six weeks worth of things.  I'm down to three boxes on the main floor and two in the basement to unpack (plus all the stuff on the table), we've gotten two kids launched on a new school schedule, we've hosted two visitors, and it feels like we've visited a lot of churches.  We've enjoyed doing some sightseeing in Cleveland--the Zoo, a Russian cultural festival, and several visits to the nature centers and parks around our house.  We even managed to squeeze in a visit to downtown Cleveland so the kids could see David's office before school starts. 

Although it seems like longer, four weeks is not that long.  It's amazing how quickly things settle into a routine and become normal.  I've stopped reaching for the wrong drawer when I need a tool in the kitchen.  I know exactly when to change lanes to avoid the terrible potholes and then when to move back so I can turn.  I don't need to use Google maps nearly as often, and I think I have my running route figured out (just in time for it to start being a little dark in the mornings...).  I'm getting used to having a TINY freezer and a not so big fridge.  We've already tested out one CSA and are getting ready to try another one (this one with an Omnivore option!).  

There are definitely things, though, that I'm not getting used to.  The houses here are all so different looking and interesting that I find myself getting very distracted while driving.  At least I figured out what was strange about how they are arranged.*  The kids are LOVING school so far, but I miss seeing them!  I also wish I could get used to how much it still hurts to say "our church" and mean Hope, and then remember that isn't true any more.  At least we have made some progress in finding a church here!  You can pray for wisdom as we move towards making this decision, remembering that God did bring us to Cleveland for a reason, no matter how painful it feels right now. 

*Albuquerque houses tend to face inward (the back of the house is to the busy street) and most are walled around the back.  Here in Cleveland, the front lawns are just BOOM, right there.  Of course there are side streets, housing developments, etc., but it's very different from Albuquerque.  Plus...the lawns.  

Thursday, August 10, 2017

First Days and Dreams

Yesterday was hard for me.  We had rehearsed what to do if you feel overwhelmed (take a deep breath and smile), introducing yourself to the kid sitting next to you, teachers' names, expectations (be kind!), and whatever else struck me in the last two weeks.

It was everyone's first "first day of school."  I was home schooled all the way through, and I've home schooled Katie so far.  I managed to keep it together, even when I saw Katie's eyes glisten just a little.  Luke looked a bit overwhelmed, although he fit right in with all the other kindergartners.  :)

All morning I hoped and prayed that things were going smoothly, that they didn't feel overwhelmed by the Mandarin, that the other kids were friendly.  As soon as I saw Luke, I hugged him tight and told him that he was welcome to stay home tomorrow!  No such luck...he loved it.  So did Katie, and she managed to navigate the "first day lunch box fiasco" pretty well.  

Still, it was hard to send them off again today, even knowing they were enjoying it so far.  I was really looking forward to homeschooling this year.  I loved watching Katie learn to read, and the future was just as fun to think about--(re)learning history, geography, writing, and other fun things with them, going on field trips, finding passionate people to mentor them in art, music, or whatever else they wanted to pursue.  It was painful to let that go. 

But this morning, my reading started with Ps. 145:13 and ended with Jer. 29:11--both such good reminders to trust God with his plans.  I spent this morning unpacking the games with Liz, per her request.  They were all mixed in with school supplies, and I found myself unpacking things we hadn't planned to--books, manipulatives, and other school supplies I've accumulated from my mom.  As I unpacked, I remembered something I tell everyone about homeschooling:  Every good parent home schools to a certain extent.  A good parent is involved with a child's learning, even if the bulk of it happens out of view.  I can still encourage them to pursue their interests, read books with them, and provide them with enriching activities at home.  I will probably always be a home school mom at heart.

Dreams should not be set in stone.  I learned that with David, and I've learned that with our previous moves, and I've learned that from adopting...this is no different.  This may be the plan that sets us up so well for a move to China, or we may end up going back to homeschooling.  Planning for the future is fun, but I need to hold those plans lightly and take one day at a time. 

The Lord is trustworthy in all he promises and faithful in all he does."  
Ps. 145:13b