Looking back, I am amazed at all that had to be accomplished in the month of March. It truly had to be the grace of God that carried us through. Looking back at the details helps me understand the sheer exhaustion we felt. There was so much to do to prepare, so much more than packing for the typical move. Oh the packing, sorting, and purging continued. Then there was a yard sale and several trips to Goodwill and the dump. We ran moving sale ads on Craigslist which was a great resource to use. However, keeping up with the responses to our ads via e-mail and telephone was overwhelming. What made that situation most difficult was the fact that our computer contracted a terrible virus so that we could not use it and had to borrow computers from friends to keep up.
Things became much more complicated as we made appointments for each of our children to see the dentist, eye doctor, and pediatrician one final time in Oregon. This meant a minimum of 18 appointments before we left, which actually required several referrals for further care. So by the end of March, we had attended over 30 appointments for our children. We were also in the midst of adoption finalization which required a few trips to the attorney’s office to complete the appropriate paperwork and many hours on the phone tying up loose ends. Relationships are very important to us, and to our children, so we made the time to say goodbye to former caregivers, caseworkers, counselors, birth parents, extended family members and friends and family.
The month of March found me working to finish a few commitments as a counselor and parent educator. I completed some commitments with clients in my private practice as well as working as a contractor teaching parenting classes. As a stay home mom and a homeschooling mom of six, I am always looking to make a bit of extra income on the side and as a social worker and counselor, I could easily do this by working my hours around my husbands hours. Even though my work hours were flexible, I can always sense the sacrifice that everyone is making. Something suffers when I am out of the house. Tying up loose ends in these areas, required some report writing and phone calls, meeting with people and again saying goodbye.
Saying goodbye to friends for several weeks was more difficult than I had anticipated. There were several people who I knew it would be difficult to say goodbye t, Friends were coming to say goodbye, which was bittersweet. We were so ready to move to Hawai’i and so sad to be saying goodbye to friends, and yet we were so physically and emotionally spent that we felt a bit out of touch. I wanted to be emotionally present for all that was going on and yet I knew that I was not always able to do that. My Tuesday Night Ladies Bible Study forfeited the study one night (in an effort to throw me off) so that they could bless me with a surprise going away party. These women have meant the world to me. This Tuesday night group was a constant source of fellowship in my life over the past 3 years plus. Thank you ladies, especially our host Gretchen, for all you do to make these Tuesday nights happen. They are important times to gather together and study the Word and fellowship with one another. I miss you so much. These women are all close to my age and most were married with children. We all came from various denominational backgrounds and enjoyed true fellowship within the body of Christ. It was this group of women who blessed our family so much during my sons surgeries and hospitalizations – they were the hands and feet of our Lord – ministering to my family, making sure meals were provided and that we had what we needed. Our friends, the Zavala’s, also had a wonderful BonVoyage party for us in their home. It was open house style so people could come and drop in and say goodbye to us as they were able. It was so nice to be able to connect with so many people in one place.
We left Oregon about 4 days before we needed to catch our plane. We wanted one last opportunity to say goodbye to family. My husbands parents both reside in Heaven, and he has a couple of aging family members he wanted to see before we left. As we made arrangements to visit this side of the family, they all came down with the flu and asked us not to come. This was sad and disappointing for Ben because he realizes we may not get back for a long time…and no one knows what life holds. We stayed a couple of nights with my Mom and Step-dad so we could say good-bye to them as well as my aging grandmother, and some dear friends there in Roseville. Then we headed to San Francisco to see my Dad and Step-mom, my brothers and sisters. As we pulled away from each persons home, the tears began to flow. There was a part of me that looked forward to the move simply so we could stop saying good-bye.
My friend Heather reminded me that the goodbyes were hard for us, however she felt that they would be harder for others after we were gone. After all, we were the ones going to the new place – finding out history, making new discoveries, and simply experiencing the highs that come with dreams being fulfilled and the excitement of a new place. Although this is all true, I am so excited to be here in Hawai’i. I do often sit and think about the people I miss, which prompts me to pray for them and to thank God for them and the gift they are in my life. I think of how I wish they were here so that I could share the beauty of this place with them.
Reading the above makes me a bit tired. Ugh. What an enormous amount of work there was to be done, along with all the emotions of saying goodbyes, completing adoptions, leaving our home into the hands of renters. There is nothing that could have been left out – it all seemed important at the time and even now. I wish there could have been a way to make more time so we could have stopped and had coffee with every person we knew! We survived our March Madness, we are blessed to be here. My hearts desire was to live a more simple life, with my family and I can see that is happening. We are turning to each other, we are together more as we are not spread so thin, we have to rely on each other for encouragement, and the blessings that God intended to come from His design of family. We look forward to sharing quality time with friends and family as they are able to come to visit. We will enjoy people being able to stay and rest here, to share our beautiful discoveries, and to develop a love for the Hawaiian people and their culture. E komo mai!
Thank you Lord, as always, you bless us beyond our wildest dreams! This is an amazing place you created. Thank you for allowing us to experience these beautiful people and this beautiful place.