I really should have posted before now. I know that, but there was so much to be done and in so little time. Even now, I have so much to do. However, I think this is a good time to stop and take a moment for myself and get it out of my head.
Tomorrow it will be 8 weeks since I entered the States with the kids. One day after my husband entered. We were able to obtain a free ticket thanks to Jane! A good friend in this same situation. Jane had miles and even paid the fee out of her pocket for my husbands ticket. Between that and our GoFundMe campaign, we only had to pay for one ticket ourselves. It is so amazing to be blessed with so many that love and support us.
I was lucky enough to be able to get us approved for an apartment before we returned and secured it. We were even able to move in a week earlier than initially expected. Which was nice, to say the least. We got a place right in front of the pool and the kids seem to be adjusting well so far. Our oldest son does hate to go shopping, but with his recent diagnosis, he cannot eat all the things that he wants to.
Slowly, we are obtaining furniture, craigslist has been wonderful. I went to my father’s storage and got a load of stuff I left there all those years ago. So far it has been mostly toys. A word of advice, take any rubber bands off of barbies…they melt in the hot summer heat. There seems to be quite a few loads left. I know we don’t have much furniture. I think I only have one table and a small recliner, both for a toddler, which is great for our youngest. There is still so much we need. But, we do have somewhere to sit, sleep and have a roof over our head in the States as a family. I am grateful for it all.
We lost two beloved family members in Bolivia in the past two months. One right before we left and another two weeks after we left. We are saddened by the loss and are trying to celebrate the times we had with them. I also lost an Uncle a little over a week ago, I had not been able to see him since we left in 2006. I was able to meet up with my Aunt and Cousins to celebrate his life over dinner, it made me happy to see people I loved after so many years. Then this past weekend my husband lost another Aunt after a long time of suffering. It is hard to take it all in sometimes, so many people just gone from this life, we can only hold the memories of them close.
This morning is also the first day of school for my older three. I am a little nervous with my oldest being type 1 diabetic, but I know the school and he can manage it. It does not stop the worry though. I took the younger two to their Elementary school and then the oldest to his Middle school and made it home without shedding a tear. Tomorrow, I have to apply for head start for our 3 year old.
Sometimes, I think that it has not really sunk in that we made it here and I feel overwhelmed by the rush of things often. Everyone is in such a hurry and many seem exasperated if you take a second too long to do anything (ie, checking out at the grocery store, stopping at a yellow light). Of course, I did not drive often and my Spanish is not strong enough that I could not understand any griping back in Bolivia. I am so happy to be back, but I still have this deep sadness, knowing that there are millions more families still suffering through this.
I really don’t have anything intuitive or some huge message here, but life keeps going even when we don’t. It is almost like the past 7 1/2 years were the longest years of my life, yet passed by in a blur. Yes, that is a contradiction, but from this side of exile, it seems like so long ago.
The hardest part about being back in the states is that I know my kids miss their Grandmother and Tias and Tios in Bolivia. I must be honest, I miss our business. I miss listening to music all day long and miss walking out my door and seeing the beautiful landscape.
All in all, we are doing well and so very proud of what we accomplished. Bolivia is forever a part of us and I look forward to returning someday and exploring the beauty of the country more.