We will be flying back to the states in less than a month. It is strange to think that right around this time, 3 years ago, we were packing to move to South Africa. We were in the middle of goodbye parties, a flurry of doctor appointments, final haircuts, selling off the last bits of our furniture and the seemingly never ending process of packing and repacking our stuff for the big move.
We will be flying out of South Africa on June 13, which is the day that we landed here 3 years ago. During our first few days home, Tyson and Jori will get to celebrate their 10th and 8th birthdays, much like they celebrated their 7th and 5th birthdays in 2011, only this time they’ll be able to hug their friends and not just open a card from them.
We will be doing a lot of traveling while we are in the US. First we’ll spend time in Michigan, where our life as a family was spent. We’ll have bonfires in familiar backyards, go to grocery stores where we used to do our weekly shopping, drive on familiar roads, take a peek at our old house while eating ice cream at the bowling alley.
Next we’ll be heading to Minnesota to spend time with Darin’s family. We’ll be in Edgerton a lot, but also crossing into Iowa and South Dakota to visit family and friends. There will be a lot of memories made and good food eaten. We’ll get to see parents, sisters, brothers, cousins, aunts, uncles, Grandma and Grandpa and many more familiar and much loved faces. Tyson and Jori are already talking about things they want to do and see, not realizing that a lot has changed in the 3+ years since we were last there.
Finally, we’ll be heading to Oregon to catch up with my fam. First, we’ll be attending a family reunion in South Dakota with my mom’s side of the family. Then we’ll be driving cross country to Oregon. This thought would terrify me if I didn’t love my family so much J We are hoping that my brother and his wife (whom we have never met) and baby girl (whom we have also never met) will be able to come to Oregon from California while we are there.
After that, we fly back to South Africa. A very long, tiring journey back to what has become our home. While we are in the states, we’ll be speaking (briefly!) at a few different churches. First at Evergreen Ministries in Hudsonville on June 22, then at 1st CRC Edgerton on July 29 and then at Sunnyslope in Salem on the 20th, although I still need to talk to someone at the church about that J So, if you are in any of those places on those dates, stop by and see us!
We have a lot to do over the next 3+ weeks; work stuff for Darin, TYB stuff for me, exams for Tyson and girly stuff and sad goodbyes for Jori. We will also be saying goodbye to our friends, the VanGilders, who we met at church our 2nd week in South Africa. It is going to be hard saying goodbye to them and harder still knowing that they will be home in Kansas when we get back to SA in July L We are excited about our trip back, but there is also a lot of anxiety and unknowns: Will everything and everyone be different? Will we still “fit”? Are our kids going to willingly get on a plane to come back here? Will we? So, please be praying for us and hopefully we’ll see some of you soon!