It has been a long time since I wrote! We are safely back in South Africa. Our re-entry has been a little bumpy, which has kept me from writing sooner. We landed late Saturday night, walked into our house and found out we didn't have electricity. Our power wasn't restored until Tuesday afternoon, so getting on line and writing a blog wasn't really high on my priority list. Once the power came back on we were able to go and buy groceries. This was difficult as we were having car problems, which were only solved on Wednesday when we replaced the battery. We are thankful that was the only issue!
Being back here is good, but hard. When we were in the states it was easy to tell people "South Africa is our home", but home is not only a place; it is also made up of people and many of the people that make us feel "at home" are now far away. Like really, really far away. Yet we also have many people we love here and as we reconnect with them again, our hearts will start to feel a bit more settled.
Tyson and Jori slept over at friends last night and are staying again tonight. Seeing people they missed while we were in the states is the best thing for them right now as they are both missing their friends and family in America. They were old enough this year to really understand what they are missing out on by living on a different continent. Giving our kids an "alternative" childhood is an issue Darin and I continue to struggle with. We know that there are pros and cons to living overseas, and we have to keep giving this struggle back over to God, trusting that He knows and loves Tyson and Jori and holds the present and future in His hands.
Two funny observations since being back: the kids were in our bathroom and both said that the water pressure was low because there wasn't very much water in the toilet bowl after flushing it. At first it looked that way to me as well until I remembered that our toilet bowl is always that low. Toilet bowls in America are just way more full. In the grocery store, Jori was picking out a bag of chips. She had one in her hand, then put it back. She said she wanted to get the "big bag" instead... she had forgotten that in South Africa the one she had picked up WAS the big bag. No super sized snacks here!
I also kind of left everyone hanging without an update on my nephew, Sawyer. I am so thankful I was able to fly out and be with my family while Sawyer was still in the hospital. I arrived in Oregon on Sunday evening and stayed with my sister, Kristi, at the Ronald McDonald House (so amazing!) until Sawyer was discharged that Wednesday afternoon. I stayed at Kristi's house until Friday when Darin and the kids arrived from the reunion in Washington. It is amazing to think about where Sawyer was when I arrived that Sunday and the progress he made while we were in Oregon and that he continues to make even now. He is wearing a halo and vest to protect his neck as it heals, and will keep this on for another 2 months. He is in Physical Therapy and Occupational Therapy and these will continue even after the halo is removed as he will need to work to strengthen the muscles that aren't being used at this time. Sawyer is really doing well, considering his injuries, but being in a halo isn't fun and he still has a lot of recovery ahead of him. Please keep praying!
I will get back to writing about our time in the states, and also have the kids writing about the trip from their perspective, so stay tuned!