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Thursday, April 29, 2010

The Honest Truth? ... okay here it is!

After reading my last blog entry, Dave commented that I was making our life sound too glamorous!  
On our blog I like to try to share a percentage of the ‘highs’ as well as the ‘lows’ but maybe not all the lows make it to be published.
Why?  Well, as much as I want our blog to reflect the “real” us, I also want it to be relatively ‘uplifting’ as well.  I don’t imagine people will want to read it if they come away feeling depressed afterwards.  
Anyone with children understands the daily challenges that are faced with sibling rivalry, tiredness, homework, behavioral issues and the general busyness of life.  These challenges still exist for us, obviously, but we feel like they are somewhat magnified by the added implications of being away from our support network, missing our families tremendously, facing cultural and language differences daily, adapting to the constraints of what we can/can’t buy at the shops (food wise), coping with the extreme heat each day… I won’t go on- you get the idea!
Last night after all three children had literally all had “melt downs” both in mind and body; Dave asked whether I’d like to go and adjust my blog!!  The hot days are definitely taking a toll- even the daily routine of getting ready can leave us dripping with sweat and worn out.
Dave often goes through two to three shirts a day!
This morning I mentioned to Eliana that I’d had an email from my friend Marnie (from my mother’s group) who has a daughter Tessa, Tobi’s age, and who Tobi went to kinder with last year.  Eli and Tessa did tap and ballet together last year and I was telling her some things that Marnie had written.
Tobi was listening in and began to express how he missed all his old kinder friends and wanted to go back and visit them.  I said that maybe one day we could go back and see our family and friends but that afterwards we would be coming back to Thailand, as this was our new home.  
Tobi and Eli both began crying and explaining how much they missed everyone.  Tobi even told me that I could just send him back to Australia to live with one of his friends!  They said everything from how they didn’t just want to visit Australia but they wanted to go back for a VERY long time, to suggesting living with their grandparents, to how they hadn’t gotten to say goodbye properly and many other things!  Talk about breaking my heart!!!
Fighting back tears, I calmly explained to them that I knew it was difficult for them.  It was Mummy and Daddy’s decision to move so far away and that we missed everyone too but that we moved here so that we could help the children at ZOE and that this was Daddy’s new work now.  I also talked about how, even though I missed everyone back home, I also felt glad to have met all the people that work at ZOE and how I have lots of new friends now as well.  We have our most treasured friends and family in Australia and our new friends here in Thailand.  
It feels like every single time we get a glimpse of settling in, we’re hit with the harsh reality that despite our children’s love for life and ability to embrace their surroundings, there’s still two little hearts that are desperately missing a life they used to have.  
So where to from here?
We’ll continue to pray for God’s wisdom and strength in our parenting.  
We knew we weren’t choosing an easy life when we moved here. We never set out to just cruise through.  We want to give and we want to make a difference and we want to change the course of history… however big or small that ends up being, we will at least try.
Our children are so precious to us and whilst we know there are aspects of living here that they love, it was not their choice- it was ours.  Please pray for them that they are able to trust the decision we’ve made for our family.  
Dave and I need so much understanding and patience when trying to be sensitive to their feelings and we have to realise that is normal for them to feel these emotions after moving to a new country.  With changes like these, where we have to leave people behind that we love, it is natural to feel a sense of loss and grievance. Hopefully if we can continue to recognise these feelings for what they are, cope with them and allow the children just “to be” then one day we may be able to truthfully report, that we’ve finally “arrived” … or not!!!
Andie
PS I hope you’re not going to leave this blog feeling depressed… it was not my intention… I’ll write something more uplifting next time, I promise!!
  

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