Thoughts in Transition - part 1
One of our favourite movies is "We Bought A Zoo" and I've taken the title of this blog from a line we quote often, "...and so, our adventure begins."
A while ago I blogged about grace in the wilderness as my daughter and I transition to the USA. I thought I'd do something a bit brave and daring, different, and share some of my journal reflections reflecting this grace in the wilderness.
Transition times are messy, filled with griefs and joys. And especially for my daughter who has left her home of the past ten years the griefs are significant, yet the hope and excitement are just as high.
The transition out of high school and into either college or the work force is difficult for everyone. Even students raised in the US find themselves facing new challenges and undergoing major life changes during this period. But TCKs will be facing another monumental transition: that of reentering into American culture after leaving their home on the field. All of these changes can be overwhelming for students and parents alike. (tckinternational dot com)
So, here, from my journal over the past few days are a few selected thoughts for you all!
Day ? After 30+ hours of travel and transfers, switching 12 time zones, long flights with pleasant flight attendants, babies crying, friendly seat mates, blessings along the travel, it's hard to know which day of transition this is. I guess it's technically day 3 by the calendar. Travel started August 8. We landed 12 time zones later on August 9 but my body clock, being 12 hours ahead of the landing time zone states loud and clear it is August 10. So now the sleepy days to transition my body clock starts.
When I first moved to the Philippines in 2006 one of the first things that struck me was how noisy it is. The second thing that struck me was how dirty and run-down many things are.
Ten year later, upon arriving in the USA yesterday one of the first things that struck me was how quiet it is. The second thing that I noticed was how clean and kept-up everything is.
The airports we transitioned through outside of the Philippines also, very quiet. The USA one we landed at was eerily quiet for its large size. Hmmmm. I miss the noise!
This trip feels hard to me. And for my daughter, she is leaving her home. She's been here 10 years. The song, Lord on High, from Les Miserable, plays through my mind with lyrics to the current situation...
Lord on High, hear my prayer, in my need, You have always been there. She is young, she's afraid, let her rest, Heaven-blessed. Bring her home, grant her friends, lead our course as this journey begins. Bring her peace, bring her joy, she is young.... oh Dad, grant her peace, grant her hope, grant us safety on this journey we take... Daddy, hear my prayer, grant her peace...
Emotions are screaming in my body, missing my family left....over India....heart sad...boredom of flight. Crying baby, crying heart. Yet, excitement. Looking forward to helping K adjust to life in the USA, adventures, reconnecting with home church, friends, family....Daddy, on High, bring us all home to Michigan safely......
In USA: I awaken with anxiety sitting on my chest, a feeling of impending doom and opportunity. The toilet tissue and nose tissues feel so rich, thick, soft. I feel wasteful using them.
I have to watch lines now and not crowd. A couple times in the airport I failed to notice the “stop until called” signs for immigration and customs. One customs person was not happy with me for crossing the line before she called me. That is a Philippine habit I'll need to be aware of – lines, personal space.
Prices - $2.49 (about 150p) for a bottle of water....$4.40 (about 240p) for a cup of coffee....whoa......
That moment when I start brushing my teeth and wonder if the water is safe to use. Then the thought, "wait, I'm in Houston at my sister's and she has safe water."
This transition feels hopefully hard, do-able, teary, joyous, a great exercise in remaining flexible, adaptable, teachable....*
And so, our adventure has begun. We are thankful for a retreat/rest time with family in Texas - time to conquer jetlag, do some sight-see, enjoy time with an aunt/sister...
We are praising our Heavenly Dad from whom all blessings flow. If this blog feels scattered to you, it's intentional. Transition and jetlag are scattering events, hard to fathom coherently! Thanks for reading!