I’m sorry if you’re tired of hearing this from us, but I’m just going to say one more time, WE ARE HOME!!!!! We truly could not be more thrilled. You know that feeling of relief you get when you’ve been gone for even just a week and you walk in your front door? We were able to experience that on Saturday evening, 146 days or 4 months and 25 days after we left our home (I googled the numbers out of curiosity).
Some people think that coming back to America is what we prefer. That we are “home” when we are there. And yes, even though culturally America does fit us better, we really don’t feel at home anymore. Now, we do loooooove certain aspects, such as Chick-Fil-A, outlet malls, the ocean, and most importantly, being around family and friends. We definitely indulge in all things American. But after being there for about 2 months we had our fill and were ready to get back home.
Now, I don’t want to seem like we didn’t have a good time. It has truly been an incredible year. We had an amazing time in America and were able to fit in so much in those months. We took several road trips to visit churches and friends.We were so encouraged to be with our churches that support us and to share what is going on in our ministry here in Kenya. I just calculated it and we went through 23 states, plus Canada! I didn’t calculate the number of friends/families/groups of people we saw, but it is even more than the states we visited I’m sure!! And I cannot even tell you how good people were to us. We had so many people take us in for the night (some who didn’t even know us!), feed us good food, donate to our ministry, and fellowship together. Our kids were completely exhausted which made it difficult at times, but even in those times the Lord provided for us. Of all the places we stayed, people always had toys or gifts for the kids. It distracted them from their tiredness, so they played until they dropped. We were able to spend so much time with family. And since the kids are a bit older, they connected deeper with their grandparents. We had some really sweet time with both sides of the family.
But what makes me so happy is that when we pulled down our street on Saturday Adalyn was shrieking with excitement to be home. She has played solid for 2 days at our house. No boredom yet because she is thrilled to be reunited with her toys, her bed, everything! I worried so much that she wouldn’t want to return. But this is her home, and she remembers that!
We walked over to the school yesterday to see our teachers for the first time. It was wonderful to see everyone! The greeting though has been different than I hoped, yet humorous. We’ve been told in the past that when you visit America it is really easy to gain weight. I’ve never personally had a problem with it…until this time. We were there for 5 months and were surrounded by Chick-Fil-A, Cracker Barrel, amazing ice cream, and tons of processed food. We couldn’t resist! I knew that I had gained some weight-but I’m not really all that self conscious about it. That is, until yesterday. Haha. 4 of the teachers when they greeted me looked me up and down and said things along the line of, “Wow, I see America was very good to you!” and “I see some change!” One person even touched my sides to point out that they look different! Haha. Now in fairness, this is a huge compliment coming from them. A little weight is a sign of prosperity. To them I have come back better, being fuller. One even said, “Now you go home and sit. Don’t do too much, keep your form!” I felt very welcomed back!