Dear Expectant Expat Mom,Kristy Carlson
So, you are moving overseas. The decision has been made. If you are anything like I was, now you feel a little scared. Honestly, that fear has something to teach you right now. The journey is already teaching you great things… it began the moment you said “yes” to building a life outside your home culture. Yours will be lessons of the deep-soul-enriching-and-vulnerable sort of kind. Doesn’t sounds great? Well, sometimes it’s not… but when you can stay open and present in the journey, you will stand amazed by it.
You are afraid for your kids, right? Afraid of what this journey will “do” to them. Afraid for their safety, their hearts, their well-being, their friendships, their schooling (BREATHE)… I want to remind you (I say “remind” because I know deep down you realize this truth already) that you are giving them a great gift, even by moving to a land with diphtheria. And that “strange place?” Well, it won’t seem so strange to them. They will grow up knowing that “home” is wherever you are together. They will have a bigger world view by the time they are five than most people have when they are 90. You are gifting them with something great… with the opportunity to see, hear, taste, smell and feel things that will shape them. Even the hard things like poverty, injustice and corruption… I think you will find that they weave a beautiful web within your family as you learn how to react these things as a family.
I know how it feels right now. It feels like your roots are pointed heavenward and you have no place to put them down. You will. A year from now you will look back and be amazed by just how many roots (pointed in the right direction) you have in such a short amount of time. In my own journey, there is one word that keeps on surfacing as I think back on our move to east Africa. Gratitude. I am overwhelmed by how different our life is from the day we moved. Back then, I was unpacking boxes and crying myself to sleep most nights. I was overwhelmed by the idea that I was going to be LIVING in this place… and now it feels as normal as breathing in and out. There is hope. You can do this, and I think you will look back and be amazed by your strength.
A Mom Just Like You
Read more from Kristy at Long Miles Coffee Project. For daily updates of her adventures in Africa, be sure to follow her on Facebook, Twitter and especially Instagram. To buy Burundi coffee that aids the coffee farmers of Burundi, visit Dogwood coffee and order online.