There is this frustrating line that I always seem to be fighting against and striving for at the same time. The line of being honest, raw, real but staying away from being whiney, ungrateful, and too negative. The opportunity to be able to move abroad with our four little kiddos is wonderful. I have a husband who started a business from nothing and has worked himself bone-tired these past six years. He deserves this and also I am grateful for being blessed and taken care of as a family. Although with this exciting adventure comes with it some little hiccups. But on stressed out days little hiccups can get the best of you.
My husband has dreamed of this every day for a good couple of years, daily thinking about moving to central america and being around his girls more. He had very high expectations and things just “so” in his mind. I knew that with four girls there would be an adjustment period, and I love my girls but they can be whiney. So for the first couple of days it was a let down and he wondered if he had ruined everyone’s life. If we had made the right decision and if we would be happy. Of course we had, I reassured him, but you have to give everyone time.
The day after we moved into our home we went to church–I will have to tell you more about our experiences there later. It was a beautiful experience sitting in an odd hallway shaped chapel, with fans blowing as hard as they could, listening to the costa ricans bear their testimonies. I sat as still as be looking down at my new baby and could not stop the tears flowing down my face. The church is true everywhere, people are trying so hard to be good members of the church everywhere, they lean on each other, they love each other, and they know what is important. The words I did understand in their testimonies rang so true to my heart; eternal families, Joseph Smith, jesus christ, love, and how they knew things to be true with their Corazón–their hearts.
At the same time I realized the severity of our situation–and I don’t use severity as a word in a bad form. I just realized that we REALLY are in the middle of no-where, that the ward REALLY does need our help, that my girls REALLY are going to adjust, and that I was scared. Excited at times, very scared at times, overwhelmed, and homesick.
We also rented a house unseen, just the pictures posted online and what the man told us over the phone. I did not want to do this but we felt rushed because vacation season was coming up and all the houses we were interested in were slipping through our fingers. After living in the house for a day I knew it would not work. With the layout of the house, certain keys you have to use to open doors, and a few other things. It is not a safe house for four kids under the age of six. For it to be safe you need an extra adult (my sweet mother is here this week) and for me it feels like I can’t even take a break to breathe. You as an adult do not have a life, it is spent making sure babies don’t topple or slip or fall and get hurt. To be safe and relax a bit I have to lock us all in the big master bedroom to hang out. Also the water isn’t working right, we don’t have a washer and dryer, and some other odds and ends. But important odds and ends that make a house run.
Now to keep myself from sounding like a bratty American I did realize that things would be different and I looked forward to a “Tico” type of life. But this gal needs to be able to take a shower (although the girls really have enjoyed skinny dipping in the pool), wash dishes, have clean clothes, and not have three kids stuffed in one bedroom (due to the fact of the unknown layout of the house–there are more bedrooms just not for my kids to be in safely).
Luckily we have found a beautiful home for the same price that is just heaven sent. So none of our sweet parents and siblings worry about it.
Leaving Utah surprisingly has been more emotional for me than I thought. Extended family is so important, we are really going to miss our little bit of family that lives in Utah. It breaks my heart every time I think about it. Utah is also a wonderful place, I always thought that in many ways—the museums, some of the schools, the local food scene, the beautiful outdoors we have. Things like that, but I was reminded that there are many other things that Utah has that I did not appreciate before.
With all of this I know the decision we made to live abroad was the right one for our family. We already have had and we will have many more wonderful experiences together as a family. But guess what? Picking up and moving abroad has it’s stresses and downsides.
All I know is I know that these ups and downs will bond us–and that is what we needed right now for our little family.