It's sometime around 4:20 in the morning. We're fighting back tears. Hugs, goodbyes, it just doesn't seem real. We're losing another member of our team. Justin is now gone.
Yesterday was yet another transition day for our family. One more friend that our kids won't have. One less friend for us to talk to. One less team member. There's only 2 girls left, set to leave at the end of July. One more transition. We have some time, but not much.
We're coming to realize the reality of how hard it is to live here. Not necessarily physically, but emotionally. Everything that we feel, all the visa trips, the transitions, the lack of consistency. Our kids feel it too. And that makes us sad. The past 10 months have been hard on them. It's hard for them to say goodbye. Noah sometimes talks about not having friends (more in a dramatic moment). Leah asks where others are who have been gone for a while. This is hard. I wish I could give my kids more consistency than just their parents.
School. That's consistent (in theory, ha!). Our toys. Our books. Some things aren't changing. But those aren't always the things that matter. People matter. A lot. We wish we could give our kids some sort of a normal, consistent life. At least maybe a couple of English-speaking friends. But the best thing about them not having that many friends? They really like each other. A lot. Sure they fight a ton, but they love being around each other. It's almost like they've come to rely on each other. What a blessing.
It's been a few days since the shooting outside of our apartment. It didn't change much of how we feel/interact with the culture. We still go to campus. We still go to the store. The kids still love our friend Jose, the taxi driver. The older woman that works at the store downstairs always asks how the kids are. The students are still involved. Some things won't change regardless of how dangerous it could be to live here.
Tomorrow we celebrate Leah's birthday. It's hard to believe our daughter will be 3 years old. Granted, she acts every bit of it, but still it's hard to believe it's been 3 years since she entered the world at 9:00pm at night at Riverside Hospital in Columbus. She wants to go to the zoo tomorrow, so that's the plan. We'll do that with whoever wants to come and then have cake at some point. Thanks to my awesome sister and my mom, we have an edible Hello Kitty picture to put on her cake. She'll love it!