The first step is to penetrate the clouds of deceit and distortion and learn the truth about the world,
then to organize and act to change it. That's never been impossible and never been easy. ~Noam Chomsky

Thursday, August 18, 2011


Thank you all so much for your supportive comments. I am going to have to remove some for privacy but please don't take that personally.

It was a very hard several weeks. Ultimately the cons outweighed the pros. What a simple statement to summarize weeks of agonizing, googling, crying, endless long-distance phone calls, pounding on the calculator, and mentally reducing our household to whatever we could fit in a suitcase set. 

We stay. I continue to read blogs written by expats doing what I want to do in Uganda, Haiti, Peru, and Sudan. Maybe someday it will be our turn.


Life has this way of continuing to hurtle you forward. In the middle of making "the big decision" - the sweetpea celebrated her 2nd birthday!!

Somehow she got it in her head that she needed a bike. She's 2! Honestly, how does she need a bike?? But she's seen the "cool kids" (you know, preschoolers) riding them and felt very strongly that a bike was her just reward for living 2 years on planet earth. We heard "bike? birthday? lemonade? bike?" every day for at least 3 weeks leading up to her birthday.

The grandparents, being suckers of the very sweetest kind, indulged her in the best of the best toddler bike and an equally exciting kitty bike helmet.

Gearing up for the bike riding!

Safety first!

According to J, her eyes were perfect circles of amazement.

And she's off! An inch a minute!

We also celebrated with a water themed birthday party. I had big plans for a water balloon toss and other activities but by the time I walked from the back door to the kiddie pool filled with water balloons the toddler gang mentality had taken over and the gang was busy pelting adults, grass, plants and the house. We made do with lots of water mister fun, water table fun, and, at Ariam's request, never ending lemonade. :)

This picture sucks the breath out of me. She looks 18 years old already!

Love for Aya and love for cupcake frosting.

Hero worship. Ariam loves Elia. She can't get enough of her.

Prezzies. Lots of prezzies.

I love you sweetpea. You are the sparkly light of our life.


Monday, August 1, 2011

Half A World Away

We may or may not be moving there - half a world away. Quite literally the farthest corner of the ocean you could imagine or locate on your map. Just picture beaches, palm trees, coconut milk.... ah.

Then picture complete career fulfillment in this location. Combined with financial security. And a 37.5 hour workweek with 6-8 weeks annual vacation.

Sounds like a dream right? But it's not. It is just there, at our fingertips.

This other world just lingers as an option around our house these days. Last month it was a beloved and anticipated houseguest. Lately it has worn out its welcome, causing us to feel unsatisfied and angry at our current life situation but unsatisfied and angry at the dream.

During daylight I feel energized, excited, optimistic. As the sun starts to set I feel fearful, strange, plagued by doubt. Overly in love with my basement rennovation and the desire to use our new family room. (I actually cried at the thought of never using my beautiful new basement bathroom the other night.) But equally fearful of winter and regret and snow and feeling trapped.

Actual photo from the actual place. Yeah, no kidding.

I pray, I seek signs, I twist and turn options in my mind. I poke and prod J into conversations that never come to any conclusion. The problem is that prayer got me here. Yes, right here. With an amazing job offer in the ideal location with my dream organization. With J fully on board. I fully believe that prayer got me here because this job fell out of the sky, I sailed through two grueling interviews without falling on my face, and the offer is good and generous. Amazing actually. Thank you God for answered prayers. But darn it God, I prayed myself into this corner!

So with prayer answered, shouldn't the next step be obvious?

Except. EXCEPT.

Except that the insurance is biased against Ariam. Will not cover her.  Except that I have learned things in researching expat insurance plans that have turned my world upside down. Except that without access to expat insurance for Ariam we will never live overseas. Ever. And my development career will be....over?

There is such irony here. I am obsessed with the irony. I work in child protection. But to protect my own child I may never again work in development/child protection. Oh the irony. It's the kind of funny that makes you snort with shock and irony, and then that snort turns into a horrified giggle as you explain it to someone, and then at night that giggle turns into tears of horror as you realize the implications for everything you ever thought you were and the gifts you were given and the path you thought you'd been on since before you could remember ever wanting anything else.

I don't know what to do. We're stuck in circles of conversation. And I look and look for the purpose and meaning behind this.
Of course I'd give up everything for Ariam. Of course I would and I'd do it again and again.
But until 3 weeks ago I had never considered that I'd have to.