Our little world traveler is getting ready to embark on her first big trip! In just a week and a half our family of three leaves to head back to Malawi! We are so excited to be heading back, but it is bittersweet for sure. This summer has been so amazingly full of family and friends and so many memories. Never before have we been blessed with so much intentional time with both of our families, and the addition of Norah made all that time so much sweeter! Her little life has already been full of so much adventure and we are so thankful for the time that we have had this summer–it makes it hard to go back for sure.
But, we are also so eager to get back to Malawi for a second school year. We are anticipating seeing all of our “family” there, and introducing them to Norah! And we are excited to get back into a routine, to reconnect with ministries in Lilongwe, and to get the new school year underway!
Leaving Malawi, we were a family of two. Eagerly anticipating the birth of our first baby, we truly had no idea what lay ahead, or how it would change us. We were coming off of our first year living overseas, and we were still trying to wrap our heads around how that experience had changed us and challenged us, and we were looking forward to returning for a second year. I was excited to have a few months back in the States with family and friends, and was eager to be able to visit coffee shops and go for walks and go to Target, and I was anticipating a lot of rest and down time! Well, I definitely have been grateful for all of those things this summer, but we have not necessarily had a lot of rest! 😉
Norah was born on June 6th, and it truly changed our whole rhythm of life. We knew it would, but it is one of those things that you cannot fully understand until you are in the midst of it! It has definitely been a new season for me of learning to have grace with myself, and with Dan. It has been trying at times, and I have realized just how easy it is for me to be hard on myself, or to be overly critical (both of myself and of others!). I have realized how vital it is to give myself time to journal and be in the Word, even though I am falling short of doing it so often! And I have realized how thankful I am to be embarking on this new journey of parenting with Dan at my side.
Norah has already brought SO much joy into our lives, and I am continually humbled that I get to be her Mama. I am looking forward to assimilating her into our lives in Malawi, but know that the transition will be trying in ways. Please keep us in your prayers as we transition! Personally, I am aware that I will be more vulnerable to attacks of loneliness and depression as I may feel more isolated and out of my comfort zone. I want to be sure to anticipate these things and invite others into them with me. Keep me accountable to joy, please!
As we head back this year, Dan will be teaching fifth grade at the Academy, so he has been preparing for that this summer. It will be a new challenge for him, but one that he is excited for. He will have a lot of kids in his class that were in my fourth grade class last year, so that is pretty special. I will be home with Norah most of the time, but will also be teaching a high school elective. I am excited for this as I will get to know more of the upper school students than I did last year!
We cannot wait to introduce Norah to Malawi, and we know she will love it! Please keep us in your prayers as we pack and head into the next transition ahead of us in the next few weeks. We fly out on August 7th–we think Norah will do excellent on the long flights, but appreciate prayers for safe travel!