Moving to our new home in Normandy, France was a big deal for us for so many reasons, but mainly because we felt so guided in every decision we made and today we feel like we are in the right place at the right time and surrounded by the right people (namely each other and our four gorgeous children). And that feels so good! We left the Paris area where we had been living since we arrived in France nine years ago and I left behind our little house in the suburbs of Paris with a big sigh in my heart.
There was a lot of growing and stretching and learning and overcoming that took place in that little place. Relationships were strengthened, friendships created and our little family expanded in size! When we arrived in France we had two small children. Today we have two budding teenagers, a spunky pre-teen and a rambunctious toddler. We uprooted them from their home and schools and friends and set out together to turn a page, to begin a new chapter of our family history, to embark on a new adventure.
We held many family councils and gathered close together to pray as we made each decision and prepared for this big move. We listened to our children explain their apprehensions, but also their excitement! We counseled them. We prayed and listened to our hearts to make sure we were making the best choice for each member of our family.
And just when we thought that our project to move would have to be put on hold for a few years, doors suddenly opened, obstacles were knocked out of the way and we now progressed with full confidence that we were doing the right thing.
Still, leaving their schools in the middle of the year would be no easy task. We warned them of the upcoming adjustment period and prepared them as much as we could…
We arrived in the Normandy region of France on Valentine’s Day 2015, our hearts full of gratitude for the beautiful house that would soon become our home.
We moved both our house and family business simultaneously and a maddening pace ensued during the course of several weeks. The children were also on school vacation and so we were forced to juggle the unpacking of hundreds of boxes (between our home and family business) and attempting to keep the household functioning (warm meals and clean clothes at the very least). I felt as exhausted as a mama with a newborn and pulled in a million different directions and it took its toll on me! But that’s all dust in the wind now…
We are settled into our home that becomes more comfortable and cozy with every day that passes. The children went back to school two weeks ago and our two teenagers have made an incredibly smooth transition. They integrated their middle school with no problem at all, have made friends and appear to be more self-confident and happier than we’ve ever seen them. Our little Gabriela has struggled a bit more but she has no sibling that goes to school with her (as is the case with Alex and Elena and they seem to gain strength from each other’s company…). Gabriela is also painfully shy. My husband and I have rallied by her side, loving her more than ever, giving her encouragement, hugs and occasional treats. The tummy aches have now disappeared and she no longer greets us with painful tears at our bedroom door each morning before going to school. She has invited three friends to come have the “goûter” (afternoon snack) with us next Wednesday and she has planned her playdate down to the very last detail. And finally Rémy. Ah… Rémy is in his element. If he could stay outdoors all day long, he would. Whether it’s in our sprawling backyard or visiting the green pastures where neighboring cows lazily graze, he is on cloud nine.
My husband and I are in awe. A humbling kind of awe that is filled with gratitude for our good fortune, abundant blessings and happiness.
Life is good!
P.S. I have missed blogging! I’m hoping to make time to keep up with it more regularly now with more soul sharing about our family’s adventures and hopefully keeping up with resources and advice about multilingualism as well.