This Christmas was our 4th here in Peru. Which also means it was our 4th Christmas away from family, away from our traditions, away from the cold that actually makes it feel like Christmas. I am still not used to Christmas being during the hottest time of the year. It just never really FEELS like Christmas.
One of the biggest challenges for our family living in Arequipa is being so far away from family. Despite the distance, however, we’ve experienced the tremendous blessing of Adileen getting to know her grandparents. Katie’s mom, Ann, got here the day Adileen was born and stayed for a month! Katie’s dad, Kin, came for a visit during that time as well. Then my parents came for a week when Adileen was a month old. Since, they’ve both been able to come for another visit and we’ve also gotten the chance to visit them in the US, as well as Adileen’s cousins, aunts, and uncles. Throw in FaceTime and Adileen can recognize and (on a good day) name all of our family. All of this and Adileen doesn’t turn two years-old until January!
It's hard to believe that August is a year old already! This year has been full of love and learning.First birthdays are a big production here – food, gifts, party favors, clowns, decorations, cake, and games. We had August's party at a big park near our house. Planning and preparation was a cultural adventure in itself! It took several days to get everything ready. Many friends and neighbors came together to help us make it all happen. It was truly a beautiful picture of community.
Jake and I are so happy to say that our sweet daughter, August Adele, is now two months old and doing very well! The transition of having a new life in our home has been packed full of love and learning. When we found out we were expecting we were thrilled. The creation of new life is amazing and is a strong reminder of how God works beautifully within this world. As some of you may know, shortly after finding out I was pregnant, my sister's son, Jackson, passed away suddenly at the age of four. The past seven months have been a whirlwind of emotions. On one hand we are grieving the loss of a beautiful life and on the other we are celebrating a new one. Trying to reconcile those two extremes has not been easy, especially being so far away from my family. These two significant events in my life have caused me to ask deep questions about faith and how God works in this world.
We have been in Peru for 2 years now! The past 2 years have flown by! It really seems like time moves faster here. Two years ago we said goodbye to family and friends, got on an airplane and moved to Arequipa as a family of 2. It took months for me to learn the language, figure out where was the best place to go grocery shopping, where to go for certain imported products, to make friends, meet neighbors, and I think it has taken the whole two years to make it feel like home.
any of you have followed our journey since returning to the states. My last blog post is found here. Since moving to California, I haven’t blogged much. We have almost been in CA for an entire year. That is unbelievable to me. Our 2015-2016 year has been overwhelmingly full, and I would love to share more of our story.