Sunday, July 3, 2011

bravery . . .

Welcome North Americans!
We weren't quite sure what we'd encounter at the 4th of July BBQ yesterday, considering we were walking into someone's home whom we had never met and didn't know a single person there! Luckily there were a couple women I had met at the potluck lunch on Friday who said they might be there on Saturday, so my hopes were high. We drove about 25 minutes out of the city into the beautiful countryside -- for one of the most dense populations in Europe, you wouldn't know it where we were.

We passed farms, ranches, animals, and lots and lots of land. It was a really euphoric ride out there, and when we got to the house where the party was taking place, we were amazed at the amount of property the owner had. We spotted the house immediately by the American and Canadian flags out front! The sign said to head around back so we walked down a path, walked a little more, kept walking, and finally started hearing some good ole fashioned American music. There were about 40 people already there, likely around 50 - 60 during the peak hours, and I soon recognized a few faces from the potluck. 

 Keith and I spoke with many couples and families, some who had been in the Netherlands for 20 years or more, and others who were "newbies" like us. One family arrived the week before we did, but we were still the freshest off the boat. Several people came to introduce themselves and said, "Oh, you're the ones who just got here and are 8 months pregnant! WOW!" I even met another preggo who was one week PAST her due date -- YIKES! One special highlight came as we were about to leave . . . I met a girl my age who happened to not only be from Miami, but is Cuban as well (or does that go without saying?)! Sam and I immediately chatted away about the best Cuban foods we missed and all things SoFla. We ended up staying another hour just chatting with her and her Dutch boyfriend, Bart. I am sure we will see each other again and become good friends.
Sam and I

This whole experience has already been so interesting, and it's only been 3 weeks . . . Keith said yesterday that going to that party yesterday without knowing anyone was good therapy for an introvert like him because it forced him to put himself out there . . . and that my "lonely" days of hotel living while he was at work has been good therapy for an extrovert like me. : ) I do think that we've already learned a lot about ourselves, about other people, and it especially makes us appreciate the things we took for granted back home -- our own country and culture, obviously family and friends, and our easy-going way of life. It is amazing what you are capable of when given an opportunity (or thrown into a situation!).

Many people that we've met this week have made the comment, "You're so brave!" when finding out we moved here at 30-something weeks pregnant . . . and my response has been "I think it's brave to become a parent at any time!" Whether people think we're brave or crazy or naive, I don't think it's any of that. The fact that we're having a baby overseas, essentially without the help of family or friends, is probably scary for anyone. While I would LOVE to have family and friends here, it would be for purely selfish reasons . . . and really, during this absolutely incredible time in our lives, it will forever be about the three of us and not about who was able to visit the hospital or what friends brought casseroles. But that positive attitude may come from also knowing we have family and friends visiting this fall. : )  Regardless, we are incredibly blessed by God, and our geographic location does not alter that one bit. He has given us such peace about this entire process, the pregnancy, everything, and it's good to know we are not outside His will for us. So while others may think we are brave, I know that I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength.

. . . and speaking of strength, we have an extremely busy day tomorrow! The movers arrive at 8 am with our stuff, and luckily they will help unpack and put things away (I'm sure a bit haphazardly, but help is help). We ALSO have an appointment with our midwife in the afternoon followed by an ultrasound -- it's been 16 weeks since we've "seen" Liam, so we're pumped. : )  34 weeks down, 6 to go . . . I'm just glad Liam has stayed put so we weren't forced to bring him "home" to a hotel! Can't wait to update you all soon with pictures of our new place and our growing boy!


1 comment:

  1. Can't wait to talk to you! Love you!