Now What?

A bunch of children having pancakes
The neighborhood kids that were a mainstay at our house in Florida.

We got what we asked for!  What a feat!  We won!  We did it!  It was a miracle for sure, and we persisted!  We did it!  The dog got the mail truck!!!  Boom baby!!!  WAHOOOO we are moving to Mexico!  Champions! SCHAAAWEET!!!! GOOOOAAAALLLLL!!!!!

We are moving to Mexico!  We did do it!  We did? We are really moving to another country!  Oh wow, what have we done?

Now what?  Now what do we do? 

We had some idea as what was ahead of us.  We did visit (for 3 days) and did talk to our friends who lived there.  But like having a baby….. We had no idea!!  Sometimes we do things that are well thought out, and calculated.  Which typically results positively.  So I guess we “thought” that we had this all “thought” through, but in reality, all we had done was just “think” about it a lot.  But we honestly had no clue how to manage this new “Yes” in our lives!  Not one clue!  This all of a sudden became romantic, and a sucker punch at the same time. 

We called a few of our friends, who embarked on this some journey a few years ahead of us, and got an idea of what they did.  It seemed like a good start, but I wasn’t too on board with what they did.  “We sold all of our stuff and our cars, then rented our house.”  

Wait what????  You sold everything?  Turned your house over to some strangers?  We just bought my dream car and I LOVED that thing more than my kids.  I am joking…. maybe a little… Ok any mom knows there are days, and when those seat heaters hold you tightly after a morning with attitudes, it is easy to fall in love. Sorry… not Sorry.  

Todd and I sat on this news for a week or so, as we needed to process this new “Yes” we were moving into.  I was excited and terrified all at once.  Yes, I began to remind myself, “I asked for this”.  The voice wasn’t there anymore, the reality was!  We now had to decide how to move forward and how to tell our family.  This will be exciting, and our new “Yes” will be our new reality in due time.  We figured the sooner the better as this will take time for everyone to process through. 

We told the kids first.  Their response was what I should have expected, but I wasn’t expecting such remorse!  They did not like any of this new “Yes” news.  Not at first.  Now that I look back it makes complete sense why they wouldn’t share in my excitement.  They don’t have my experiences!  They are their own people.   Yes they are our kids, but their life experiences, thus far in life, are theirs and theirs alone!  Their perspective is not my reality! Ugh what have I done?

After a round of pepperoni pizza and an extra scoop of ice cream, the questions started.  “Where will we live?”,  ” Can I bring my friends?”,  ” Is there school there?”,  ” Can I bring my friends?”,  “What do we do with the dogs?”,  “What about my stuffed animals?”,  “Can I bring my friends?”,  “Can we surf there?” ,  “Can I bring my soccer team?”

A group photo of young football players
Soccer… Our weekend warrior life

Now my heart strings were bring strained.  I prayed for this and now I am ripping my kids lives all apart!  Ugh.  I can be a bit dramatic at times……

Now what?

When I have been in sticky situations before I have found that honestly is the best way to go.  Even if that honestly isn’t popular!  “No you can’t bring your friends.” , “Yes you can bring your stuffies.” ,”We will live in either an apartment or a house, we are not sure yet.”, “There is surfing in Mexico, just not close to where we will be living.”, “No you can’t bring your soccer team, as much as I wish we could.”, “Yes there is a school there, and it is an incredible school” , and “No we can’t bring our friends”.  

Lastly we asked the kids to keep it on the down low since we haven’t told any other family yet. It was important to respect the process so we could all accepts this new “Yes”. 

The next day I got an email from my daughter’s teacher…  “YOU’RE MOVING TO MEXICO? IS THIS TRUE?” This is what we call solid self control!!  SOLID!!! 

The kids began their own adjustment by talking to their friends and teachers.  No one really knew what to say other than, “Wow that is exciting” or “Huh?”.  So no mater the responses they began their transformation as Todd and I had a back in 2019.  We all processed differently and now that we had the ball in motion, even if a little bit, we began our transition from “Now what?” to “Lets Do This.”

Through Todd’s company, we were put on a regimen of Spanish tutors.  At that moment I was fully aware of the hard work ahead of us, but also the enormity of the gift that arrived like a decorated elephant from the circus!   We jumped in with both feet!!  Tutoring consumed our day, and I did the best I could to keep up.  I am a stay at home mom and the work involved in that job alone is a lot.  My few moments of rest were now invaded by a tutor from Mexico City via Skype, and a graduate student who came to our house.  Due to COVID so much was different in the tutoring world.  Todd and I just hung on as the new “Yes” gained momentum. 

A photo of three people
One of the incredible tutors that would visor home and help us in the afternoons.

We told family and the reactions varied, yet the most popular was “How could you do this?”, and  “I would never do that!”  I kind of expected to hear this.  Yet, I was taken back from the lack of support at first, but like all things, people process differently.  We all needed time in this matter., this was a very big “Yes” in our lives.   We were changing everything.  We did change everything.  Change hurts sometimes, and it doesn’t affect just me.  It affects those around me too.  Our “Yes” was gaining momentum whether we were all on board or not.  

This was a tough time and it was only going to get tougher.  

We began to purge our belongings.  Facebook marketplace became my new online store front. Three quarters of our house was sold off in a matter of 3 months.  All last minute honey-dos were completed in an afternoon, or three.   The lawn mower, Halloween and Christmas decorations, and our camping supplies were all sold off. 

Our days were full and our new “Yes” was uncomfortable, and very inconvenient!  Morning tutoring, afternoon house processing along with in house tutoring, evening soccer practice, dinner, and repeat! After just 2 months I was getting overwhelmed with how difficult learning Spanish was alone.  I was falling behind. 

Then we sold our truck.  The same truck we got married in, made out in, brought babies home in, moved across the country in.  We sold our truck.   “You asked for this”.  I did, and that bit of reality allowed me to pause and give thanks for where we were, and then ask for help.  I was sad……

“Come to me all who are weary and burdened and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28

It seemed a bit selfish to ask for help when I was the crazy one who asked for this mess to begin with, right?  Maybe, but I knew this was a massive undertaking, and when you find yourself “In it”. you will need help “through it”.  There is no other way! I paused and realized this is all new, and it is ok to lock that bathroom door and sob!  So I did!  

I sobbed a lot through that process.  I had trouble sleeping.  Panic attacks struck at 4am EVERY MORNING!  I would wake up in a sweat and in deep fear!  Oh no I had made a bad request, and God loved me so much he let me destroy my entire family!!  I am be a bit dramatic…. remember?  

Then we signed a contract to rent the house August 1st with a property manager.  

This was legit.  I was breaking through a a status quo, and as glass ceilings break, collateral damage happens.  I will no longer be the same after all of this!  I will be better! But for now I am weak and the enemy of fear is winning!  I quit attending our Spanish lessons, and I started to exercise during that time instead.  I needed some more time. 

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, with prayer and petition, present your requests to God with thanksgiving.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding will guard your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus”.    Philippians 4:6-7

I would take in these deep breaths thinking, “I inhale in your peace, and I exhale out my fear”. Deep breath in…. slow on the out….. repeat…

This schedule of life within this new phase of reality went on for 6 months……  We had not yet received our move orders!! Without those we can’t go anywhere!   It was if the company forgot about us! We were stuck in our house that needed vacating in 2 months!!!  Man I really needed some good news!  We made more phone calls, sent emails, and we were a bit impolite to some staff members who were not near as invested as we were.  To FINALLY get our orders to then apply for our work visas, and medical clearances!  It worked! We were back on schedule with paperwork. 

We got our medical clearances, passports, and as we waited on our visas, it came time to pack the house!  I had done all I could to separate what we stored, shipped ground, and then shipped air.  Anticipating a house to move into once we got there.  All we would need should arrive in due time after our arrival.  I was finally organized!  Then the movers arrived and they tore through the house like Honey Badgers!!!  Those folks will wrap and pack a baby if it was left on the floor too long!  The best thing for me was to avoid these strangers going through all of my stuff.  I needed to have gone for a walk, a drive, slurp a margarita, or three!  I hated this part, but our “Yes” was now a powerful system of staff and people and paperwork all dancing at different rhythms!  We needed them together and soon!  

After all the scrubbing, painting, fixing, packing, studying, praying, crying, and managing we were as ready as we could be. Time came and we said goodbye to our beautiful home.  We had friends see us off which helped with the departure.  I miss them.  We had all we needed for 2 weeks, and anything immediate would arrive shortly after.  If I could have only predicted the future then.   Five plastic totes, four large suitcases, (One full of just stuffed animals), two dogs at 85 lbs, and 25 lbs, two kids, Todd, and me were packed in an AUDI and a small UHaul trailer.  Off we went with no idea what to expect, but we were not off to Mexico, nope not yet!

We never got our visas!!!!!  We were stuck in the United States, yet had to vacate our own home.  Hotel life had become our new purgatory.  We were off and our “Yes” had made landfall.  The excitement swirled in all of our stomaches, the grief waited patiently for the high to wean, and the anxiety gnawed as I clung to the lack of paperwork we so desperately needed.   We visited family and friends which ended up being a blessing in disguise. That is what friends do best..  They call you ugly and make you feel wholesome at the same time.  We were exhausted and all of our people recharged us.   We were neck deep in our “Yes”.  The same “Yes” we prayed for, and it was stressful! 

A family photo
When in purgatory, bring this crew! They are fun!

Our “Yes” had arrived!  We FINALLY received word that our visas were in the Fed Ex envelope and headed to us as we were hiding out in ATL.  We booked our tickets, arrangements made for the dogs, all documents were in hand, and all we had to do was wait for Saturday.  Departure was set for the next Monday, just 1 more day we all had to wait!!!  WOW we were ready!!! “Yes” here we come!

That was until Fed Ex lost our Visas………

We had to scramble and scrambling in the time of COVID is a lot like waiting on a complicated surgery to wrap up.  You call and wait on hold for two hours at the minimum.  We had airlines to call to reschedule, hotels to rebook, a rental car that we switched to for easy ditching a the airport.  Add all of that up and that is 6 hours, at the minimum on hold.  Todd started dialing, and I searched for the nearest bar to get him some liquid encouragement, and me something stronger!  

A family photo taken at a football field
Atlanta Braves Game with my Sister! Best Idea EVER to get our minds off the insanity!

Monday morning arrived and so did the visas!  Hugs all around and now our “Yes” was to be tamed.  We are leaving to our ever so prayed for journey!  We persisted, we did it!  We Won!  We really did it this time!  All we needed to do was get on the plane!  

Monday night was spent packing and arranging to luggage for weigh. The bellhop gentleman helped me unload all that luggage that was so considerable, and oversized.  I was embarrassed to where I felt the need to explain we were moving out of country.  He was very curious so I began on how we prayed for a move like this, and long story short, here we were!  One more tote he placed down by the bed and there it was.  I was surrounded by voluminous stuff, exhaustion, and two days of dried sweat, while quietly written in black sharpie,  on the inswing of the hotel room door.   A quiet sweet message for me to see.  It seized my heart in a breath.  My bones froze and my muscles stopped working.  I looked up the kind man helping me and my expression gave him worry.  “Are you ok ma’am?’.  I pointed and made him look.  “Bien”.  There it was, small  and right there in front of my face.  I told him we were moving to Mexico and I was scared, and I was tired, and God just told me it will be ok, In Spanish!!!!  We both cried and praised God.  The nice stranger and me, in a hotel room I would not normally be in, we prayed, and praised a God we both knew as family.  

“Bien” written on a door

Tuesday morning, with a heart ready, we departed.  Kids, dogs, and a crap ton of luggage we boarded a plane and flew tonMexico City, MX.

Vomos con Dios! 

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