It occured to me when I woke up this morning, that it was 12 years ago today my family entered Canada. What a wild and nervewracking adventure it was, and what an amazing adventure it's been since that day.
What we didn't know then (and not from a lack of trying, we did contact Canadian immigration to make sure we had everything in order) was that was that all the trouble we went to in order to document everything and everyone, was in many ways a lot of trouble for nothing. When we arrived at the border, half of the documents we had weren't even looked at for longer than 2 seconds. I'd never moved to a foreign country before, so I did a whole lot of worrying for nothing. Since that time of course 9-11 happened and it changed the world, literally. I'm not so sure it would be as easy to cross the border now, the way we did then (with a u-haul full of furniture and a litter of kittens in the back seat of the car).
Making the decision to pack up my girls and my life and move to another country was not an easy one. Kev and I talked about it, prayed about it and sought the counsel from others for several months before a decision was ever made. Making sure the girls were okay with it (as much as they could understand that they would be, at their young ages) was the most important thing to me. Once the decision was made, it wasn't any less huge. Then came all the preparation to not only move cross country but to start a brand new life in a very unfamiliar place. It was scary, but I knew it was the right thing to do.
Here I am twelve years later, and had anyone told me 13 years ago I would be living in Canada, have a son in law (and 2 more soon-to-be sons in law), have 7 kids, 2 grandkids, 2 dogs, 7 cats and a bird... I would have called for help for such a delusional nutbar person. It really is nothing short of amazing the way life takes it's twists and turns at the orchestration of God's hand.
Since moving here, we've had really good times and really hard times just like any other family. We've been able to go back "home" to WA only once, and I've been desperately homesick more than a few times. But, this is home now and this is where my roots are now, and that's the way it is. I wont lie and pretend that I'm perfectly content where I am right now, because that's not entirely true. Much of the time I am, but only because I'm not from here, I never really feel like I fit in here. I'm an American, I'm from the west, I wither and get weak if I can't smell saltwater on a regular basis. We're planning our next big road trip adventure for next summer to head back out west for a few weeks, so that should keep my western roots happy for a few more years (until I have to do it again).
All in all however, it's been a pretty amazingly awesome 12 years in Canada. I wonder where I'll be in another 12 years?