Home Sweet Home

Home is a funny word for TCKs, expats, those of us who move around a lot. I have ‘homes’ scattered around the world, in places I’ve lived, and in places I haven’t, but where loved ones live, and I know I would be ‘at home’.

I wrote about my dilemma of being ‘homeless’ nearly five years ago, just a month before Coleman and I met, as I was about to move to Singapore.

Looking back on that post today, it is the last bit that resonates still: home is where something flourishes. And in that sense, we are home.

This homecoming is a true one for Coleman; we are living in his parents’ house, the place he grew up. Our children are sleeping in his childhood bedroom. The neighbours, the streets, the shops and culture and language all familiar.

 

It’s not quite the same for me – I’m Canadian, and this move means yet another stay as an expat, a visitor in a foreign country. We are living in the heart of the General Church, and I didn’t grow up in this denomination, so there is a different language and culture. 

But I am home.
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My father-in-law, Michael, was the only grandparent left behind while the rest were in South Africa, and he began to make his home our home. With a crew of aunts and uncles and cousins, he lovingly transformed two bedrooms for us to use, cleared out a bathroom for us. He has dug up a section of his garden to install a play yard and has plans for a sandbox. He set up a section of the dining room to serve as a gluten-free kitchen space and shopped for favourite foods to have stocked for us.
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Aunts and Uncles and Cousins

My sister-in-law, Anna, moved home. She has set aside so much to move back home to help us. She napped the day we arrived so that she could stay up all night with our kids. She took the night shift for days as we slowly got our clocks right and got caught up on sleep. She has embraced our children and they have flourished with her – ‘Anna! Anna!’ echoes through the house constantly as they seek her out to show something off or to go on an adventure.

People have brought food, both for the gluten-eaters, but also for those of us on a more restricted diet! Cookie dough, fresh donuts and Brazilian cheese bread, all gluten-free and delicious, all appeared at home this week, dropped off by loving celiacs who know how tough food can be in a new place. We also received a list of local gluten-free friendly restaurants, and on Sunday after church put one to the test with gluten-free cheesesteaks! (They were delicious!)

Walking around the property here on our first morning, my mom put here arm around me and said ‘what a beautiful place to heal’. Looking at the flowers, tipping my face to the sun, I knew it to be true. Hearing my children play and explore, knowing their things were welcome in their bedroom upstairs, I knew it to be true. Looking past the trees and the birds and the bunny rabbit we saw, I could see the army of people here, waiting to help us, to bring us food, to offer rooms for visitors, to have playdates, to welcome us to church and into community, and I knew it to be true.

This is a beautiful place to heal. A place to flourish, a place to call home.

P.S. There is baseball in America. So I am home!

 

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