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Starting Our Expat Life!

Leaving Portland…

Well, this time next week we’ll be on the airplane, starting our Big Adventure. There has been so much to do, of course, and I am just waiting for the moment when we are at the airport and there is nothing left to take care of. Our house has that empty sound, everything echoing off the walls. We have an air mattress where a couch should be, that is where I’m typing from.

The next few days are just a series of goodbyes and checking things off the list. Not fun. I think we’re right on target in terms of what must be done, so that’s comforting. What hasn’t been so great is that I have been pretty sick for the past three weeks. I had bronchitis and a double ear infection as well as a severe sinus thing, and ended up resorting to antibiotics for the bronchitis. Unfortunately, the ears and lungs are in trouble again, and I don’t feel like I can do the being-a-good-patient thing much more. This is no time to rest! But I’m trying. On Tuesday I go in for a “Myer’s Cocktail” which is not nearly as fun as it sounds. It’s and intravenous infusion of vitamins to help get my immune system stronger, and give me an all around boost for all that I have ahead of me. Let’s hope it’s just the ticket!

I have been so struck in the last few weeks by all of the warmth and support we have received from everyone we meet. People are SO enthusiastic when they find out our plans, especially strangers! Not once has someone failed to express their congratulations and good wishes for our next chapter, particularly people we have just barely met. Our yard sale was two full days of verbal blessings and enthusiasm from anyone who came by wondering where we are off to. We hear all sorts of wonderful stories about how beautiful Germany is, how friendly the people are, and what a great place it is for children.

Even people who are sad to see us go have made this time sweeter. I have had neighbors just call and ask how they can help (I inevitably send them to the post office), lending us an air mattress, dishes and whatever else we might need. Another newer friend came over and helped me pack, then gave me an acupuncture treatment. The same friend announced early this week that she was bringing us dinner that day, and that we’d be going to her home for dinner the following week. She also rounded up some chairs for us to sit in after we sold all of ours! A woman who moved into the place I was working before I closed my practice did a trade with me for a facial, but then called and asked me to come back for an extra service she wanted to give me yesterday! She also loaded me up with trial sized-cosmetics, exactly what I needed for traveling. A former co-worker of Jeff’s has happily taken Amelia to her house all day while we took care of business the last couple of weekends. Today we went to say goodbye to a waiter at the restaurant that I would always take Amelia to when we went out for breakfast a couple times a month. He has been so kind to us, and it was a sad and sweet goodbye– and he bought us all breakfast! Many times, I have been very surprised where most of our help and support has come from– not necessarily where we would have expected, which makes it even more touching to me.

Although it seemed unusually hard for me to find my place here in Portland, I feel quite loved and taken care of as we prepare to go. I am so thankful. It has also been comforting to me to experience people on the other side– Germany– also looking out for us, even before we’ve arrived. The previous tenants of our future apartment are leaving us their cell phones, and we bought some major appliances from them for cheap. Jeff’s team members are giving all sorts of insider information that will make the transition much easier, and I get a real sense that they all look out for each other. I mean, someone even went out and visited the local preschools for us, and now we have a spot for Amelia in the Fall. I know I mentioned it before, but the details are all coming together so nicely! We are really excited and happy, amid all of the stress. We still just can’t believe this is all happening, and again, just feel incredibly thankful.

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10 Responses to Starting Our Expat Life!

  1. Anonymous July 5, 2010 at 12:19 am #

    I am SO thrilled for you and Jeff! And I’m so grateful that things are coming together so well. Can’t wait to hear about your life in Germany…just bummed we didn’t get to see you before your departure!

    So are you rooting for Germany in the World Cup ;)!?

    xo, carol

  2. Great Aunt Gretchen July 5, 2010 at 5:24 am #

    It’s neat to hear how God is bringing all of these details together for you!We’ll be anxious to get reports from the other side of the pond.
    Aunt G

  3. Gretchen July 5, 2010 at 3:27 pm #

    What TRUE blessings you have received! It sounds like this next move is just the right thing. I’m looking forward to Skyping with you when you are all settled in Germany. =0)

  4. Grandma Seelye July 6, 2010 at 12:27 am #

    Amazing grace! We are so happy for you! We are looking forward to Skyping with you too. We pray for your health and energy. Love you.

  5. Great Aunt Gretchen July 6, 2010 at 5:34 am #

    I presume that Ariana’s school will be all in German? How do you think she’ll do? Or is it on the American base?

  6. Ariana July 6, 2010 at 11:40 pm #

    Aunt G– She is going to a local German preschool (Kindergarten there.) Next year, when she is in what we call Kindergarten, we have the option of sending her to the DoD school for free, but I am more inclined to keep her in a local school. We’re not sure yet. I think she’ll do well with language learning, I just don’t know much about the approach they use, since Montessori is so distinct in self-directed learning. She has done very well at with Montessori, so I am just waiting to see what happens!

  7. Aunt Robin July 8, 2010 at 7:26 pm #

    Ariana, I hope you’re feeling better now and that the “cocktail” did the job! Our love and excitement goes with you! Amelia seems to have the “word” gene, so she’ll probably enjoy learning German! Thanks so much for really keeping us all in the loop… I appreciate it so much. Godspeed!

  8. Anonymous June 1, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    I am SO thrilled for you and Jeff! And I’m so grateful that things are coming together so well. Can’t wait to hear about your life in Germany…just bummed we didn’t get to see you before your departure!

    So are you rooting for Germany in the World Cup ;)!?

    xo, carol

  9. Gretchen June 1, 2011 at 5:42 pm #

    What TRUE blessings you have received! It sounds like this next move is just the right thing. I’m looking forward to Skyping with you when you are all settled in Germany. =0)

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  1. 31: A Decade's-Worth of Living in One Year! - And Here We Are - June 23, 2015

    […] We put our house on the market. 2.  We sold and gave away all of our things. 3.  We moved to Germany. 4.  Jeff started a new job. 5.  I went back to school full time, after an 8 year […]

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