Leaving them was really hard.
Growing up as a missionary kid, my family moved around a lot and "home" became whatever place our family was currently located. We didn't own a house or have one specific place we'd stay the entire time when regularly heading back to the States for furlough. We were simply home whenever we were together.
When I left my family in the Philippines for Bible college in the States, I felt suddenly homeless. It was awful.
Until I was sort of adopted into an awesome family, the Guimary family. I had known them from my missionary kid days back in the Philippines, and I was great friends with their daughters (and then, their husbands). They let me stay at their house for vacations and some summers. I mooched off them for rides, meals, and laundry. I worked at their dad's church, and he even married my husband and me back in 2003.
Up until Vincent died, moving to Hawaii in 2004 was one of the hardest things I ever did.
Because I had to leave the Guimary family.
And today I had to do it again.
So to 'Mom' G, 'Dad' G, Lianne, Bill, Michelle, Tony, Nerissa, Daric, Jaelle, Laraya, Kaedyn and Javen: I love you guys! Thanks for flying us there to Chicago, for making space in your house for us, for being great Aunties and Uncles, "Lola" and "Lolo" to Theo, and for staying up late at night crying with us. Thanks for the hugs, the understanding looks, the long conversations, the amazing food, and the effective chiropractic adjustments/therapeutic massage. Thanks for coordinating church and school reunions, for exploring museums, IKEA, and thrift stores with us, and for shuttling around five children (all under the age of four) through downtown Chicago on the rail lines.
You guys are awesome.
I'll miss you all. And Theo will miss his "cousins".
But don't worry, we'll be back.
Because we're family.