We got part two of The Phone Call from Bill Oden at OMS headquarters this morning. Our field director is very excited about the new plan to shorten our first term to two years! He'd really like to see us in language school this September.
What does all of this mean? It means, quite simply, that come the end of August, the entire family will be boarding a plane and leaving the country. (Gasp!) Instead of talking about "mights" and "possiblys", we're making plans and coming to some definite realizations.
- This year we won't have to decide which family to spend Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year's with. Because we will be spending those holidays in an entirely different country than everyone else. Preferably on a beach.
- I will be celebrating my 38th birthday next year with an amazing trip to the beach--and not the dirty brown waters in the Mississippi Gulf. My first-born will become a teenager in a foreign country.
- When we leave Iowa at the end of July, I won't see my brand-new (well, as of July) nephew again until he is 2 years old (unless my sister and brother-in-law bring him to Costa Rica or Mexico City for a visit. Hint, hint!). That one's not a fun realization. It's one that has quite literally broken my heart to imagine.
- Once we board that airplane in August, we won't see any of our family members for the next two years, unless they go to the time and expense to visit us. Thank God for modern technology like Skype, email, Facebook, and blogs! But the fact remains that, no matter how healthy my one remaining Grandparent is now, not one of us are guaranteed tomorrow. Will God call her Home while we're out of the country? I can't say. And I dearly hope not. But I will have to prepare myself for that goodbye, even if it's one that I don't end up having to make.
- We will have our work cut out for us, both in the packing process, and once we arrive in language school. I speak not a lick of Spanish. In fact, my pitiful 2-years of high school French continually pop to mind whenever I try to think of certain Spanish phrases, so I imagine this will be very interesting.
- Most importantly, we will need your prayers in the weeks and months to come. Desperately. There's the house to pack, garage to sort through, storage to arrange, luggage for six to amass, plane tickets to book, passports and visas to arrange, applications to fill out, legal details to figure out and arrange, many goodbyes to be said, and probably many more things than I can think of now. And that's just before we leave the country! That doesn't even include all the minute details we'll have to take care of once we arrive in Costa Rica. The lovely thing about the language school in Costa Rica is the Big Brother program. A current student will be assigned to our family to help us transition into life in San Jose. He or she will pick us up at the airport. Find housing for us prior to our arrival! Then, help us get settled into a new culture. As part of the program, we get to in turn provide this assistance to another incoming family during our stay in Costa Rica.
We've been ready. We've been set. And now, finally--praise Jesus!--we are GOING!