In 3 days we will travel to China. In 3 days we will start an adventure like no other. In 3 days…
Life is a huge collage of events. This (hopefully – and we need hope in life!) is one of those amazing events.
A beautiful new chapter.
A new story of hope!
So for those following our long story, probably the most interesting bit of information we have received recently is that our son’s nickname is Mingming. It makes me smile. Warms my heart. Makes me think cuddly thoughts.
We are more or less packed. Our clothes from Costa Rica have simply been placed back in our suitcases while we wear our warmer Swedish “summer” clothes here. (So far we have had rain every day…woohoo.) I have a few new clothes and some toys for Mingming. A strong wrap to carry him in. Soft picture books. A new phone to take pictures. I’m not sure that I need more.
Tonight the entire family gathered with a woman experienced in adoption and advising families – to ask our questions, to gain some insight, to simply focus. We are a very unique family with 3 adult kids and a 5 year old little sister. So we will each need to discover our path but together during this time. Jonas’ and my greatest hope is that we as a family will find connection and support from each other as we start this very special journey. I know that the older kids have so many siblings and experiences as big sisters and brother. And I also realize we have shared a very long and rocky road these past years. However, here is a new opportunity to re-unite as a family. Sigrid, Ragna and Gunnar have so much experience working with children that gives them insight and skills…and they can use these abilities to create something very special as they come near to Mingming during this tough transition. So many thoughts and wishes here…
We are packing. We are preparing. We are dreaming.
And how we have longed for some good news.
For a better chapter.
For a new beginning…
But this week marks 2 years since our world changed through tragedy and carelessness.
Life changes in the blink of an eye.
You simply never know when, where or how.
And you pray that it will be for something good…
You can get so confused
that you’ll start in to race
down long wiggled roads at a break-necking pace
and grind on for miles across weirdish wild space,
headed, I fear, toward a most useless place.
The Waiting Place…
…for people just waiting.
Waiting for a train to go
or a bus to come, or a plane to go
or the mail to come, or the rain to go
or the phone to ring, or the snow to snow
or waiting around for a Yes or a No
or waiting for their hair to grow.
Everyone is just waiting.
Waiting for the fish to bite
or waiting for wind to fly a kite
or waiting around for Friday night
or waiting, perhaps, for their Uncle Jake
or a pot to boil, or a Better Break
or a string of pearls, or a pair of pants
or a wig with curls, or Another Chance.
Everyone is just waiting.
Meanwhile, we are practicing Pura Vida… We are trying to stay in the moment.
And we are in a good physical location for that. But the mind and heart wanders…
We are moving to Costa Rica!
We are starting yet another new chapter in life. A chapter that will simply unfold as we travel the path and create the story. Life truly is that way – it’s just that right now we are setting our compass in a whole new direction.
Personally, I feel the need for space – a huge pause – from Sweden. This little bubble of “perfection” (The Borg as I like to call it when in a funk) has me way too confused and frustrated. I need to escape. I need to see a more diverse world with a variety of people, interests, and real adversity. I am tired of hearing luxury problems (of which I am jealous) and kitchen renovations. I want Astrid to live in a world where an iPad and mobile phone are not on her very sincere 4 year-old wish list. There are so many things from which I simply need a break. So back out into a more real world…
Now we have officially booked our new home in COSTA RICA! Check out our new home HERE! After you take a look, let us know when you are coming to visit! We will stay in this home all of Sept and Oct.
Nordström Family Update:
We have enrolled Astrid in school at Guanacaste International Academy. Here she will attend school in both English and Spanish. Plus, they have a half-hour of combined German and French Daily. (Why not!?) She will learn chess on Fridays. A fantastic environmental and experiential education. Woohoo!
Jonas has researched volunteer work in the region. We hope to see plenty of sea turtles and other wildlife.
JoEllen has found both a surf school and yoga center. It is TIME! Time to be strong and get back to the ocean! Time to focus energy on the inner and less on the outer world… Time to rebuild from within…
Gunnar is flying to Nairobi independently to attend school at the Nairobi Svenskaskolan. We are sooooo proud of him. He has decided to journey out into to the world on his first big adventure – SOLO! We hope to catch up with him soon as a family. Until then – “Good job, Gunnar!!!” As my first adventure was at 17 to Sweden and the USSR, I know how amazingly eye-opening and life-changing this can be. His determination and independence really shines! He is becoming such an amazing young man.
Ragna is also off on her first big solo adventure. She will volunteer with PeaceWorks. She will spend 9 months traveling around the world volunteering. Currently, Ragna is considering Costa Rica (so we can meet her there!), Tanzania (not far from Kenya!) and another program in Asia. WOW! How fantastic for her. It feels like this is the independence that she so needs and desires in life. I am sure she will shine.
Sigrid has just returned from her own big adventure to Australia with her boyfriend Fredrik. You can read a bit on Sigrid’s blog as she continues to add travel writing to her repertoire. Now she creates her next chapter in life. We don’t know if that is school, work or more travel…or a combination of all 3. All is yet to be determined. It just feels as though she got a much needed break. And that is great! Now, I am waiting for all the fantastic stories and pictures from Oz!
Kenya adoption remains on hold. No news. Meetings from the National Adoption Committee (NAC) are unannounced and unconfirmed. We think our papers are in the hands of the appropriate people but we have no confirmation. Barnens Vänner’s phone calls and emails are supposedly unanswered when/if made to Little Angels Network (LAN). Who knows what is going on? We don’t.
What we do know is that families are slowly being approved and this past month we have seen several Swedish families get their referral. We hope to join that group within the next year.
However, we have decided not to simply sit in limbo.
We choose to set sail on a new adventure.
We cannot direct the wind, but we can adjust the sails. – Bertha Calloway
We’re gonna go AWOL. That is, we are going to jump off our standard “life” path for awhile.
Our house is rented as of August 10 and Gunnar flies on the 15th to Nairobi to start school.
Meanwhile, the girls are adults and creating their own ways in life…
Soooo we (JoEllen, Jonas and Astrid) are going to simply run away for awhile!
And now we have a luxury problem – WHERE?
We realize that we CAN actually try to physically run away from it all (ha ha! I wish…) which is how I have been feeling for the last year and a half.
But more importantly and realistically, we can run TOWARDS a new life chapter. To consciously choose a new unknown path in life. And that is what we have decided to do!
Germany, Czech Republic, France, Greece and then – who knows! Perhaps South or Central America…South Pacific…Southeast Asia…Tanzania…? We haven’t decided, but we will keep you posted.
If you have a wonderful suggestion – send it. We will do some adventurous travel and then find a homebase with preschool for Astrid. I am thinking it would be great to learn Spanish while doing some yoga, surfing and diving… That’s my dream life.
KENYAN ADOPTION UPDATE: As of right now, we have been told it is best to wait until we are officially approved for adoption by the NAC before we come to Kenya. Gunnar has decided to go ahead with our previous plan to arrive in August. He will live on campus in a spare room while we seek approval. So we are following the rules and waiting (patiently – ha!) to have the adoption chapter of our family life begin. IF it does… (Cross your fingers / Håller tummarna!)
Life has no guarantees. We have laid the best of plans, but…
“The best laid schemes of mice and men / Often go awry.”
It’s a fact.
KENYAN ADOPTION STATUS: The adoption process in Kenya is starting up again. There are still numerous families whose lives have been on hold for over a year now. Sad and scary, especially when we think of the children’s lives that are also in limbo during this time… However, there are also those adoption applicants whom I call the “lottery winners.” These families applied in January and March of this year and have already been approved and referred at lightning speed to their child. They will leave this month for their adoption adventure and family connection. Which is wonderful!
Takes your breath away!
And makes everyone in the adoption line green with envy…
As I continue to lurk with many others in the online adoption forums and addictively check my emails or others’ post updates for news, I realize that I am wasting time and energy. My life has already been on hold and “paused” for too long now. It is best for me, my family and my child(ren) that I invest this energy elsewhere.
Find passion again.
Create a spark in life.
Inspire myself and others (especially those most important to me).
Wow – A huge, vague goal! Something that I hate to hear from others and rarely allow myself to indulge in. So it’s best I fix this. Take some time defining this goal so it is real, tangible, measurable and achievable. I seem to excel with this type of process – at least historically.
Time to do it again.
So – we’re packing our bags and jumping off for awhile…
Well, about a year or two…