Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Home is Where the Heart Is

Today I stopped by my friend Sarah's house to say goodbye. She and her husband are moving back to the states in a few days after 9 years in the UK. I think this is the hardest/worst part of ex pat life...the constant goodbyes. About 1/3 of the expat community turns over in a given school year. In fact, at the end of our first year here my then 8th grade daughter saw 16 of the 60 students in her grade move away. Shell shocked would be a good way to describe how she felt at the end of that school year. There really is no easy way to handle it and everyone has their own coping strategy.

Living in a foreign country on a corporate assignment is a bit like going off to college. There's a real 'we're all in this together' mentality that allows close friendships to form quickly and the community to become almost like an extended family. We originally came to the UK thinking we'd be here for 3 years and we are rapidly approaching year six. If you had said to me 5 1/2 years ago that I'd be living on one continent and my children on another I'd have said you were crazy. I'd have said I couldn't do it, wouldn't do it (insert stomping feet here). But, here I am doing it and you know what, it's okay. Better than okay most days. I've realized that God has a way of preparing us for whatever season of life we are embarking upon and the almost empty nest is no different.

We love it here. We also love it there. Sometimes people don't understand how a foreign country can feel like home but home is where you live and home is people you love and home is about so much more than your street address. I so look forward to all that is in front of me, returning to the US, most especially being on the same land mass as my children. I also know that a little part of my heart will always belong to England.

'How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard.' from the film, Annie

Cheers, Joyce


  1. Hi Joyce, It's so great to meet you! What an adventure you've had over the last 6 years. I look forward to reading your blog as you make the transition home to the US. I pray that this transition will be one that is full of blessings... a wonderful new home, new friends, and family nearby. PS ~ I think you did an amazing job setting up your blog. And, what a wonderful time to start it ~ while you are finishing your time in England and then returning to the states. Godspeed....

  2. Hi, found you at Kim and her coffee. I am new to blogging too...and love England. I am a southern gal living in the north...kinda like living in another country to me! lol I love the Lord most high...you need to hop over the pond to my blog and see my posts on Point of Grace. come on over and sit a spell...


  3. Hello
    I am an expat child myself. I have lived in the UK, Germany, Poland and Singapore. It is one of the richest experiences in the world and I would not trade it as it has given me an opportunity to experience the richness of God's world. It also was how I got to meet my current girlfriend (in Singapore!).
    God bless you and good luck with your transition.
    All the Best