I tried my best to prepare for it. For everything that was about to happen as we headed to the states. But I knew we could’t truly be prepared, that we couldn’t totally know what to expect.
And especially when it came to our boys.
They had not been to the states in over three years. Norway has become home, probably more so for them than for us. Daniel has actually lived in our home in Sandefjord longer than he’s lived anywhere else in his entire life.
They were super excited about going to America. But we didn’t know what it would be like for them. I anticipated a mix of emotions, of highs and lows. And I imagined that even with all the excitement, at some point they would become homesick.
And as I thought about that a bit more, I realized that homesickness is actually a constant in this life we live.
We have experienced homesickness on a fairly consistent basis since probably 2007.
I remember being incredibly homesick our first time in Ukraine. It was our first time in a non-English speaking country. The availability of internet, even 8 years ago, just wasn’t what it was now. There were so many unknowns and so much uncertainty around us (plus, we were about to become parents for the first time – yikes!).
And yet, when we arrived home with our first son a month later, we found ourselves feeling a bit homesick for Ukraine. Sounds weird, but it is true.
It happened again in 2010 when we adopted our second child. Homesick for America, then homesick for Ukraine.
We experienced it when we lived in Canada. And at that point, I started realizing that the homesickness we are experiencing is not necessarily about a place. It is more about family, friends, and familiarity.
We felt it it when we first moved here to Norway and made it through that initial ‘honeymoon’ phase.
And while I love our city and friends and life in Norway, we still experience it.
It seems there is always a lingering homesickness in me. It is there regardless of where I am.
After three years living outside of my home culture, I’ve come to realize that I might never feel totally at home again. There will always be something I miss from one of my homes.
It’s one of those things you learn to live with, that you accept as a part of this cross-culture lifestyle.
And I also see now that it doesn’t necessarily have to be a negative thing.
Instead, I consider it a reminder of the opportunities we’ve had in life, the people and places who’ve impacted and changed us, and the memories of the family, the friends, and the familiar.
So thanks to so many of you for making us feel at home in so many different places.
For making us feel homesick.
And for keeping up with us, through the crazy times, the boring times, and everything in between.