hard conversations and moving

We posted a video recently about our decision to move away from Charleston, and the past month has been filled with hard conversations and awkward conversations and tense conversations about this decision. It has also been filled with encouraging and uplifting conversations.

In case you didn't have 14 minutes to spare on that super long video (whoops) we want to reiterate that we basically can't afford to live in Charleston AND do the things the Lord has called us to, which are..in no particular order:

adopt more children
foster children
host people
give WAY generously
live simply

These are all things we are passionate about, yet we realize that they are largely counter cultural, and so it is not surprising that we get strange looks and remarks when we say we can't afford to live here AND do all of those things. Sure, I could easily get a full time job and we could make it. But this would directly contradict our desire for me to 1) be a stay at home mom and 2) be able to foster in the way we feel called 3) and see my husband, as his schedule is totally bonkers in relation to a typical 9-5 that I would have to get. We wouldn't see each other.

God first.
Marriage next.
Children next.

And everything flows from there. We have been so sad to tell the people we are close to, and we DO feel loved in that there are people who are genuinely sad we aren't going to be a short drive away.

We just don't know how to talk about all of this without hurting people. It sucks to feel indebted to a community because they have walked through loss AND the joy of adoption with you, but I honestly wouldn't have accepted a dime if I knew it meant we would feel such intense pressure to stay because  of that. We are trying very very hard to do what is best for our family, and this decision was by no means an easy one.

Are we going to miss our friends? Absolutely.
But we are not going to stay in an area where we would have to work to LIVE rather than work to GIVE.

On top of all of this, as I mentioned in the video, the next time we want to adopt we have to come up with the funds to do so. God miraculously provided for us last time and I do not doubt that it can happen again, but we still shelled out close to 10,000 out of pocket for what our fundraiser didn't cover. In fact, we still owe over a thousand dollars to our attorney. Expanding our family isn't as simple as deciding to get pregnant............and oh how we wish it was. God's got this. He's got our family. But we still have to be prepared to sacrifice generously and as we are called, and that is just not a feasible option here.

And on top of all of THAT--I simply cannot apologize for having a hard time living in a place where my baby died. I'm sorry. I just can't. It is the same reason I will never visit Ellie's grave site and the same reason I avoid taking certain roads in town so I don't have to pass the funeral home that took care of Elsie. If I had a dime for every time I had to fight intense memories that flood back because of certain places in our town..I would be a rich woman. It is a lot to handle mentally and emotionally and it honestly is more than exhausting.

I know people walking through infant loss who are staying in the same house where their precious nursery was set up--only to be taken down again. I can't fathom that. The memories are too much and the pain is unreal. Just the other day, I found myself passing an aisle of a store where I picked out Elsie's Christmas stocking, and I nearly lost all of the contents of my stomach right there in that spot. It is SO so so challenging.

Needless to say......these past few years have been hard. So hard. There has been great darkness and there has been great joy in meeting our son. There has been heartache and depression and loss and grief, but we are attempting once again to meet with God and follow his leading and walk in obedience into this new season of life.

If you haven't seen the video and want a longer, more in depth explanation of our hearts--please feel free to watch the video! The link is a couple posts below.

I should also add that my parents are, of course, over the moon excited that we will be living in the same town as them. Oh, mercy..it is going to be so wonderful having them near. AND, we will also be 2 hours closer to Chris' parents. That is significant.