It has been 4 months since we returned from Israel. A lot has been going on in that time, hence the reduction in blog posts. As I stated recently, I started a bunch of them but never got the time to finish them. I hope to do that soon since things feel a bit more under control at this point, but we will have to wait and see.
Rather than start with one of those posts, which are some of our reflections on returning to America, I thought you all would appreciate a general update on what has been keeping us so busy over the last few months. The short answer is work, but I don’t think you will find that answer satisfying.
The first month we returned was filled with family time and moving. Even though we had our apartment as of July 1st, when we arrived in America on July 6th, we decided to use those first few weeks to be with family. We stayed with our respective parents which gave them lots of Adina time and helped us get reoriented. Adam started work at the college before we even left Israel, so he had to hit the ground running. I knew that I had a time limit given that school was set to start at the end of August so I tried to use as much of that time as I could to deal with paperwork, etc. Then it was time to move into our apartment.
At this point we had our first readjustment issue. We scheduled a mover to help us take our stuff out of storage for a Monday, and they told us that they would call to confirm the day before to set a time. The Sunday before we waited to hear from them, but no call came. We tried to call but no one answered. On Monday, we contacted them and they told us that they tried to call on Friday but our voice mail wasn’t set up so they weren’t going to be able to come. We forgot that Sunday isn’t a work day here. When they said the day before, they meant one business day before which was Friday. Oops! They said they would try to squeeze it in, but we decided to get a Uhaul and do it ourselves. It actually took one week, two Uhaul trucks and one Uhaul van to get it all into the apartment, but we did it! With help of course. Adam’s dad gave us a hand which was fantastic, and the last truck load we hired moving helpers who did most of the work. We did a lot of it though, which made us feel pretty accomplished. Moving is exhausting!
With boxes everywhere we entered the month of August. The chaos of it all drove me crazy so I tried to use nap times and bedtime to unpack as much as I could. Adina loved all the boxes though. She liked taking things out of boxes, put things into boxes, and climbing on boxes. Her favorite game was to rip the labels off the boxes which made it more difficult to know what we were unpacking. With assistance from my mom, we got the house pretty much set up so that it was liveable within a few weeks. There are still boxes that we have to unpack even at this point, but we are pretty much settled. Those will get unpacked as the need arises.
August was filled with family time as well. Adina turned one and experienced her first piece of cake. She enjoyed the experience very much! She also started walking which was amazing to see. Now she is an experienced walker. Adam had a conference for a week toward the end of August, and I had to go to new teacher orientation for Southington so that was really the beginning of the stress. In case you didn’t know, I got a part-time teaching job where I was working before we moved to Israel. Even after 5 years teaching there, they said I had to go to new teacher orientation. So I went and Adina stayed with my mom. It was good practice for daycare! We made it through!
School started the next week as well as daycare. Adina loves daycare and did fantastic those first few days. It was much harder for us to deal with her going than it was for her. The ease at which she transitioned made it concrete that she is growing up so fast. I had the song “Let it go” running through my head a lot in the beginning of the school year. I had to let go of my baby girl a bit as she became a toddler. She continues to grow and develop. It is very clear that she understands a lot more and now she points and says a few words. She has opinions which she gladly states in her own way. Adam and I are slowly learning to speak Adina. Wonderfully, she continues to be her easy-going, happy self. Everyday is a wonderful adventure with her!
School started for Adam right after Labor day. He works long days and has a long commute. I work less than I used to but still find my days filled with planning and grading. It is amazing how full time part-time teaching can be. The days are long for me too, but as always we get through them. September and October was filled with holidays and simchas which gave us lots of family time. The holidays made work pretty stressful but we survived. (More on that in another post.) Now we have finally recovered from the holidays and have seemed to found our routine. The days are still long but we are figuring out how to balance it all.
We still miss Israel a lot and are still working to stay connected while we put down roots here. As we settle in we are starting to see how much we have been changed by our experience in Israel. We are definitely not the same people as we were before we left. For better, I think, since our perspectives are a bit more diverse now.
So that’s our life in a nutshell. More to come on our reflections on settling back down in America!
Until next time…