Well, today marks 2 years since we moved to Australia. 2 years and 1 day ago, I lived in Timaru, New Zealand. The same town I was born in, and lived most of my life. We lived in a 5-6 bedroom 100 year old villa, that we were working on doing up. We were right next door to Michael's work, which was very convenient. But, boy was it freezing! Average temperatures that were below freezing overnight, and not much more during the day. Our 6 daughters all lived at home with us. We had enough space for a scrapbooking studio and a library.
Since then, we have some totally radical changes. We can now go swimming at the beach at this time of year. It does get a bit cold, but more like an averaged summer day in NZ. We have lived in several different places. 8 months were in a caravan on friends' properties - 4 months in Childers, and 4 months in Glenwood. Michael was unemployed most of this time, and we were living off the sale of our house and the Family Tax Benefit.
Then Michael got a job on the Sunshine Coast. He commuted for a while, until we found a house to rent in Mapleton at the top of what the Australians call a mountain, overlooking Nambour. At Easter we found out we were expecting another baby. The rest of that story is already on here, so I won't go there, suffice to say it brought some radical changes!
After a few months at Ronald MacDonald House, we moved to Margate on the Redcliffe Penninsula, into a 2.5 bedroom house. It feels pretty crowded, and for that reason, we are hoping to move soon. We are looking at a 6 bedroom house for rent in Kallangur, which would feel great after being cramped so long! Although I would miss being right near the coast.
So, now, here we are, thousands of miles from 'home'. There are good things, and there are bad things. I miss my family. My sister is pregnant, and I don't know when I'll get to see her baby. I miss my friends, although we have made some great ones here. I get frustrated with all the things we don't get help with because we aren't Permanent Residency holders, and stressed about the whole application process that we are about to go through to get it.
We have a disabled child - something I was always willing to go through was adopting a Down Syndrome baby, but never, for the life of me, was I prepared for going through the shock of giving birth to one! She has had a fairly sickly winter - and for that I am so grateful we live in a sub-tropical climate.
I totally don't miss NZ winters. I am finding it cold enough here!!
But so often, I still question whether we did the right thing. Before we left, God told me not to be like Lot's wife. In other words - don't look back. So I am trying to focus on the fact that we are here. We are supposed to be here. Sure, we have had some setbacks. But there have been a lot of positives too. Besides, if this is where God wants us, then setbacks mean nothing. If we had our Permanent Residency Visas, a lot of the negatives would go away. I guess Queensland will always be the Paper State, but I can live with that. The people here are great. I love the place. It is so beautiful. So why do I keep turning back?