We moved to Chicago three years ago fourth of July weekend. This is a picture of the girls that year. Don't they look little?
I'm surprised to still be in the same place. At Thanksgiving I marveled at the crisp deep red leaves outside my window on the Japanese Elm. At Christmas we added more lights, stringing them around the door frames and on top of the bookshelf. I knew where everything should go; the stocking nails were still there from last year. And then the birthdays, Sergei, me, Zoya, Polly, all one after another shooting me out to Target every other week for presents or supplies like a little metal ball in a pin ball machine. The end of our string of birthdays welcomed spring and now here we are smack dab in the middle of summer.
Fourth of July.
Polly (with my help) waved around her first sparkler tonight.
Three years ago Sergei and I were here on our own. We spent the weekend scrubbing down the kitchen and bathroom with bleach in ninety degree weather while Elaina, Zoya and Polly played in Grandma's back yard in Michigan.
Tonight we visited with neighbors in the alley (city life) and watched dads light up smoke bombs and fireworks and sparklers. I met a new mom, Ana.
"How long have you lived here?" She asked.
Three years. It's been a heavy three years; difficult ministry at first, kids acclimating to new surroundings, adoption paperwork, seven weeks in Ukraine, Evie's continued adjustment, Polly's stroke, Moyamoya diagnosis, two brain surgeries.
And yet through it all we've made this house a home, again, as we always do whenever we move. As a family we've never lived anywhere longer than three years. Sergei and I have moved eight times in twelve years.
All things considered, God landed us in a pretty good spot.
And I think we may actually break our three year rule and stay here in Chicago a bit longer. Which sounds nice, and settled.
Just what I need.