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Back to where I belong

It is official. We are returning to France in less than a week.

I have many emotions stirred up inside me at the moment. I can’t wait to see France. I have missed France. Yet, I am not happy about being so far from my family.

Especially, my sweet Angel.

I pray it all goes well with her father continuing to send her to visit us in France. He was paying for her to fly to France before and in return he claimed her on his taxes every year. I know it is expensive. However, it is important for her to be with us as well as to know another country. It is a great experience for her.

She loves France, too.

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  • buzzgirl January 30, 2007, 12:01 am

    Whaaaaaat? I am in shock. Less than a week? What happened? I thought everything was looking up, with your mom sponsoring Vilay.

    I hope all goes better in France (and pray you don’t have to go back to the in-laws, do you?)

    How did Angel take the news?

  • Jessica January 30, 2007, 12:17 am

    Yes I’ve been wondering if you’ve reconciled with the in-laws? It’s all so sudden!

    I am sincerely happy for you though, it’s so evident you aren’t happy here. There is no reason that you won’t have just as much opportunity in France as you would here. You can get teacher certification there too – you just need to be fluent in French. And you will be. Vilay can look for a career change there too. The future is wide open – it really is.

  • kim January 30, 2007, 1:08 am

    okay you guys make things happen really fast!

    I can’t wait to hear about all this:) i wish you well, i wish your babies a smooth transition , hopefully they will just feel like they were on a vacation to the usa, and not realize much more.

    goood luck and bon courage!

    kim

  • margalit January 30, 2007, 1:13 am

    Wow, I’m in shock too. I just don’t get it. What made you change your mind so quickly? Do you even have a place to live or will you be stuck with your outlaws who you can’t stand?

    I’d love to hear more.

  • Pumpkin January 30, 2007, 2:21 am

    We will be staying with my inlaws until we get public housing…I hope it is quick. I am so tired of living with other people. We have made up with my inlaws..at least I hope it all goes well. I do love them. I didn’t agree with things that went on in regard to my children. I think they had forgotten what being a parent is all about. They have a rosy version of what kind of parents they were or we are suppose to be. It was not healthy or realistic.

    I am praying it all works out with them…if not we will figure something else out. That I am sure of. :)

  • kim January 30, 2007, 3:22 am

    when you are a parent, at any age, even if your kids are grown…you don’t always know the right way to do things or to act…you sometimes don’t know until it is too late! when you feel out of control with what they are doing, you don’t want them to make mistakes, you try (usually the way you were yourself brought up) to “make” them do things that would make things easier for them…

    does that make any sense? I mean, i just went through some minor school things with dylan and i was being a real pain to him, and trying to get him to do things my way, but with the wrong tactics…you just want them to do things the way you can see need to be done…and then you have to step back and revise your tactics…i guess, i’m talking in circles, the point i’m trying to make, is..i’m sure that they meant well, it must be hard for them (you have to admit this yourself) that they want you to be on your own, their tactics that they were using (which again, probably came from their own upbringing) did not work, hopefully they have realized this, and will just trust you guys to get out of this mess…something that I am right now finding is very hard to do, to just trust that your kids will make the right decisions…sigh..does any of this make any sense, or am i hopeless, it is in my time of the month, and i don’t seem to make much sense during these few days of the month:)
    good luck to you all and safe flight! and as my thomas says…a winner is not someone who always has success…a winner is someone who NEVER quits:)
    take care to you all!

  • Lisa January 30, 2007, 5:12 am

    You are following your heart. Vilay will find a job in France and in time you will too. I hope you will be quickly settled into a new apartment and blogging about the view from your french window. I look forward to reading about your newest adventures. Good luck!

  • Corey January 30, 2007, 5:22 am

    This is great news that you will be able to head back!

    I also think that had you been able to get things off the ground in the US it probably would have worked out in the end as well. I say this because when we first returned to the US from Germany, it took me a full year for me to even feel comfortable living here again. I have read the same thing in a few articles about “reverse culture shock” and the stages that we go through (regardless of all of the hassles that you had to face!). I cried off an on for three months when we arrived in Seattle. We had almost no money (the first winter here, we had $36 in our bank account at one point) and I hated it here. But by the following Fall (a year later) I was really enjoying it here for all of the little things that I missed in Germany. And now 11 years later, I love this place. It took that time for Seattle and the US to become home.

    However, I miss Germany too. I now feel that I am stuck somewhere between both lands and cultures, that I could live in either and love them the same for each of their different blessings and problems. There are so many things that I have been able to do here (for example, start my own business) that I couldn’t handle in Germany (too much paperwork and bureaucracy) and it still drives me nuts when Germans think they have the right answer and feel they should tell me what to do. And then there are things here that drive me nuts. Just can’t win!

    Anyway, I think it is wonderful that you will be able to head back to where you feel most comfortable. Good luck back in France and I look forward to keeping up on things via your blog!!

  • Julie January 30, 2007, 6:52 am

    France is such a beautiful place to be.

  • samantha January 30, 2007, 9:54 am

    Wow, now that was a post I was not expecting. Did your mom decided not to sponsor Vilay anymore? I think things would’ve probably worked themselves out eventually, but then again, they probably will in France too.

    Good luck with le voyage, and it will be great to have you back on this side of the ocean!

  • Carra January 30, 2007, 1:57 pm

    Oh I am so happy for you, a most sincere congratulations for you! I know you will be better here in France, you’ll see. Good luck with the trip and happy transition home!

  • Pumpkin January 30, 2007, 2:35 pm

    Thanks, everyone.

    I know it will all work out. My first priority is my family and second…really getting good at French. I want to speak as well in French as in English or at least close enough. I am giving myself one year to do this which is fair considering I understand most everything said to me and can read fairly well. It is when I speak that I have trouble getting it all out in a good French free from grammar errors and pronounced correctly and my writing is terrible.

    Angel was a little disappointed at first. However, she loves visiting in France. She is one smart girl because when we first decided to move back to the States she asked me in a grown up voice, “Are you sure about that Mama? You love living in France and are so happy here. In America you weren’t so happy.” Kids know better than we do because they see with clear eyes.

  • Pumpkin January 30, 2007, 3:24 pm

    Kim,

    What you said made a lot of sense.
    I really hope it works out with my inlaws and I pray we don’t have to live with them long. I never want to have to live with anyone again.

  • Debbie January 30, 2007, 6:23 pm

    Hi Pumpkin! Long time reader, first time writer though. Can’t believe what I just read, but am happy for you. Hope everything will be OK in France and that you’ll be happy here. lots of love to you and your family, Debbie (from…Strasbourg!! so I might see you around)

  • Catherine January 30, 2007, 7:54 pm

    Big mistake! I’m sure you’ll be back.

  • Alison January 30, 2007, 9:00 pm

    I’m a little shocked, I admit. Best of luck. Hope you get jobs and housing quickly.

  • Pumpkin January 30, 2007, 9:15 pm

    Thanks, again for all your good wishes.

    I have to admit I was so nervous about what we were doing that I had trouble breathing at times yesterday.

    I know it is a shock. However, it is what we want. We knew after about a month of being back that we had made a mistake.

    Everyone has a place that they feel most comfortable and most at home in…ours is France. For others it is America and others it is another country.

  • Pumpkin January 30, 2007, 9:16 pm

    Debbie,

    I would love to meet you if you would like. :)
    Strasbourg isn’t so big really. It would be easy to meet just near the Cathedral. Do you have children?

  • Debbie January 30, 2007, 10:12 pm

    Sure thing! I’m actually an English teacher (at the international primary school), with no kids of my own yet!!
    I’m sure you are making the right choice, you sounded really nostalgic in your posts from the US…BEST OF LUCK TO YOU!! xox

  • Cathy Y. January 31, 2007, 12:24 am

    Pumpkin, I’m hoping you’ll have computer access still when you first go back. Please hold onto my e-mail address. We are hoping to go for a visit over there this year if Philippe gets sent over to Europe with his job. I’m hoping it all works out, and perhaps we can see you when we are there!

  • Pumpkin January 31, 2007, 2:47 am

    Cathy,
    I would like very much to meet you. I would love to show you around Strasbourg.

  • Pumpkin January 31, 2007, 2:49 am

    We will go to the internet cafe if we have to…just to let you all know how we are doing. I have built friendships through blogging that I never would have thought possible.

  • Catherine February 1, 2007, 3:25 am

    Hi Pumpkin!

    If you want to work as an English teacher right away, contact Daniel Bauer at Ecole de Langues Gutenberg in Strasbourg. I know they are always looking for teachers. They have a lot of clients in and around Strasbourg, so you would not need a car right away. Atout Langues is another language school I’d recommend.
    Good luck. We moved from Strasbourg to NC and just love it here. Couldn’t imagine going back.
    About l’école maternelle… I would hate to have my children in a class of 35 other children. Not much individual attention. That’s just my opinion, though!
    Bonne chance, vraiment. Tu mérites que ça marche!

  • Pumpkin February 1, 2007, 3:25 pm

    Thank you for the leads…it will help.

    The maternelle our children will be going to has smaller classes (25)and is beautiful. It reminds me of Kindergarten Village in Centerville where I student taught. Actually, the maternelle where Sweet Bear went before was in Strasbourg and her class wasn’t but around 25 students. She had a wonderful teacher and learned many things while there. She loved it once she got over being away from me which is normal. I was very impressed and happy with her school in Strasbourg. The staff was very sensitive to my being American and not speaking French perfectly. They didn’t speak to me in English but they helped me in my French and were understanding when I had to say something in English which they immediately translated for me into French. I adored her teacher and school. They were professional and caring.

    I think you will find it depends on the school and city no matter if you are in France or the States. In America, I saw classes that big and bigger before the law was passed to lower class sizes.

    I love living in Strasbourg…in Alsace. I just hate winter because it is cold.

    I think every person has a place (country…city…wherever) that they fit best. It isn’t the same for everyone. For you it is here in the States for me it is in France. :)

  • Jessica February 2, 2007, 1:32 am

    I just read Debbie’s comment – do you have her email? I’ve been wondering about working in the international primary schools in France (years from now). I’d love to talk to someone actually doing it.

  • Pumpkin February 2, 2007, 3:16 am

    I’ll have to see if I have it. If I do I will check if it is ok to give you her email address.

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