So when we first got into America we spent a few months in Chicago waiting for Lily to arrive. 4 days after her arrival we moved to Michigan. It wasn’t the original plan to move so soon after her birth but being that she was 2 weeks late we ran out of time. So with the kids a week late for school and Bruce’s job expecting his soon return we packed our suit cases in some vans and headed to Michigan.
This all seems so quick and painless.. and mostly it was.. but I have to share about Gods provision and the amazing way he has come through for us and how people have been His hands and feet to us and it has humbled us to watch Him provide every detail of our time here in Michigan.
Bruce’s job: When we had first anticipated our return to Michigan for a few months we had the idea that Bruce could possibly return to his old job as a coverage PA for the practice he worked for last time we lived here. They really liked him and the boss had told him that if he ever wanted to return that he would have a job. I don’t think a job for 4 months was quite what he meant but we thought we would try anyhow. As a Physicians Assistant its hard to just flow in and out of a job for a few months because of the credentialing and the paperwork and the overall cost incurred with insurance coverage and reinstating. That’s why we knew if it wasn’t his old job then he wouldn’t be working as a PA. At first when Bruce contacted his old boss he was very happy to hear from him and eager to know how his mission went. But alas he was told that they did not have enough hours to keep him busy enough to make it worth it for them to hire him back. Bummer. We were really hoping Bruce could work and this was sad news. Unsure on what to do next we decided to just wait awhile and see if God would work something out. 2 weeks later Bruce received a call from the person in charge of hiring saying that if he wanted to come back for 4 months they could use him!!! Praise the Lord. Seriously it was just one of those situations where we couldn’t do anything but wait.
Our home, someone’s house: We were in need of a furnished house for 4 months. We could not find anything outside of outrageously expensive corporate housing or living in an unfurnished apartment. Even then we could not get a lease for only 4 months. We had a newborn and wanted to be careful about living with someone because 4 months is a long time. Especially when we have 3 kids, one being a newborn. We had again exhausted all of our options and then the 1st grade teacher where we had enrolled Abigail had offered her house for us to stay in. She said she was barely home and we could have our own rooms and it was fully furnished! What a blessing! We were not sure how it would all work out, but it has worked out fine and we are really blessed to have a warm furnished place for our family to live.
vehicles: We were in need of 2 vehicles to be able for Bruce to go to work and travel from location to location as he was needed and for me to be able to take the kids to and from school as well as run errands for our family. While still in Africa over the internet we were able to buy a minivan off of one of my old friends who was in the process of moving her family to Dar es Salaam, Tanzania of all places!! The second minivan we are borrowing from a great friend who usually has extra vehicles and offered it to us!
Our church family: We have really been enjoying being back at our home church. Its a blessing to see how much it has grown and we are loving chatting with our friends old and new. We love how authentic our church family is and are so excited that they are partnering with us long term!
We’ve also spent quite a bit of time with my family. Celebrating birthdays and just hanging out and enjoying the fall. We will also spend Thanksgiving and Christmas with them.
So other than that Bruce has been working full time and is back volunteering with the boys for Awana.
Abigail is in the first grade and takes swim lessons once a week she celebrated her 6th birthday in Sept.. Josiah is attending preschool 3 days a week and takes swim lessons once a week as well and just celebrated his 4th birthday. Lily is now just over 2 months and is growing! She is now smiling and cooing and is enjoying her family. I am on most days playing taxi driver to the kids but I’ve also started training to start running again. Bruce and I are taking Berlitz Swahili classes 2x a week with an online instructor and a friend of ours who is moving back to Tanzania about the same time as we are.
Whew! this post was a long time coming and there is so much to update on. Ill just leave you with a few pictures to close.
So the long awaited post for the LONG awaited blessing! Lily Joy Wilkens finally decided to join us at 42 weeks weighing 7lbs 14oz and 21inches. She was born Sept 1st at 415pm and just in the knick of time I might add! The morning of the day she was born I was due to have a C-section because they were not letting me go any later. That morning they decided I was dilated enough to be considered in labor.
Everyone was pretty convinced she was a boy.. But she surprised us all! We are totally in love with our sweet little girl!
So with great joy we welcomed Lily Joy into our lives!