At the same time, New England was bad for my health. I don't mean a little bit bad, but really, really bad. I had resigned myself that I would be there to stay because that was where the children were happy. However, it was not a good situation for me. My psoriasis does better in warmer weather and with more sunlight. My thyroid condition causes me to be extremely cold intolerant, which means that my joints and bones hurt most of the northern winter. I could never get warm, and being cold meant I hurt all of the time. That was all before you consider that there was major cultural differences between New England and having lived in the southeast my entire life. I have moved more times than I can count, but I only visited that far north previously. There was much I missed about home, and much I still was not adjusted to in the north.
For me, moving back to the south was exciting and somewhat of a relief. For the children, it was frightening and met with trepidation. Most of them had lived the majority of their lives in the south, but they had found contentment in New England. I knew they would be find returning home, but they were not nearly so convinced of that reality.
We have been here less than a week, and my words are proving more true than these children ever imagined. The home their father found for us is perfect for them to have the rest of their childhoods here. The house is large, six bedrooms with a living room, playroom and a library, where we were able to set up a table for them. Half of that table is for puzzles, the other half for board games that require pauses in playtime. There are three bathrooms (and really we found that four in New England was just overkill and required more effort to clean). My one concern about this new house was that we did not find a house with land, but a large city lot in a subdivision. However, the subdivision is 30 years old and well established. The houses are well spaced with large lots and lots of trees. The roads are perfect for children to ride bikes, and the neighborhood is teeming with children for these children to explore and make friendships with.
The first day we stepped into this house, half of the children were apprehensive. Poor S hid in his closet for two hours until he felt safe and adjusted. We have now been here five days, and every single one of the children wake up every single morning and tell me how much they LOVE being here. They haven't even started school yet. They have just barely started to explore the neighborhood and meet the neighbors. Yet, they smile every day, rejoice at the sunlight that streams through their windows, and run with wild abandon in a yard that is as warm as summer weather averages where they just escaped.
I think we're going to be okay. It will be along road. They still have to conquer adjusting to school here. They have to learn to live in a new area, a small city in the south and not rural nor mega city, which is most of their experiences in the past. They have to learn to fit in, to simply have a life and to not have chaos rule their lives anymore. Every step we take is one more movement in their healing and recovery. We're getting there, and it warms my heart to see them thriving and happy so very soon after getting here.