Do I wonder about returning to the US to live?

>>It has been very convenient for me that you and your family made Aliyah at the same time we did, especially since we did not come in the Nefesh b Nefesh group and do not have many friends here in our same situation. So I have been able to check in with your blog and find support. Thank you.
After reading about your ds13 ( I hope that he’s feeling better!) and the school thing, I have to wonder. Is it better for them in America?
My son came here ready and excited for a challenge, in Torah and otherwise, and has been so disappointed…so I ask u simply, do u think of going back?<<

Honestly, I’ve had quite a few challenges since moving to Israel.  Some of these I anticipated, some I didn’t.  When a good friend visited recently and got caught up on all the stuff that you don’t get to read about :), she told me she can’t understand why we’re staying here, that it seems too much for one person to be hit with so many difficulties.

I came here with the attitude that we were going to make it here and this would be our home long term.  I knew it would be tough – though I didn’t predict it would be this tough! – but I had faith that we could weather the challenges together as a family.  If I had ambivalence about it, then there are so many points that we would have turned back.  There are things that would be better for all of us in the US.  I loved many things about living in the US, some of which I really miss.  But the things I miss the most aren’t things that would be helped by moving back.

What I miss most are some intangible aspects our family life.  We’ve had a high level of connection within our family as well as independence from ‘the system’, and that has changed in some ways.  The connection is thankfully still good, the independence not so good.  The most significant factor that would make me move would be if I felt I had compromised my family and there was no way to remedy that other than to move back to the US.  While I don’t like some changes, I don’t feel powerless – I have the ability to change the things I don’t like but it means making a couple of significant changes regarding how things are right now (which you’ll all be sure to read about this if/when they happen!).

I really love living here.  I feel right here, that this is where we belong.  That doesn’t mean every day is a walk in the park.  A couple of days ago I posted about a situation that pushed me as close to being fed up as I’ve come, but that made me want to leave Karmiel, not Israel.  But tough times pass.

I believe that the initial adjustment period to living here is about three years – a year is a drop in the bucket, when you just begin to feel like you’re coming out of a long, dark tunnel – and we’re just seventeen months into our first three years (my ‘eighteen month aliyah update’ post  this week was wrongly titled :)).  Time takes time, and there’s no substitute for that.  I’m not sticking it out because I’m stubborn but because I trust that we’re making a long term investment in our future by being here.

When you plant a seed, if you keep yanking it out of the ground to see how much it’s grown, it’s never going to grow – you have to trust the growth process even when things look dark and there’s no sign of growth.  That’s kind of how I feel about making aliyah – I can’t constantly be examining everything and wondering if I should move back to where we were.  You can’t go back in time, and it’s a false illusion that we could automatically go back to what we had, because moving back would be a significant adjustment at this point for everyone that would create its own issues.  So I try to keep my eye on the long term goals while dealing with the short term difficulties.

Even with everything we’ve had to deal with, I’m glad we’re here.  I’ve asked the kids their thoughts about the move to Israel, and almost all of them have said that they’d rather be here than the US.  And I truly believe that by being willing to keep moving through the tough times, to believe in our ability to be successful and happy here, that we’ll get beyond the difficulties that are part of just about everyone’s early aliyah experience and be really glad that we kept on keeping on!


2 thoughts on “Do I wonder about returning to the US to live?

  1. Hi Avivah,
    This reply is about your previous blog which you talked about your daughter having trouble with hebrew, and the school wanting her to go for counceling.
    If I were you, i would take your daughter out of that school and home school her until the next school year in September. However, the only subject I would teach her would be hebrew and nothing else. Hebrew morning and afternoon. Little children learn to speak their parents lanuage from the time they can speak until they start grade 1 where they learn to read and write. Yet the schools expect older children and adults to learn to speak, read and write all at once. Again, so if I were you I would not only home school you daughter in hebrew since you can speak it fluently yourself, but also during the day speak no english to your daughterr only hebrew so her conversational hebrew will increase much faster which will help her reading and writing.. With the love and devotion you give your children, I bet by next September at the beginning of the next school year your daughter would be fluent in hebrew and from them on do great in school.Your daughter might lose a year to the school system, but over all she would do much much better every year after September.
    Just my opinion,

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