Can you believe that this week marks six years since we moved to Israel?!?
Moving to a new country with nine kids (ages 2 – 18) wasn’t an easy thing to do. Moving to a part of the country where there was very little support for new immigrants made it even harder. I’m not going to belabor the difficulties. I’ll just say that it was really challenging.
Moving 3.5 years later to a different city in an entirely different part of the country was yet another new beginning to be navigated, and starting over is always hard. I have to admit that I had a bias against living in an Anglo enclave, which is why I didn’t consider moving to Ramat Beit Shemesh directly from the US. I’m glad to have completely released that negative thinking and am very, very happy to be living here now.
A couple of days ago, two different sons shared with me their unsolicited thoughts. One said, “It was a really good move to RBS. It seems everyone is happy and keeps getting happier.” The younger one said, “Everything just keeps getting better and better!”
We went against almost all the standard advice that is given to those considering making aliyah (and I’m not recommending anyone do what we did!), but we are SO grateful to be making our lives here.
Our kids are happy, they have friends, they have no longings for the US. My husband and I both do work that we enjoy, we live in a home that we enjoy, in a community that we enjoy. Does so much good news sound boring?
The path to get here wasn’t boring! It took time to get where we are now along with plenty of bumps in the road. (If you’ve read my blog for long enough, you know about some of these challenges.) There were lots of frustrations and difficulties that included intense financial stress, struggling to figure out where we fit religiously and socially, determining what educational paths were right for our children, dealing with the medical system and in general, starting over in every way. The starting over piece is HUGE – after years of building a life, you move to a new country and start all over as a new immigrant. It’s not fun.
But it was worth it. It was really, really worth it. While I’ve had an attitude of ‘bloom where you’re planted’ in each place that I’ve lived and appreciated everywhere I’ve been, I’m happier now than I’ve ever been. And I think my family members would say the same thing.
So my message is: when times are tough, just keep going forward. If you keep taking the next right step, eventually it will lead you where you want to go. It may take more time than you want it to take, and you’ll definitely have surprises or detours along the way. But if you’ve thought about your course of action and determined that moving forward is the best option for you, then don’t give up on yourself and your vision.