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Becoming Home

Melissa Hedding

The dusky sky is turning a beautiful pinky purple.  The cool air begins to blow through the leaves as the heat of the day abates.  I pull another laundry clip off and slip some more baby diapers into my basket.  Faint giggles and splashes can be heard coming from our bathroom where my husband is giving the kids their evening bath.  The cry of the bread man biking by outside selling his fresh-baked wares for breakfast tomorrow wafts over the walls of the courtyard.  "El Paaaan!"  I want to bottle this moment.  Life feels sweet and serene.

Beautiful Nicaragua
Beautiful Nicaragua

These moments have been rare this past year, but they're starting to come back.  Thank you, Lord, they're starting to come back!  I really was wondering if I'd be able to make it in this crazy 3-oh-now-4-kids-in-a-foreign country life!  "They" weren't kidding when they said the first year would be hard.  It has been hot, tiring, intimidating, and sometimes overwhelming.  I'm the only one in our family who spoke Spanish a year ago.  And then I was pregnant.  And as a blonde family in a sea of latinos, there have been a lot of eyes watching as I've navigated a lot of difficult transitions.  It has been no small thing to learn how to manage my home, children, and life in a foreign place.

Dusty Nicaragua
Dusty Nicaragua

But praise God it isn't so hard anymore.  Things that were new and foreign are growing familiar.  I have figured out how to keep the school uniform clean and how to tell when there's going to be an unannounced holiday from school.  In fact, I'm on kiss-on-the-cheek standing with the once very intimidating school directora.  We've found a good doctor and a good dentist and I know how to keep my kids updated on their vaccines.  I know which cheese to buy.  

And people don't just stare at me and my trail of little ducklings as we walk to the cheese store anymore either!  They start conversations.  Or we do.  But either way, we're friends now!  A years' worth of little interactions with the people who surround us at church, school, and home have grown into deeper connections.   We're becoming a part of life in this land.

We even have permission to live here as residents now!  That one was a long time in coming.  It really wasn't easy for me to continue to jump through hoops requesting permission to live and work here when it felt so hard and I just wanted to go home!  But now we have an officially registered and fully functional business that partners with our US business and is all set up to do "what we came here to do."  And God is even starting to bring those dreams to reality!  Oh, it's one thing to know that "God can move mountains"(Matt 17:20)... but it's quite another to see him move our mountain!  

So Nicaragua is becoming our adopted home.  It's a beautiful, dusty, friendly, broken land and it is our home for now.  Thank you, God, for the adventure we get to live and thank you so much for those sweet moments of solace along the way!