When we first started out, we were hoping to arrive in France in September of 2008. We worked hard at raising our support to be able to leave then, but not only were were not ready, we had very limited choice in housing for that time (it would have been way too big and expensive for us). So we planned for January 2009, and I am so glad that we arrived when we did. Looking back over our time and looking ahead to our last few months, I see that we arrived not a day too early or too late. A few of the reasons that I see for this are...
- we got the perfect apartment for us, just the right size (and price!)
- we moved into our apartment the same weekend that one of my now best friends moved into their apartment just down the hall. Both being new students with young kids, we spent a lot of time together at the beginning of the year and had a good 10 months together before they had to move on :(
- both Wayne and I were put into really good classes with excellent teachers. Our classes have had very little disruptions as far as changing teachers or rearranging students, and both have moved along at very good paces for us.
- Addie's situation has been pretty much ideal. For the first 6 months of her time here in France, she was in a nursery at our school with 2 French ladies and between 3 and 6 other kids. Isabelle and Nadine speak a little English, so they were able to communicate well with her at the beginning of our time, but they used as much French as they could with her. The other kids either spoke English or were too young to talk, so she didn't have the opportunity to speak much French (ie. she wasn't forced to!). We were a little worried that she wasn't learning it because she didn't use it, but I think now that those 6 months of hearing French every day were perfect for her. Now she needs to use it to communicate with her teachers and friends, and she does! It's all there! She now has almost a full year to be with French kids and teachers, but didn't have to go through the complete shock of entering a French school the week after we arrived.
- we will be able to finish our time here in France and do a quick trip back to the States for some very important events in my family! We will finish our last week here just one week before my sister Jenna's baby is due and a couple of weeks before my sister Kara graduates with her PhD! The timing for a trip back to see our families and to prepare to move to Senegal couldn't be better.
Looking back on this, I am incredibly thankful that God has perfect timing, as He has proved and continues to prove over and over in our lives.