On Thanksgiving Day, eight years ago, we arrived in Seattle to make the USA our new home.
I will never forget the captain's words after we touched down . "Happy Thanksgiving, everyone, and welcome home."
I just ,started to sob, because this was not my home.
My home was where my heart was, and my heart was back in South Africa. My Mother Country, where my family was still reeling from saying goodbye to us. Where I grew up, went to school, had my first crush, had my first kiss, met my husband, got married, had my three children....
This new country held no memories for me, no familiar, friendly faces, no nostalgia invoking smells and no favorite places and sights...yet.
It did , however hold a family whom my husband had only briefly met on a previous trip.They very graciously invited us to stay with them IN THEIR HOME for a whole month, while they showed us the ropes and helped us get the important things , like a bank account , a cell phone and a vehicle.
I will never forget your kindness, Brooke, and Dough, and you are one (or two) of the " things" I am thankfull for today.
I have since made my own memories here, took some awesome trips, seen some beautiful places, and made wonderful friends. I have cried many tears these past eight years, but I have also laughed a lot, loved a whole lot, trusted, believed, dared and most of all, grown as a person.
Although I will always miss South Africa, with its abundant wildlife,
beautiful beaches and mountains, its people with their hilarious sense of humor, and of course my friends and family,
I am beginning to see this, here, as my home.
The last eight years have not been easy, but it has been good, and I am so grateful for the opportunity to be here, and to be a part of this country.