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How are you doing? How's your heart? Tell me everything that happened??  

These have been the main questions people have been asking since we got back home a few days ago. Simple questions, yes, but still very hard for Derrick and I to answer. While we were living in Africa our daily lives were consumed with just surviving and accomplishing daily tasks.

Power wasn't reliable, our transportation wasn't always reliable, we didn't always have the food we needed to cook dinner. Our minds were consumed each day figuring things out that, when in America, we never really have to think twice about.

Looking back, we feel that was a blessing in some ways as it gave our hearts and minds a distraction from the grief and loss we were experiencing. If you've kept up with our blog, you know some days were obviously harder than others when they involved dropping the oldest off at school or seeing the twins at the orphanage. Those were the days our grief and loss couldn't be ignored and felt most painful and heavy.  

Now that we are back in America we don't have the distraction of figuring out how to survive each day. I can do one load of laundry that would've been the size of 3 loads in Africa and I don't have to worry about the power going off mid-cycle.

I can dry our clothes in the dryer and be completely done with laundry in just 2 hours instead of clothes not drying for several days due to the rains. We have an abundance of food options and forgetting to soak beans overnight doesn't mean our only dinner option is rice.

Living here is easy, but it's still hard being back. We didn't have 3 kids come home with us and they won't be coming later. Everything we planned is no more. It almost feels like we both just graduated college, got married and have to figure out what we want our life to look like.

But that isn't the case, we've been married almost 5 years, adoption was always our plan, and this adoption process has consumed the past 3 years of our lives.  That was what we planned for, so how do we just pick back up in life and move forward when our plans have shattered. Right now, it feels too hard.  

We want to thank everyone who has continued to follow our story, who has kept us in their prayers and has sent us words of encouragement. Even if we haven't responded, we want you to know that we see it and it matters to us.

We know that besides our blog, we haven't been very open with information or how we are doing. This is not because we don't want to share it, we just aren't ready yet.  We are doing OK, our hearts hurt, we miss things about Africa, we are enjoying things about America, it has taken us awhile to adjust from the jet lag and we don't know what our exact next steps are.

We will be leaving in a couple weeks for a road trip through the northwest and Canada. We both love nature and are excited to be out in the wilderness for a few weeks! Our intention is not to isolate ourselves through this grief process, however we are both still trying to navigate our own hearts and minds first. Thank you for understanding and continuing to follow our journey.