So, what IS going on with those Harversons? We thought it was time to attempt to answer this question for anyone that might be wondering.
This time last year we were somewhere in South East Asia, having already travelled to the Middle East and then packed up and said goodbyes in China. All we knew at that point was that our time in China had come to a close, and that we were searching for our next adventure. Egypt, Jordan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Thailand, Myanmar…meeting lots of incredible people and seeing some interesting doors open, but nothing that quite clicked.
In March we landed back in the UK, still at that point expecting it to be a relatively short visit before a relaunch overseas. In June, still with no ‘big plan’, we moved from the cosy two-bedroom house in Bedford that we’d been staying in to a rented house in Chelmsford, the city we lived in before China. We got the kids settled in their schools and navigated the complexities of Maya’s medical appointments.
In September we began our much-needed sabbatical, a time of rest, reflection and reconnection. It was great, and we are happy to talk to anyone who will listen about the benefits of a sabbatical, but honestly, it didn’t leave us feeling any clearer about what was next for us.
If you’re reading any frustration between the lines here, you’re reading correctly. 2017 was not an easy year for us, even though the first couple of months while we were still travelling were pretty awesome. As we saw in the New Year, the transition into a new calendar year felt more significant than usual…bring on 2018!
After a lot of appointments, Maya is now on a waiting list to have palate surgery, and it should be happening by March, or soon after. The surgeon will be reattaching the muscles in her palate, which he hopes will enable her to produce sounds that she’s just not able to make at the moment. It’ll mean a short hospital stay and about two weeks off school for recovery, and the very real implication for us is that we won’t be going anywhere until it’s done.
So, here we are in our little village, for we’re not sure how long. Clearly we need to earn some money (!), and our somewhat unconventional CVs make job-hunting fairly challenging.
Perhaps this doesn’t sound much like a decision, more like a crash-landing. It has certainly felt that a lot of things are beyond our control, but there are still decisions that we have made, and choose to make every day. We choose to be content in the place that we are right now. We choose to be incredibly thankful for the excellent (free!) schools that our kids are settled in, for times with our family and our Oasis church family, for the amazing (free!) medical care that Maya is getting. We have decided to keep trusting that God has a plan for us, even though we still don’t know what it is yet. We have decided to keep dreaming big dreams, even though things so far haven’t worked out how we expected.
This week Phil has started doing some decorating work. Yes, we realise that teaching would be the more obvious choice, but he needs to get a criminal records check from Beijing first, and that will take some time. If you need an excellent painter/decorator, give him a call – very reasonable rates.