Well, it's still only "moved in...sort of" because though we are now moved into our new apartment, we are still waiting for our crate to arrive from Asia. But, the happy thing is that all of our possessions on the American side, yes, that's right, everything that we own in America is now in ONE location, 225 Crescent Hill Place #113. Happy day!
We successfully made the trip down to Louisville on the 15-16th, and have spent the last week and a half living at my brother and sister-in-law's house, enjoying some great conversations with them (usually late at night, ha!), seeing our girls play together happily, and then doing a ton of moving tasks like getting our phone and internet set up, choosing paint and beginning the painting process, organizing, sorting, trying to find things that are buried in the luggage somewhere, cleaning. . . all those things that go along with getting to a new place. It's been a joy to be back at our home church again and reconnect with friends.
I am more than ready to be settled. We've been living out of suitcases for about 6 weeks now and life has been in transition for much longer than that. But, though we're still in the midst of the mess, there's a light at the end of the tunnel because it looks like our crate will be arriving on Monday! So yes, that will be a ton more work of unpacking, putting together furniture, organizing and finding a place for everything, but it will be SO good to have our stuff safely delivered. It's been quite the process with this crate. We were surprised that after our very thorough and complete list was submitted to the Asian customs, they wanted to open the crate anyway. (Perhaps a moneymaking scheme, since they charged us a fee to do so? Who knows...) But then, when it arrived at the port of Los Angeles the US government had ordered an x-ray exam of the contents, called a "non-invasive scan" for another $200, and then decided that wasn't enough. The last step was that they did a full examination of the contents of the crate and then charged us another $1600 for that process. Yikes! This is in addition to the regular fees that applied for the actual shipping of the crate! We learned later that this is not unusual. Household items, like ours, are often shipped by drug or weapons smugglers--sofas with drugs or other illegal items sewn inside, cars whose gas tanks have been filled with drugs, things like that. So, I am thankful the government is doing its job, and also since we had nothing to fear from an exam like that--you know, they found out that box 49 really did include one wooden cutting board, 50 pieces of silverware, and a set of knives--it would be no problem to get the crate released.
So, now it's been released, put on a train, and will arrive in Louisville by Saturday, hopefully. A cartage company here will pick up the crate, put it on the back of the truck, and deliver it on Monday morning, if all goes well and according to plan. All I can say is, if it truly turns out that we will be unloading those items on Monday, hallelujah! It has seemed many times in this process like it may NOT happen, so if it actually DOES happen we will rejoice greatly!
So for today I've got paint under my fingernails, creaky knees from crawling around on the floor doing the trim while John does the rolling part of the painting, enjoying the freshly painted, colorful walls, and thanking the Lord for how He's provided thus far. We have had so many timely provisions in the last week--offers of help for childcare just when we needed it, a ladder and other supplies for the painting to borrow so we didn't have to buy, the schedule working out so we could finish painting before the crate comes, even a 10% off coupon to Lowe's that helped us purchase our paint, some rugs, and a beautiful porch swing very inexpensively! Praise the Lord!
One thing that is very humbling about about being in such transition is that I have been the one who is always needing help. I have no well-equipped kitchen to offer a meal or a tasty snack. I am not able to offer to watch someone else's kids or bring a salad to the potluck. But people have been offering me this kind of help, and it has been truly helpful. So though it humbles me to accept, or even to ask for help, I am thankful for those that the Lord has put around us this week to help us get a lot done and be ready for our crate to arrive. It is always exhausting to move, and this international move has been quite the process. But the Lord is faithful and we will get settled one day!
Thanking Him tonight for His provision, His blessing, and this new place to live. The girls are sleeping on the floor and John and I are sleeping on a futon, but we're in our new place! That's a testament to His grace.