We returned to Chile a week and a half ago. After spending three months driving back and forth between families, we were ready. We are both grateful for the time we were able to spend grieving with our loved ones, but it was definitely time to get back to our work here in Arica. Now I guess it’s time to let you know how we’re handling being back and what we’ve been up to so far.
As I suspected, coming back to this house was very difficult. We left without processing the reality of our loss so, for me, returning was like pressing rewind. The day we arrived and the day after were two of the hardest days probably of my entire life. Coming back to a decorated nursery that we didn’t have a baby to put in, realizing that without internet or phone I was completely disconnected from the people I needed most, lying awake at night wondering if the people who broke into our house while we were gone would come back…these are just a few of the things that weighed heavy on my heart and mind.
I continue praying for grace and mercy on this journey and I continue receiving it. Right after my C-Section, I begged for an easy physical recovery. Last week, I begged that all of the errands we needed to accomplish would go smoothly. Though my first request was granted, I wasn’t really sure that even asking for the second made any sense. Nothing here has been easy to accomplish, but last week all of that changed.
We arrived on Tuesday (February 26). On Wednesday morning, Blake went to pick up the check from our car accident back in October. We assumed the bank wouldn’t cash it because it was so old and we further assumed it would be another several weeks before we were issued a new check. We were quite happily proven wrong. Cashing the check went so well that we decided to go look at cars that afternoon. We walked away from the dealership a little stunned that we’d found the exact car Blake had been looking for. We came home, got our purchase authorized and returned the next day to buy the car AND get all of the legal documentation for it. That was the real kicker—for a little extra money, the dealer agreed to do all of the legal work so we could just drive it off the lot. I don’t remember if Blake posted anything about how much of a headache that was last time, so you’re going to have to trust me. It was awful. He spent hours waiting in this office only to be sent to that office only to be told he didn’t have this paper or that inspection. That was okay when we got our other car (sort of). Our job, then, was to get a car and settle in for a time of learning and adjusting. Now we have a little more on our plates, so we are grateful not to have to deal with all of that paperwork again.
This past Tuesday (March 5), we decided to head into town and check on the status of our visas. Our last extension expires today and we wanted to get another extension or our permanent resident papers. I think we were both hoping for the papers, but half-expecting an extension. We were so pleased that our papers had been waiting on us for the last couple of weeks! Yesterday, we were able to register our new papers with the PDI (Chilean FBI) and apply for new ID cards at the civil registry. We spent all yesterday morning accomplishing those things, but we are not complaining about the speed and ease of completion. In a few weeks, we’ll be able to pick up our new IDs and start the process of getting Chilean driver licenses. Oh my!
The ease of getting the “big” stuff done has really helped me to focus on how I’m doing emotionally. Last week, I asked myself (and Blake) what we were doing back here and how on earth we’d be able to stay. After a few rough days last week, I’m feeling good about what we’re doing and where we’re headed.
We continue to appreciate your prayers and encouragement. This journey is just beginning.