Yesterday was a milestone for our family. We hit the one-year mark of living in El Salvador. We set off on our journey for El Salvador last April and after 9 days of driving through the States, Mexico and Guatemala, we made it to our destination of Izalco, El Salvador on April 23rd, 2010. I see this year as a great accomplishment! When I mentioned this news to Eduardo yesterday, he seemed more depressed than excited about it. But I'm choosing to see it differently. It's an absolute miracle in my eyes that we have made it this far. We have been to hell and back it feels and we are still coming out on top. At times it definitely doesn't feel like we have grown stronger and closer as a family and in our relationship, but I know we have. The things we have experienced here really are priceless. Would I trade what we have been through for the easy road? Hard to say. I don't think life is meant to be hard, but when it is we have to embrace it for what it is.
I'm proud of my husband for getting through this year while maintaining his strength and dignity. I'm proud of my daughter for dealing with all the traveling and cultural changes like a champ! And I'm proud of my mother-in-law for putting up with us in her house for as long as she has! Haha. I'm also proud of Eduardo's kids for handling the return of their father along with his wife and new baby as well as they have. But most of all, I'm proud of myself. I really am. I wouldn't wish the past year we have had on anybody, but I'm still here and I will never stop fighting for my family and for changes in our very flawed immigration laws.
I'm grateful for our friends and our family who have supported us this past year. And I'm sad for the friends we've lost or grown out of touch with and I'm sad for the family that hasn't been supportive at times. I'm grateful we have learned so much from living in another country and we are better people for it. But I'm sad for who I've let myself become as person because of our circumstances.
I'm hopeful about what this next year has in store for us. I can feel it with every fiber of my being that there is going to be a change. And with that change will bring great opportunity. I am ready to move forward and see what else it is we can create in our lives. One thing this experience has brought is a new start. When our time comes to move on from El Salvador, it will be a time to create the life we really want. And I see that the experiences here have helped Eduardo and me both see more of what we want in life and what we want to create for ourselves. It will be an exciting time.
How much longer do we have in El Salvador? That's the question everyone seems to have. Well, we don't know. It's just a waiting game. A month ago I would have told you it will be another year and a half to two years, but now I'm more hopeful. I believe it will be less than that and it will surprise us all. I pray for that every night. So here's to our year in El Salvador and to the time we have left on our "vacation".