As the short trip neared its end we pulled a nearly blank sheet from our bags. On it we were to list our goals and hopes for our school of choice. Line by line we painted a picture of the perfect school, perfect community, perfect jobs.
We started thinking in ideals and were already politely declining offers in our heads as we stepped into the crowded hotel.
Three days, seven interviews, and a few rejections of our own later we sat in our hotel room with two offers and one giant question mark. We needed to make some decisions.
Pulling out the list so optimistically created just a few days earlier we felt the weight of disappointment growing with each line. The existing offers, while fitting a few of our goals and values, required too many compromises for our young family.
Which left us with the giant question mark. With the most intensive interview process thus far this school held a position for Joel only.
From the very beginning we were told a single teacher with three dependents held little to no chance of securing a job in an international school. Though I stayed at home since the birth of my first son, this was a dream of ours, and I felt okay going back to work.
But with one final interview left and some cautious optimism on Joel's part, I let myself feel just a little excited. I knew no matter what it would be a difficult transition for our family, but with mom still at home perhaps it would prove just a little smoother.
So with that same cautious optimism we checked through the list. In a way it was too good to be true. It hit all of our major values and many of our minor ones. It matched goals we added on a whim with little hope of actually attaining. It was, in fact, above all we could ask or imagine.
And the next day after a nerve-racking, stomach-turning wait (on my part) Joel emerged from his interview, job offer in hand.
We were given five days to accept, and though giddy from the offer, we took every minute of it, making sure this was, in fact, the best decision for our family.
With absolute confidence, on a Thursday morning, we signed and sent a two-year contract that would lead us on a journey to Budapest, Hungary.
And though it seemed an eternity six months ago, we are now counting down to our departure in days.
We plan to keep you updated through this blog. Though I certainly cannot promise a post every day, we will try to keep up with the major events as well as some day-to-day aspects of our life overseas.
This is truly a bittersweet time for us as we say good-bye to the places and particularly the people we love so much.
But we are so excited to begin this new journey and realize this is not truly good-bye, just a different kind of beginning that we hope, in the end, will bring us even closer to the ones we love.