First year-2009

DSC05486Several of my friends as well as acquaintances in Riyadh had departed without their children in tow, returning to various locations around the globe. While the choice to leave appeared to be voluntary none of us knew the circumstances that had lead to their decision. Marriages that had fallen apart, abuse and the inability to legally remove youngsters from the country resulted in little ones who were left behind. Memories of dear friends separated from their toddlers as well as teenagers were still fresh in my mind and so the tiny window that gave a view from the walkway into our apartment had been spray painted and covered by a piece of printer paper. Although we had made it back home, the idea of losing my children kept anxiety out of control for years to come.

Summer faded into Fall and a routine that was oddly familiar took shape. The tiny townhouse had come together with furniture that had been procured from the Union Gospel mission as well as odds and ends from mom and dad’s wood house. An alarm buzzed and prodded until we climbed out of bed and readied ourselves for the first day of school. There were no more long trips with a driver and the past few years of homeschooling had been exchanged for a public school that could be seen from the upstairs apartment window. We were together and no one had been left behind in Saudi, making it seem as if somehow all would be well.

Documents and papers were shuffled and stacked until everything was finally in order. A quick trip to the school meant walking out of the apartment door, into the parking lot and through a rickety wooden fence. Vaccination records were not available and birth certificates had taken weeks to arrive, being classified as a Birth abroad report from the consulate. I had met with the principal, teachers and office personnel but still felt that this was somehow wrong and I was at the center of upheaval and a leap into uncertainty. Mother reminded me that it was for the better good and school was part of a new freedom.

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48 thoughts on “First year-2009

        1. Yes one is a very good friend I knew before I moved to Saudi! We are still friends. Her son turned 18 a few years back and now lives with her. Her other son came this year but two daughters still there! The one was 5 when she left. It broke us up it was devastating!

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          1. There is another book in that. Perhaps a magazine would be interested in your initial effort to gather material about your story and other’s stories. I feel this is a very relevant time for these stories to be presented: perhaps also as a word of caution for those who marry, have children and move to countries with different cultural and policy laws.

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  1. Lynn, you and your children are modern day miracles. You had people praying for you and were able to have all your children with you. You had supernatural protection to leave. Even though the transition was difficult, you are all living testimonies. It is no wonder that all of you are so supportive of each other. Your story is remarkable and you do so well in its telling. xoxo

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  2. I bet you felt the weight of the world off your shoulders as you gained your freedom. Have you tried approaching a T.V network to combine your stories with a cooking show? Hasn’t been done and maybe a new adventure for you to explore. Cooking middle eastern food with a narration of your life. You need to write a proposal of what the TV show would be like. The worst they can say is no. What have you got to lose.

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    1. Yes so thankful, he threatened to take my youngest one back to Saudi so I always worried and even went into the school asking that they never release him to anyone but me. They told me that he is the father and they would release him!

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  3. I can’t imagine how frightening it was removing all of your children and coming back to the US to begin another unknown future. Your powerful determination got you and your children through safely to the happy days you now share as a family. Amazing story. And you tell it well.

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  4. Lynn you come so far from those days. My heart aches for the pain that you endured just returning home to the states, But you can close your eyes and open them to the wonderful life you have now! The one you were meant to have. XXkat

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