New beginnings are only the end of the last new beginning....
Life comes with many ebbs and flows. We often don't know what tomorrow will hold, and plans can change quickly. 11 years ago my family was looking for a new home in a new state. Our dreams of living "forever and ever" on our beautiful land in Louisiana changed in a moment of decision-making. It has been 10 years since I have lived here in West Virginia. It has been both good, and also filled with struggles and hardship, of body and soul alike.
I grew as a person. I grew as a Christian. My family saw sorrow...shared laughs...sang...prayed...lived...
It was here that my journey as a midwife began its active phase. I began apprenticing with local midwives, happily exposed to the wonder of the birthing world, fascinated by all I learned and saw. I was thrilled when my own practice was born, and have watched it mature and grow.
I started my first home here, enjoying the simplicity of apartment life for over two years now. I am happy. I love to open my door to friends and clients, showing some Southern hospitality with food and cups of hot tea or coffee.
I have made dear, dear friendships that will last forever. I am blessed to dance between many worlds in my never-dull social life.
I have been privileged, in the last 13 years, to attend births in Louisiana, Tennessee, West Virginia, Ohio, Kentucky, and California. One day I will add the name of some international country to that list.
Yes, seasons come and go. Life changes when we least expect it. Our focus shifts, and dreams expand. Such a shift has happened in my little universe. In December, 2010, I went to California for 7 weeks to help a sweet midwife friend during a busy season. While there, I got an offer to return for a year to work with her, help expand the practice, grow my own practice as a (hopefully) newly certified International Board Certified Lactation Consultant, and just do what I love doing best...being a midwife.
It took a while for me to come to a decision. It was hard to face leaving my church, dear ones, family, and practice, which includes several families hoping to get pregnant so that we can experience that journey together.
This is my official announcement to the world, that on April 12th, I said yes. I will be moving in just a few months, heading to CA in November. A season is ending, while another is beginning. It is not easy for me to pick up roots, to leave those I love behind. I have worked hard to forge relationships here, both professional and personal. It is only in the last few weeks that I have finally been able to open my mouth and tell an expanding circle of people, "I'm moving." I have been touched by the tears springing up in the eyes of those that love me, because they mirror my own.
My life is a whirl right now. Not only am I on a tight deadline to submit my paperwork to become a Certified Professional Midwife, I will also become a Licensed Midwife in the state of California - another process requiring reams of paperwork! I am set to take my test to become a Lactation Consultant next month (July 25). Then comes two months of packing and studying, a test in California (October 2), my "little" brother's wedding (October), another test in Niagara Falls, Canada, (November 9) then I will finally have only one major step left - that of planting my feet in sunny Chino, CA.
It's a big deal, this changing season. It was not an easy choice to make, but it has been a peaceable one. God has opened amazing doors. He is blessing me with a fantastic midwife "partner" in the form of Lori Luyten at Ancient Paths Midwifery, and all the work my heart desires. It will NOT be dull - ever!
For those who have known for months, and those who have known for a day....thank you for your support. It has meant everything to me. When I've cringed to tell someone, they've given me fantastic love and encouragement. When I have become overwhelmed, my cheering section steps up and gives me the courage to keep going, one step at a time. With your help, I will make it to the end, triumphant but tired!
Much love to all my dear ones here in WV...much joy to see again those I have grown to love in CA,