The living room of our “home” of the last four years.

Last night we flew into Sioux Falls for the final leg of our return journey back to the U.S.  We’ve spent the last four and a half years in Turkey and now begin a new adventure which we hope will bridge that season in life and the season to come.

In it all and in reflection of my kids’s response to our move, I’ve been thinking about what ‘Home’ means.

My son Malachi seems to equate home with a location.  Home is the apartment in the neighborhood in Cekmekoy in Istanbul in Turkey.  It has a location.  So strong is this sense in him that on our first flight yesterday, he asked if we would stay in Freeman when we returned rather than out on the farm.  Freeman was the small town we lived in before moving to Turkey.  Freeman is still home, even though he was three and a half when we moved from there.

My daughter Sonora on the other hand seems to equate home with a sense of belonging and peace rather than place.  Over the last few weeks – rather emotional weeks – whenever things went wrong, she would cry and say, “I want to go home. I want to go to America.”  I think she was feeling the reality that the next place she would have her sense settledness, it would be in America. Turkey was topsy-turvy and in transition.  Home for her is a place where mom and dad are and where she has her space.  When we got back to the farm, she immediately claimed “her room” set to making it her room and became protective of that space.

Both kids have been absolute heroes over the last few months. They have given the majority of their things away. They’ve left friends behind.  They waded through weeks of transition and done it well.  We are proud of them.

And they have forced me to think about what it means to be home.  Is America my home?  Turkey?  Is home a place or a feeling?

I’m learning that it is more than any of that and is different for everyone.  And I am not even sure what home means to me.  I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately but still haven’t nailed it down.

How about you?  What does “home” mean to you?

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