We've been to the 'new' church 3 times now. They have been so friendly and welcoming - there just seems to be so many good reasons to go there. It's close to home. The children like it. The people are friendly. The clincher though is the way they have welcomed Ashlea. I often judge people - rightly or wrongly - by the way they treat her. The first time we took her to Sunday School the teachers just asked straight up if she would be joining in (she lasted less than 5 minutes but it was worth a shot). It was just assumed that Ashlea would join in - which of course is exactly how it should be. A lot of people have also made the effort to speak to Ashlea when they have been speaking to me - which might sound like a little thing but it is not something a lot of people do. It probably helped that Ashlea was being particularly charming today and was asking for cuddles - from complete strangers - and being incredibly cute and snuggly with people, charming them into falling in love with her (I like to think they loved carrying a heavy 5 year old around anyway).
We have already had people offer to make us meals during the transplant and the minister said to us today that despite the fact they haven't before had anyone in a situation like ours, that they want to support us in whatever way they can.
So....we are seriously thinking about making the change. There are a lot of great, practical reasons to go to a church close to home - and this church seems like it could be a good fit for us. The only thing that is really keeping us at Gladesville is the history we have there - and what a history it is.
If we are going to make the move permanent, we need to go back to Gladesville and say good-bye. Not because we will never see anyone again, or that we are so important that everyone needs to know what we are doing. I do think though that we need to publicly thank everyone for their support, generosity and love as they have walked this journey with us. They helped us through the most difficult time of our lives. We will be forever grateful for that.
But if we do that, it will be real. That would mean we are really leaving. And there is something about leaving that history that is a little heartbreaking.