What better way to get back into the game. I said this last February(2018) when I finally published our 2018 Review. I am breaking my ‘how late can a year review be recorded’ by publishing this 2019 Review halfway through
March *cough* April!
Jason and I forwent one of our favorite traditions of grabbing sushi and go through my list of year-end questions. Instead, we celebrated with our friends at their new home across the bay. It was a fun night of good food and some game-playing, topped off with entering the new year while on our drive back into Izmir.
FIRST OFF: ADOPTION
2018 was ‘technically’ the year we became parents. In 2019, custody of our daughter was legalized. Our private adoption will be finalized in 2020. 2019 started in weariness, uncertainty, and trusting the Lord for His plan; it finished with a celebrating with certainty that we have a beautiful 1-year-old daughter, Sofia Marie. Due to our adoption here, we will be around for another 2 years in Turkey to complete the necessary paperwork.
If you are just joining in … you can find our adoption information here: Announced our adoption plans! (Adoption video #1 on our YouTube channel, but you can view the adoption playlist here.) Decided we had to move to America for said adoption plans….Then decided not to move to America because of an unexpected but exciting private adoption opportunity that came up here in Turkey!
Due to our adoption, we have placed almost all travels outside of Turkey on hold until all of this adoption stuff is complete and for 2019, we stuck close to Izmir. We SAID we were going to share these travels but it just hasn’t been practical right. There are so many parts of our lives that just don’t revolve around travel even though we are ex-pats! Also, because our status in Izmir is a temporary one, I hope this website will eventually be more all-encompassing of our lives as the Funk family – balancing life, work, expat living, mini-travels, and parenthood.
Hence the change of name from FunkTravels to FollowingtheFunks! We hope you will stick around longer than what Izmir, Turkey has to hold for us. (Don’t worry, we are still here for another couple of years!)
One of the BEST parts of 2019 was all the visitors we had. While Jason and I would love to think it was due to us, we know it is because of an adorable little baby. Several friends came down from Izmir or ‘popped by’ for a night on their way somewhere. Thank you all for coming to see us!
Finally, here is our recap of 2019:
🔅My parents stayed for 10 weeks with us here in Turkey and saw Sofia grow from 6 weeks to 16 weeks! That is a lot of growing they got to be a part of! We took them around Izmir, down to Ephesus and up to Pergamon.
🔅Spent a weekend showing my parents Pammukale, Hierapolis, Laodicea, and Sardis.
🔅February we said goodbye to Catie’s parents and started ‘solo’ parenting again.
🔅In March, we celebrated year 5 of marriage in Kusadasi with our sweet Sofia. We took her to the beach for the first time.
🔅In April we took Sofia for her first major roadtrip to Istanbul to meet some of our old friends there. We also had the honor of hosting the Keil family in Turkey!
🔅In May, our friends, the Bradley family, came to visit for a few days.
🔅Also in May, we celebrated adding twins to our nephew and nieces clan and another nephew joined in October!
🔅But most importantly, we finally received legal custody for our adoption of Sofia and we announced her to everyone! We felt like we could start to breathe normally and relax more.
🔅At the beginning of June, our friends the Rowells (our South East Asia traveling buddy) came for a week and we literally rented a house in Bodrum for a week and did nothing. It was AWESOME. And we spent a weekend in Alacati with the Cruz family. The flowers were in full bloom!
🔅June brought some sad news that one of Catie’s friend(definitely considered family) passed awake. She went to the states for a dear friend’s funeral while Jason was a rockstar at solo parenting. She also got to see the twins!
🔅A few weeks in the summer we passed it like a true Izmirlian with some friends at a summer house. Sofia took her first trip out to sea.
🔅Sofia’s also had her first major sickness which left us taking her to the hospital for a fever.
🔅In September, we finished our 3rd year living in Turkey. Sofia went to her first Turkish wedding.
🔅At the end of October, Jason’s parents, Wanda and DeWayne came to visit! We took them to Ephesus and Pamukkale!
🔅November – Sofia turned one!
🔅Again Catie left Jason for a wedding of one of her bestie’s in the states. (Don’t worry Jason has just made a trip to the states!)
🔅In December, after a lonnnngggg 5+ years, Catie got to snow ski once again in Uludağ. Our family spent a few days together enjoying a cozy ski lodge friends and lots of snow!
Some other random thoughts:
If you are wondering: We still think our car is the best purchase of 2018…. about all the modes of transportation we used in Izmir, and then (finally) bought a car at the end of the year in 2018! (Maybe we should do a video about it and allllll the things that comes with owning a car in Turkey one day…)
Several words come to mind as we think back to our year: parenting, hurdling over all the legal hoops, hardship, but so much more joy. It is fair to say that our lives have now been rotated to revolve around Sofia! But now that she is a year old, we feel there is some ease that is coming back into our independence.
WRAPPING IT ALL UP:
When we started this expat journey, we committed to 3 years of overseas life. As we enter our 4th year living in Turkey, we can’t wait to see what God does next. He has been so good to show us how great of a community we have here in Izmir especially in this season of change and unexpected blessings.
2019 finished out in a blur and all of a sudden it’s April 2020 (even though I started this post a month ago!). While we have not been overly present here on social media in the last few months, it does not mean that we’ve been lazy! We have so many good things to share as we are finally adjusting to the work/parent life balance.
THANK YOU for sitting around when our posts have lulled and being part of our 2019.
Jason + Catie + Sofia