HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR FAMILY?
We might look typical: white, middle class, 2 heterosexual parents with 3 tall daughters, but we're the farthest thing from typical. First, having lived all over, I wouldn't say that we have one place we'd call "home", so I think in some ways our family has become that safe place, that "home" for us. Maybe that's why we're so exceptionally close, even despite being geographically distant.
My dad spends Africa almost half of his time working in Africa fighting polio outbreaks, my big sister is studying to become a doctor in Texas, my little sister is studying to be a nurse in Seattle, and my mom is in Atlanta, just a few miles from me (where I work in global health). Three, sometimes four timezones, but we've never been closer. I chat with my sisters at least once a day, and they are undoubtedly my closest confidants and best friends.
We all share a passion, a flame we can't blow out, for helping improve the lives of people who haven't had the opportunities we have. We all care about the health of the world - especially places in the world with fewer resources than the U.S., and are invested in improving it. We hope to one day have the chance to serve communities overseas again; I wouldn't be surprised if we're all working or studying internationally at some point. We've been through a lot as a family, but we are stronger because of it, and excited to make the most of every day we have!
DOES FAITH PLAY A ROLE IN YOUR FAMILY? IF YES OR NO, PLEASE EXPLAIN.
Faith, for us, is foundational to life. As Christians, we believe God led our family to move overseas for a few years (Zambia), led us to where we are all living now, and may lead to us any number of places in the future. Faith is the glue that keeps us together even when challenges come. We've been reminded in the past few months that life is fleeting. However, instead of letting this discourage us, we see it as a chance to look at our lives, and consider how each day to the fullest. We aren't afraid of death, because we believe that Christ has defeated death, and that no matter what happens, we will all one day be reunited in heaven.
ARE THERE ANY CHALLENGES THAT YOUR FAMILY FACES THAT YOU FEEL ARE DISTINCT FROM OTHER FAMILIES?
My family faces the challenge of distance. We are very close, but live in 3 timezones (sometimes 4), and maintaining close ties and the sense of "home" that our family provides (since we don't have a place we identify as home, which is another unique challenge of moving overseas as a family then trying to resettle into the US in a new place) is quite challenging to do do from across the country. However, I truly believe that these challenges have only made us closer.
WHAT BRINGS GREAT JOY TO YOUR FAMILY?
Throughout our lives, we've enjoyed traveling as a family to visit missionaries. We've visited missionary friends in Mexico, Ecuador, and traveled on family missions trips in Paraguay and Zambia. We also enjoy doing service together - whether that's visiting folks in the hospital on Christmas, serving meals at homeless shelters, or preparing care packages for the less fortunate here in Atlanta. We also enjoy camping, hiking, and going on family runs when we're together.
WHAT IS A WORD, QUOTE, PASSAGE, VERSE OR SAYING THAT DESCRIBES YOUR RELATIONSHIP?
"You can only be loved to the extent that you are known"- John Ortberg.