As part of the series on building community, Layne writes about moving several times, finding connections, and her latest community from Atlanta.
1. Tell a little about yourself, your family, and your new town. My name is Layne and I’ve been married to a wonderful man, Carlos for 13 years. We have two sweet boys, Alexander is 9 and Samuel is 5. During our marriage we’ve lived in 9 cities not counting two two-month stops in San Antonio. We currently live in a suburb outside Atlanta.
2. How did you prepare your children for the move? We’ve always kept the kids in the loop about upcoming moves from the moment we’re aware. This seems to allow time for lots of talks and question answering. We’ve also chosen to homeschool to avoid moving schools.
3. What are the biggest challenges you have found to the change? It’s lonely at first for all of us. There are highs and lows in the beginning. It’s exciting to explore your surroundings but the time before making real connections with friends is difficult. Also, no matter what you do, this is difficult for kids and watching them struggle is hard.
4. What is the best part of moving to a new place? The boys and I really enjoy the adventure of scooping out our new surroundings. We love finding cool parks, visiting local attractions and even walking a new mall (my oldest loves this).
5. How are you creating community (finding friends for you and your family). Each time we move, I locate churches to visit, research sports programs for Alexander, and homeschool groups to join. I haven’t always kept the priority of establishing a new church. This move we did and it was especially helpful. The last three years we’ve experienced medical issues with both boys. The support we received at our current church helped me through this process.
6. How long have you been in your new home, and does it feel like home yet? We’ve been here almost two years and it definitely feels like home. This move seemed to have had a quicker adjustment period than previous moves. I think our neighborhood and homeschool group have really made the difference for the kids. We happen to live on a street with many children willing to play daily. The homeschool group we joined is large with many activities. We went to any activity that interest them and connected with a number of families that now are part of our circle of friends.
7. What advice would you give to someone moving to a new location? Research everything you can about the area prior to moving. Have many conversations with you children as they need them: before, during and after the move. Attempt to connect with others early and often and keep trying until you find friends.