Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Farewell Hedder & fam

 Life as an expat family is a unique experience. Most of us come over with contracts for a set amount of time, and once that time is up, we head back to our homelands. It's a revolving door of people coming and going around here. 

I've done alright with the goodbyes we have had to say thus far--although I won't lie-- they were difficult.  Now I'm staring down the barrel of our next goodbye and it's going to be the hardest one yet. 

I met Heather two weeks after moving to Wuxi. Nick and I were walking a restless 5 month around our compound when we spotted another white couple on the playground with a little boy. As we approached the couple, I remember being hopeful that they spoke English. That's when I heard a sweet southern "hey ya'll" from the woman who would go on to become one of my best friends here. 

She immediately took me under her wing (she had already been here 18 months) and showed me how and where to get groceries and introduced me to new friends. Even better yet, she had a son that was a year older than Sal. 

Sal and Aiden became buddies, and we spent many of our days hanging out together. She has become a second mama to Sal and he affectionately calls her "Hedder". Most of our good times and memories include Aiden and Hedder.  

In just a few days, their family will return to the states....

For good. 

Goodbye Ratliff family--so happy to have shared the past 18 months with you as our second family. You will be greatly missed. 

A walk down memory lane...

The boys at one of our many Starbucks trips. Don't look so excited, Sal.

Sal and his Hedder watching fireworks for his first birthday. 

The day we thought it was a good idea to go grocery shopping in the snow together...

After a long day of pediatrician visits and lunch in shanghai...

An afternoon finding rock treasures...

Sal's first friend, ever. 

Baking days at Heather's. That's Sal in the kitchen "mixing" with her...

At one of the many parties Heather hosted. This one happened to be a holiday cookie exchange, which equalled heaven for a pregnant girl. 

We're seriously going to miss them. 

Like. Seriously.


  1. Oh how sad! That definitely has to be one of the worst parts of being an expat for sure. They seem like a great family. Sad you have to say goodbye.. but the bright side is knowing you have somewhere to visit when you're back stateside!

  2. Oh my friend!!!!!! How thankful I am for YOU!!!!!! Aiden and I (Jeffrey too!!) are going to miss our days with you like no other! Thank you for loving on my boy and for being an amazing friend. Looking forward to more adventures together in America:). Love you my dear friend.