Thursday, August 27, 2009

taking care of... stuff

this whole week has just been a mess of running from office to office to office. after we FINALLY got our id cards, we needed to go to the ministry of absorption to try to figure out what our status is as immigrants. i am an immigrant, maya is something like a returning resident... but for some reason no one can figure out what yehis status is! we filled out some paperwork, and were told that in about 3 months they would tell us. the only thing it would change would be how much help from the government we would get, so we can wait.

i also had to get approved for ulpan, the hebrew classes. turns out there is a first level (aleph) class starting next week right here in KG! the bad news is i dont really need level one, i need level two (bet), and the aleph class is a night class. i really need a bet class in the morning. they dont yet have enough people to open up a bet class, so they told me to come in next week to the first aleph class and see how it goes... i dont really want to sit through a whole ulpan aleph again, but hopefully they will be opening up a new class soon.

today we also had our first visit to the kupat cholim, or the doctors! we wanted to take maya in, simply to meet her doctor, hand over her information and just do a brief well check. all went smoothly, though the doctor did try to guilt me into not switching to formula. we had started because i was going to start ulpan in the day while maya was at daycare... but if ulpan is at night we will have to see i guess.

emotionally its been a challenging couple days. i enjoy having so much to do, but when i get a chance to stop and think... well its been hard. i miss my family, and i miss them being able to see maya growing and changing, even in the last week. lots of skype and phone calls help, but of course its still not the same...

to cheet me up we are having a welcome home party tonight, which has apparently turned into a massive bbq, israeli style. if you want to see pictures i will post them up on facebook... love you all, miss you all too!

Monday, August 24, 2009

settling in

well, after all that traveling, maya was bound to get a little sick. she was running a fever saturday (though only a low one, thank gd), so we pretty much vegged out on Sunday. we did manage to get our wireless internet installed, which is great!

today we had to go up to jerusalem to get our israeli id cards. the way up to the office was crazy, but inside NBN managed to keep everything pretty well organized. we got our id cards (im now israeli!... and yehi is officially married with a child.), then got to walk around a bit and talk to representatives from all different companies. there were only two people who knew about the south, both from health care places... all the others acted as if nothing existed outside of jerusalem/bet shemesh/ranaana etc.

we are scheduled to get a washer AND a dryer this week, and a closet next week. hopefully tmw we will be able to begin the process of getting all of our stuff off of our lift and into our home... though i am not sure where we will put everything. i am glad we didnt bring anything big other than our bed.

for now its just a day by day set up. i wonder when this whole move will begin to feel real... love you all, miss you all too

Saturday, August 22, 2009

home sweet home

the past couple days have been a crazy blur. ill try to back up and tell all about our move. after the arrival ceremony on wednesday, we headed to KG to our new rented place. its a small three bedroom, one bath duplex kinda thing. yehis parents had set up the kitchen/living room and Mayas room, and both were great. they had also pre-stocked the fridge, which made life MUCH easier. of course we dont have our bed yet, so our room is the only one empty, save a couple mattresses on the floor. we were hoping to get a bunch of stuff done that first day, but we forgot that yehi had turned in his teudat zeut (id card) so we couldnt do ANYTHING.

the last couple days have been nice. HOT AS ALL CAN BE which is frustrating. and the constant switch from really hot to cold air conditioning has Maya fighting off her first cold, which doesnt help my nerves.

thursday we went to look at furniture, since most israeli places dont come with built in closets. the only storage space we have at the moment is in Mays room.... hopefully that will change today. Friday we did some basic errands, and then spent shabbat with yehis parents. his two next brothers were there, with thier girlfriends/fiance. it was nice to be able to relax. i went to services and was so thankful to be here, in israel, with a wonderful family of my own. it was hard being without my own family, and im still not sure how to deal with that part of the move.

saturday night was yehis cousins birthday, so we went out after shabbat to celebrate. Maya got to hang out with her new cousins, and we got to reorganize ourselves into israeli life. its been great so far. we get our id cards monday, so this week will be full of opening bank accounts, releasing our shipment (finally!), getting cell phones and the like. love you all, miss you all to

Thursday, August 20, 2009


well, i promised I would write about the flight, and since the baby is sleeping, Yehi is running errands and my mother-in-law is cooking lunch, this seems like the perfect time.

we left san francisco late. we hadnt bought Maya a seat, but were lucky that the third person in our row never checked in. it was such a blessing, becase Maya slept in her carseat the WHOLE way to NY. it was kind of a wild flight... two kids a couple rows in front of us starting throwing fits, then their mother blacked out and a doctor who was on the plane had to come take care of her. we landed in NY on time, managed to schlep our bags to the next terminal (with help). claire showed up to see us off, which was great. we really needed the extra hand. the ceremony in jfk was fine, but nothing really exciting. after a painful trip through security we boarded the plane... where maya promptly had her only major baby issue the whole trip. luckily it was before we took off, and semi easily cleaned up.

the flight was crazy. we had a jumbo jet (the Tel Aviv-Yaffo). it was as full as could be... and almost half children. there was not one minute of quiet the whole time. once again, maya was amazing, and barely fussed at all until the second we landed in israel, when she started screaming. the flight was fine... I watched movies, slept a couple hours, and tried to zone out the kids across the aisle from us.

landing was the best. everyone was so excited to be there, especially since we were an hour late. (sorry to those who stayed up to watch in the states!). Yehis family was there, and I put the pictures of the HUGE sign they took up on facebook. Odelya and her newborn, and Shilat and her newborn were also there, with matching baby outfits for the new best friends :)

the ceremony was fine. it was the only time i got emotional... and it wasnt a happy emotional. its a hard realization that you are now living completely across the world from your parents, especially with a new baby.

an hour or so later I was an Israeli citizen, we had all our bags, and managed to find a taxi willing to go some place that wasnt Ramat Beit Shemesh, Modiin or Jerusalem (where most american immigrants go).

ill post later about the new house and our first day... Maya is awake and food is ready. love you all, miss you all too

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

we have arrived!

well, we are finally in Israel... and I am an Israeli citizen! I dont have a ton of time to write now, but I wanted to say that we are here. the flights were good, and Maya was AMAZING. she slept most of the time, and was quiet a majority of the rest. I will post about our trip, the ceremony and our new place soon. emotions are high, but I am ready for the next couple days... love you all, miss you all too

Monday, August 17, 2009

off we go...

well, the countdown is finally down to hours. tonight we leave SF, and head to NY where we will meet the rest of our flight and the other immigrants (olim). we have a LONG journey ahead of us, but i think we are surprisingly prepared.

i did some math, and figured out that between us (2 adults and a baby), we are carrying something like 500 pounds of luggage... not to mention ourselves. most of that is checked luggage at least... but wow! i am not looking forward to carrying all of that through the airport.

we did hear back from our shipment, and it has arrived! apparently it just arrived on friday, which works out perfectly for us. hopefully we wont be without a mattress for too long.

thats it, as we run around trying to make sure its all together. for those of you who dont know.. i have a horrible fear of flying which is kicking in about now. just gotta breathe and focus. hopefully we will see you safe and sound on the other side. we love you all very much... and will try to post from NY.

Sunday, August 16, 2009

days go by

today was our farewell party. it was so great to see everyone who came. for most of them, it was also a chance to see Maya for the first time. its been hard these last couple days, knowing that we are packing up and leaving. it still doesnt seem real in a lot of ways, and I'm sure it wont for even a couple weeks after we arrive.

i keep thinking how lucky we are. both yehi and I have a family that loves us. and even though they span the globe, we live in an age where we can communicate daily, see each other live, and travel to see each other within a 24 hour span. while that seems like a REALLY long trip (and it is), it is still such a blessing. when my great-grandmother left Poland, her main wish was to get to israel... she ended up in the USA and loved it, but for her to visit israel would have been a major undertaking. boats, planes, snail mail... all of which i love, but nothing beats skype. i am thankful that we can do this without loosing touch with my family. it will still be hard, there is no question about that.

we are almost finished packing... we leave tmw, and have a 24 hour trip with a 3 month old. im not terribly excited... especially with my lovely fear of flying. if anyone wants to meet us in NY email me, we can say goodbye! ill post at least once more before i leave...

Wednesday, August 12, 2009


the process of making aliyah is nothing like moving to any other country. there is, of course, the fact that this is the holy land, and all the good and bad that goes along with that. but even more than the culture shock is the general process.

when we moved yehi to the us it was a crazy mass of paperwork. it took us two years and thousands of dollars... not to mention the paperwork, the being interviewed (both before he got here and after) and the questioning of our relationship and the reasons for his move. at every turn we were questioned and doubted. it was worth it, but it wasnt easy by any means... and we had an "easier" time because we were engaged, had been together for a while, and had met in person the first time.

so far, to move to israel, we have paid $150 (not counting our shipping, just for paper processing), filled out paperwork and had one meeting. the israeli government is giving us something like $9000 over the next year as adjustment help (our sal klita), plus free ulpan, a free flight for the three of us (which would have cost us close to $3000) plus much more. its been a blessing, even when the beauracracy has been annoying.

so why do i bring this up? ive been hearing a lot recently from people who are israeli born, or have israeli born parents, who live outside of israel complaining about not being able to get full benefits, and its driving me crazy! israel encourages people to move, which is amazing.. and its a bonus, not a right that the government and nbn help out. if there were not bonus rights, people should still want to make aliyah... and if they are only making aliyah for the money and benefits, then chances are they will be moving out of israel rather quickly. i am all for the benefits... but what is the message that is being sent? its the same way that illegal immigrants to the US bother me... every government has the right to make rules about who is a citizen, and no one can expect to just move to another country, get money/free health care/unemployment. i am thankful that we will get help, but we are not moving for the benefits.... it is so much more

Monday, August 10, 2009

one week left

one week left. crazy! we have our suitcases almost all packed (or they are full i should say), but there is still so much left over. its so hard to decide what is important to bring, and what we should just cut our losses on and buy later. my dear husband hates letting any item of clothing go, even when he got it, lets say, at his youngest brothers bar-mitzvah (and said brother is now starting an officers course in the army....).

still, i think we are in an ok place. we are mostly packed, i am stocked up on books, my stuff is mostly cleaned out... and i have one more week to tie things together. maya has been great, sleeping in the mornings and letting me work and clean. i am kind of sad that moving across the world will most likely mess up her time zones, and i will lose the blissful 5-7 hours of sleep ive been getting straight a night.

things are falling into place on the israel side too. we have a small house rented, which will be cleared out and inspected by my mother-in-law this week. we have a space for maya in a daycare, starting whenever we want in september (since its run by his aunt its a little more flexible... and gives me the option of leaving her just a couple hours to start, so we can both get used to the seperation). some friends of mine are even going to be in israel then, so i can have a hopefully easier transition... and then the holidays start not too long after that. it will be my first yom kippur in israel, and my first time building our own sukkah!

the anxiety over the flight is still there... my fear of flying, which i thought i had mostly overcome, has come back at the thought of traveling with a baby. i will NOT let my fears affect her, or our trip. i am actually excited about the actual NBN flight, and being on it with so many olim who are going through the same process... its a great idea. one week left in the states!

Monday, August 3, 2009

14 days and counting....

two weeks until our aliyah flight....crazy. we packed this last weekend, and have sofar packed 5 suitcases. in a fit on genius, NBN allows us 6 suitcases of 70 pounds each.... of course our flight TO NY allows us 2 free checked suitcases, $30 for 2 more, and $75 for 2 on top of that.... all limited at 50 pounds each of course, unless we want to pay additional overweight fees.... oh the joy.

so it looks like we will have 6 suitcases to check, 2 carryon suitcases, one backpack/diaper bag, a stroller and a car seat... oh this trip should be fun. once we get to check in in NY it wont be so bad... but its going to be quite a haul. it still doesnt feel real that we are doing this... in the next two weeks i have to finish sorting and throwing everything out here, finish packing that last suitcase (along with last min shopping), say goodbye to everyone... thats going to be the hardest by far.

there is another NBN flight landing this week... and Yehi is sad because apparently Bibi Netanyahu is speaking.... which means he wont be speaking at ours most likely... Bibi is of course Yehis idol, so hes sad about this! i keep telling him we will get someone interesting too, but he would always rather see Bibi. oh well. as of now we have about 22 people coming to see us at our arrival ceremony... i couldnt believe that they are all getting up that early (including one of Yehis grandmothers!). its prob hard to believe that they get to see him "make aliyah" considering some of them did it themselves... and he was born and raised in israel. im happy they are making the effort... and itll be nice to have the support!