I'm missing my family. Plain and simple. A bit of back history......
I'm an American who has lived in New Zealand for 13 years, married to my NZ soulmate. I've been home to Illinois once in those 13 years which was in 2007. I went home with my 2 daughters and stayed with my mom for 3 months. Since then many things have changed in our lives. My husband lost his job in 2009 when I was 6 months pregnant with our son. It was the second time he has been made redundant and it meant starting from scratch in a new career. We haven't been able to find our footing since then.
It's been 6 years since I was last home and I am now desperate to get home. To be with my people and enjoy them while we have the time. For my kids, now 10, 8 and 3 to meet their family again and visit with the only cousin they have whom they have never met. For my son to meet his grandma and uncle. He is the only grandson on both sides of our families and it would be great for them to meet him while he is still young and for my older girls to be reunited with friends and family who love them so much and miss them terribly. It was always our plan to be able to fly home every 3-5 years. However, with my husband's job loss, it has become almost impossible. I don't want my children to miss out on the American experience. I do my best to keep American traditions alive in my household, but I feel my kids are at an age now where they need to know where I come from. And have a chance to immerse themselves in the American culture.
Trips from New Zealand are not cheap. So many times have I dreamt of going home but the cost is substantial. And going as a family of 4 (or 5 if hubby goes) is simply unmanageable! Flights alone would cost $8500 roundtrip, just for me and the kids. The whole trip for all of us (including my husband) would be $15,000 including car rental and expenses. All I am asking for here is help raising the money for round trip flights from Auckland, New Zealand to St. Louis, Missouri where I can be reunited with my family for 6-8 short sweet weeks. This would be a great, memorable experience for my kids for years to come. It is really hard explaining to them why they can't go see their Grammy or their other family. I am not sure when another trip could be made after this one. I have no deadline for reaching this goal as I don't know how long it will take. My 'ideal' goal would be October/November this year (2013) but I realize it may be too difficult to get that together so quickly. So, late 2014 or early 2015 is the more realistic goal. Flights are the most expensive part of doing this trip.
I cannot offer rewards for donations but I am very keen for every person who donates to follow us on our journey via an online blog. You too could experience our adventures, good and bad, and see just what we get up to in good ole Southern Illinois!
Every little bit adds up. Thank you in advance from the bottom of my heart.