A lot of people that I have met have asked what my family had to say about this idea of mine. I didn't tell them right away, I wanted to make sure that this is what it was going to be and I wanted to be prepared to defend my plan.  So about 3 months into the planning of the trip and about 7 months before we were planning on leaving I called my Dad and filled him in on my ideas.  Pretty much it all came down to "you can't run away from reality, you can't cop out on life."  They didn't get it at all and I couldn't explain exactly what it was all about because I still didn't know what I was going to find once I left.
  During the next 7 months I would talk to different members of my family and try to explain to them what it was all about to me.  They still didn't get it,  even when I went home last May and took Cooper so they could meet him.  They were mostly worried for my safety.  The week before we rolled out, I got a call from my folks, they were calling to make sure that I was still planning on leaving on this trip.  They were worried about all the "what ifs"  I told them that in my 30 years of existence I have yet to be hospitalized or incarcerated.  I haven't even been put in cuffs or in the back of a ambulance. Knock on wood.  For those who know me this is a big surprise.  That seemed to shut them up.  I just told them to wait and see what it is like once I left.
  Two days in I sent them all a email with some pictures of people I have met, and stories of kindness.  I told them how great it is to live in such a simple way.  To let go of the everyday stress that our lives are filled with. To let the surroundings and the moment fill your days.  I got emails back from them all saying how great it is that I am doing this and that they all behind us in our trek and journey to find the kindness of this great country.  Finally!!!  So thanks to my family for all their support and help.  Mostly my folks.  I have relied on them way more than I had planned.  I LOVE YOU MOM AND DAD.  I couldn't of asked for better parents and friends.

So here is the major players that make up my family
Rosie=Stepmom/Godmother (mom)
Vanessa=older Sister
Suzanne=oldest Sister (Step)
John=Big Bro (Step)
I had asked my Stepmom to write the details of how our family came to be.  I was planning on rewriting it but liked the way she did it.  So here it is.  Feel free to look at the list of people so not to get confused on who is who.

Your Mom (Vicky) and Dad (Mitch) moved to England in April of 1978. We (Rosie and David) arrived in November.  We lived on the Queen’s Flight base in Benson, England as the American Base in Upper Heyford was full.  David and Mitch carpooled the thirty miles daily and that is how we became acquainted and immediately became friends.  You were born in Feb 1979 – David and I became your Godparents. It was such a joyous time – we all had so much fun together. We returned to the states in the summer of 1980 – the kids and I left in August so they could start school in Iowa and me, being pregnant with Emily, had to leave early (Dr’s orders).  David remained with your family until September. He then had to finish out his Air Force career at Offutt AFB, Omaha, Nebr. He commuted week-ends to Cedar Falls, IA.
In Oct. your Dad was transferred to Brooks AFB San Antonio, Tx.- all of you moved there.  Emily was born Jan. 27, 1981. David and Emily were killed on May 28, 1981. A 17 yr old boy ran a stop sign and hit them.  We had her baptism scheduled for June 6th with your Mom and Dad being her Godparents, which of course , didn’t happen. Your Dad was pallbearer for them and all of you came.  Your Mother passed away on June 21st, 1981 – not even a month later. David and Emily’s deaths were extremely hard on Vicky.  We went to Enid for her funeral.  Your Dad and I talked daily on the phone – it was constant and true healing for the both of us.  Never did it cross our minds that we were falling in love with each other -  but it did happen and we have been so blessed for that occurrence. I can’t imagine if we would have had to date people that didn’t know our deceased spouses as we can talk about David and Vicky and truly engage in our love for them.
In June of 1982 your Dad was released from the Air Force and you, Vanessa, and your Dad moved to Iowa.  We were married on July 10th of that year and walla   -- here we are.   We have such a wonderful family and it truly shows how the six of us love one another.  And not to mention all of the other family members : Papa Witty, Grandma Pauline, G&G Hand and Robinson’s – we have all suffered and overcome and what a wonderful story of how life should be.

    So this is how my family came to be.  I couldn't ask for a better one.  Granted it sucks not knowing my Mother.  But it doesn't bother me to much because Rosie has raised me from such a young age and John and Suzanne have been my older siblings that its all good with me.  So thanks family, I love you and hope I'm making you proud.