Raising kids is an incredibly difficult job! Even if your children are the most perfect little angels & you have all the help in the world…it’s still demanding & exhausting but as we all know…so flipping rewarding!
I have SO much admiration for this mama because she is raising her kids…overseas! She is away from family, away from friends and dear Lord…away from TARGET! She’s basically wonder woman! She is opening up & sharing some really incredible information, that I’m breaking this up into a two-part series!
Without further adieu, here is Laura Carter’s story of raising her babies in foreign lands, with foreign languages & without her family to call on in moments of crisis. Did I mention…she’s currently in Italy right now!!! I’m not jealous….you’re jealous! Who am I kidding? I’m HELLA jealous!
Tell us a little about your family! How you & Justin, your husband met, how many kiddos you have…all the juicy details!
Justin and I met in college. He was finishing up his senior year at Creighton and I was transferring to College of Saint Mary. We both attended school on a basketball scholarship. From the time we met, he always knew he wanted to continue playing basketball abroad, even though this was something I NEVER wanted to do. I’m a HUGE homebody! It made me excited for him but I wasn’t thrilled with the idea.
It blows my mind how much God worked on my heart and how adaptable I’ve become. I went from struggling to go on a weekend trip, to being able to pack our family of 6 for 9 months with 1-week notice. I’ve become a pro at the 50lb bag weight limit!
We have 4 kids; Justin Jr “JJ” 8, Isaiah 6, Ava 4, and Caden 6.5 months. While having four kids was never our plan, we couldn’t imagine life without each one of them. They have become pros at traveling!
So how exactly does playing basketball abroad work?
I think that’s something a lot of people don’t understand! My husband has an agent who works for him. He checks out all of the teams each year and gives us the options we have (teams and cities). We then choose which one would be best for our family. With four kids our checklist looks a little different than it did 9 years ago!
After we pray about it and decide we usually go ahead and sign a contract. The normal season typically lasts from mid-August to late May/early June (if you make playoffs). Justin usually goes ahead & gets things situated & then the kids and I usually pack up and meet him during the first week of September. They always provide us with an apartment suitable for our family, a car, and other things we need. It’s a huge blessing to have a family oriented team! They really just understand LIFE. Because believe me, there are several who could care less.
After that, we just start the process of adapting. We learn the city, grocery stores, schools, find a gym, etc. We make it HOME. Then once the season ends we go back to our home in the states. Enjoy our summer with family and friends then start the process all over again!
His goal is to play a few more years. I think he has another three in him & after that, we are praying about coaching at the collegiate level and being home. I’ve been able to build a global business and I can’t wait to work on that more! It’s been a huge vehicle for us to continue this lifestyle.
While yes, Is it fun – it’s equally just as difficult! I wouldn’t trade it for anything.
When was the first time you lived abroad?
My first full season overbroad was Justin’s third year playing. It just happened to be right after we got married in August 2012. We had no idea where we were heading that year, but the day of our wedding he got the call from his agent. That’s kind of the story of our life! Justin sent me a text while I was getting my hair done saying “Hey Lo! We just got the contract and we leave for Usak, Turkey in 4 days.” So needless to say our wedding day doubled as a going away party.
We packed up, at the time we only had JJ, and we moved to Turkey. I was pregnant with Isaiah (our second child) and we knew eventually I’d be delivering in that city. That’s a whole other story, but the best news is he was a healthy baby and I was healthy. I learned a whole different level of strength within myself during that time. I never envisioned myself delivering a child in a foreign country, let alone a hospital that didn’t speak English. Oh, and did I mention I had a c-section?!
It was an adventure, but so glad we trusted God through the whole process. After that experience, we decided I wouldn’t have any more children abroad. My story isn’t common, I’ve heard several stories about ladies who had a great experience delivering abroad. I think it truly depends on the city you’re in and support system. Usak was a small city, and we didn’t have many people around us. We relied a lot on each other! I was so appreciative my family could come help for a few weeks and helped me adjust to two kids. It was a huge adventure and learning experience; like our whole life.
Pictured below: Our first year abroad!
Did I tell you guys, or did I tell you guys?! This woman is CRAZY inspirational! I can’t even begin to imagine how hard it would be to raise 4 kids across the world from your family & friends, yet Laura is doing it & she’s remaining so thankful & so positive. I can’t wait to share Part Two with you guys next week — she dishes about the ups & the downs & the most favorite place they’ve traveled abroad to date!
Thanks for stopping by, friends!