(This is part 9 in a 10 part series of posts detailing the events leading up to our move from Ithaca to Dublin. You can read the whole series here. Next week we’ll wrap things up talking about sharing the news with our church in Ithaca.)


The Convention Centre

After Méabh came home from the hospital and was doing well, thinking about Ireland moved back towards the top of our list.

We planned a trip to Dublin for the end of June/early July where we could meet a couple of pastors, and walk around the city and pray a bit. (Since we were talking Méabh with us obviously, we had to get a passport photo taken. Next time you see us, you should ask us to see it. It is amazing.)

The three older girls would not be going to Dublin with us on this trip, but they were still very much involved in the process. One of the kids had an experience that led them to believe that we were actually supposed to move to Dublin. (That meant two out of three giving the thumbs up).

The last daughter never did end up saying she thought it was what we were supposed to go. However, she would be graduating high school before we moved, and was planning to go to university at Trinity College Dublin…so she’d be in Ireland anyway.



A major hurdle was cleared, as everyone was now on board.

Sharing our News
Although we didn’t make a public announcement until early August, when we shared it at the Ithaca Vineyard, in April and May we began telling family and some close friends.

That was even more difficult than I imagined. It is hard when something you are excited about brings pain to people you care about.

Part of the reason we began to tell people was that we wanted them to be praying for us. We asked people to be praying for two things specifically:

1) that it would be clear that this move really what we were supposed to do,
2) that we would have clarity as to where we were supposed to move to and church plant.

While ideally we could have moved to Dublin and taken a year to get to know the city and then decide where to live, one of the commitments we made to the girls was that if we move to Ireland, they would not have to change schools again. So we really wanted it to be clear where we should be so we could begin figuring out schools and other items we’d need to figure out.


Vernon Ave., Clontarf

On the ground in Dublin.
While we were there, we went to several places around the city. We wanted to be near the city centre, in an area that had a village centre. Some we loved…others not so much. But none of them had that, “yeah this is the place,” type of feel to them.

One of our last days in the city we drove throughout Northside, from Castleknock to Drumcondra and finally ending up in Clontarf.

It was in Clontarf where for the first time we both had that, “I think this is it,” experience.

We arrived back home somewhat confident that Clontarf was the place, but not 100%. We were still praying and talking about it, when a friend messaged me and asked me to call him.

He was one of the people who’d been praying for us during our trip and what he kept hearing as he prayed was ‘northeast.’

And if you look at the map of Dublin, Clontarf is definitely northeast.

As we continued to pray it became more and more clear that Clontarf was the place.

[If you’ve followed our adventure since we arrived in Ireland last July, you’ll know we were not able to find a place in Clontarf last summer. We ended up one town over in Raheny. And while Raheny has been great, and we have the best landlord we’ve ever had, in a couple of weeks we’ll be moving into our new place in Clontarf.]

We came back to NY sure that this was what we were doing. Scared and excited seemed to work their way into almost every sentence. While telling my parents and some of our friends was difficult, our final announcement was the one I was most nervous about. I’ll share that in the final post in this series next week.