Thanks for the advice alan999 - I'm glad we've taken such a long time to figure out our immigration journey in some ways, because I agree that nowhere will ever feel perfect. We are in a bright and shiny place right now with our first visa applications submitted today, but I know there will be sacrifices, and not all of them will fade with time. The long term benefits for our kids outweigh everything, so it was nice to see them making friends right away during our visit.