Thursday, August 31, 2006

The Kids

Tonight we asked Alex how he feels about moving to China. He said right away he will really miss his friends. I had a hard time not tearing up at that, and told him right away that I would really miss my friends, too. Then he said he would also miss his TV channels (when we visited, they didn't have Disney's JETIX in Hong Kong or China that we could find). But he also said that it will be okay because they do have Cartoon Network there. Then he said it's cool that he already has two friends there, and he's pretty happy about that.

Andrew told his preschool teacher on Tuesday that we're moving to China. She asked the director (a good friend) about this and she confirmed it for her. Now people are really starting to find out about our move. What a relief!!! It's been so hard not being able to talk freely about this - we've known since the first week of June.

I think it will be easiest on Ella - she is so young and so adaptable and social and happy. But coming back here will be the hardest on her, probably, because her real memories will start there.

It will be hard on Tim because he's going to have a very different job - not a lot of structure or clear direction at first. We will all miss our friends dearly, especially our family nearby and far away. I'm going to miss my kitchen and my bed and my washer and dryer. And my friends and my church and my kids' preschool. And my parents. A bunch. And English books and magazines and newspapers and labels on stuff we buy. And my car. And American cuisine, Italian cuisine and Mexican cuisine.

But we will come back, and we will be forever changed by this experience.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006

More wonderings...very little action

We really need to get those school apps in for the boys; what if they don't get accepted?? Then what? Do I stay with the kids to finish out the school year? Home-school them??? (not) What? Can they get accepted for next year? Right now we're waiting for final numbers for our relo package from Tim's job. Since he'll be the first ex-pat for that company, they have to write policies before we get numbers, which is taking a LONG time. Once we get the numbers, some answers will fall into place; we can get the kids applied for school (it costs $1000 to APPLY to this school, and we are waiting so they can cover that cost); we can figure out what to do with the house.

I need to keep reminding myself that I will be the main one responsible for a smooth and relatively trauma-free relocation for the kids. Tim will be getting into a new job and will have a network in place already. The kids will be excited about meeting new people and their new school. I will be concentrating on how to provide continuity, peace, reassurance and normalcy to the life of our family. I guess that 's the ultimate "mom" responsibility and I'm okay with that. I just hope I do okay. Keeping the kids as my top priority will help me stay focused on the positive. My friend who lost her husband almost a year ago to a car accident has become a true expert on finding silver linings. As the anniversary of her husband's death approaches, her response is "at least it's the only first anniversary of this we'll have to deal with. At least there's only one." She stops me in my tracks every time she speaks of her loss. She is a person to learn selflessness and coping from.

Monday, August 28, 2006

Prelim Wonderings

So, I've decided to start a blog about our family's preparation and eventual move to Shenzhen, China, on the other side of the world. It's overwhelming - I don't necessarily do well with overwhelming. I am simultaneously terrified and thrilled. I keep a mission statement in mind - one must step outside of one's comfort zone in order to grow. And growth is good. I think we will all grow in unimaginable (for now) ways from this move. Not to mention new friends from all over the world and a whole new view of the world. Strip away the unnecessary and see what remains...

Right now we're trying to decide whether to keep the house and rent it or let a friend live here as caretaker, or just sell it and not have property here. Or, do we keep the rental house further downtown (which is much smaller) as income property so we will still own U.S. property (I don't know why that's important to me, but it is for some reason). I'm not sure how I feel about someone renting our house - being a germophobe and all (HA! In China where we can't drink tap water...) and being clear on the other side of the world. I'm not sure how I feel about paying a mortgage for up to 5 years just to keep this particular house (I do love this house, and so do the kids).

All kinds of things to decide...we have set a deadline to actually MAKE a decision so we can move on to bigger things - like what and how we will move everything, store everything else, and what to give away. We need to get the kids' school apps in and find an apartment to move into until we find something more permanent. We need to get shots, I think. Ick. We all need to see docs and dentists for checkups. We need to obtain SOS International Health Care policy. And I thinkg we oughta know a bit of Mandarin, just for kicks. Yikes.