14 Nov Why China?
We get so many questions about why we wanted to move to China. Logistically speaking, work brought us here. Chance works for a company that is starting a joint venture in Qingdao, he will be doing accounting and IT for them here in China. However, the decision to move our family to China was very much directed from God.
During Chances 2 year mission for our church he decided he wanted to learn Chinese (while he was struggling to learn Spanish in Nicaragua, he is a little crazy. Haha) When we met after he returned from his mission and decided to get married he talked to me about how I would feel living in a foreign country. The idea excited me! I wanted to be adventurous and branch out so it seemed like a great idea! After we were married (7 years ago) we moved to Changsha, China as exchange students so Chance could learn the language. We immediately fell in love with the people, food, and culture so we decided to extend our stay from 5 to 9 months. Before we went I imagined a fun little adventure with my husband, I didn’t think that this decision would alter our life forever.
While living there we often found ourselves talking about how we wanted to bring our future kids to live in China one day. Living in a foreign country changed me, it changed us. My eyes were opened to how big the world really was and I was 22 at the time! I wanted my kids to grow up knowing how big the world is, how many different kinds of people there are, and all the different lifestyles. I truly feel like I found myself during our time in China as newly weds. As soon as I gave birth to Emry (made in China *wink*wink) we constantly looked for job opportunities in China. We have been praying about this decision for years and it has finally happened naturally. We tried to take matters into our own hands countless times and move on our terms but God kept stepping in and telling us to wait.
The waiting has paid off and we are so happy to be here in Qingdao. It is a beautiful city that is clean, has good air quality, and we can see the ocean from our apartment. In all the years of dreaming about moving back to China I never once dreamed up a life this beautiful.
Even though this is something that has felt so right for so long it doesn’t mean that it was easy to leave or has been easy since we got here. Leaving our family and friends was heartbreaking, there is no other way to put it. I cried many tears as we were saying goodbye and especially on my own when no one was watching. We were leaving everything we have ever known. We ripped our kids out of a life they loved and were comfortable with. That was hard and still is hard. But, we are all adjusting and figuring out our new normal.
People always think that we moved to China for some grand adventure, and although it is a grand adventure it is also very isolating, challenging, and pushes you WAY out of your comfort zone. But, that is one of my reasons for wanting to come. I want to be pushed, I want my kids to be pushed. I want to expose all of our weaknesses so we can grow from them and come closer as a family. I think this situation will do that and has already begun to do so.
I know that this looks like an insane decision to most, and that is okay. I know that we are supposed to be here, we are supposed to be with the Chinese people for one reason or another. Maybe it’s to find someone we can help, or maybe it’s so someone can find us. Maybe it’s so I can learn some independence from my extended family, my friends, and my familiar city. Maybe it’s so the girls can learn Chinese, how to treat people of different cultures and backgrounds, and maybe it’s so we can all huddle in together and learn about the new world around us TOGETHER.
If this experience does only one thing for us I hope it’s that we leave this country one day as a stronger and closer family.
Here are some of my favorite photos that were taken while we lived in China as students. It is a time that brings me to tears every time I think about it because it was so special. We grew closer together as a couple and made so many great friendships.
Have you ever lived abroad? If so, send me advice! I would love some help with the potential challenges that WILL arise.
Have you ever wanted to live abroad. If so, tell us where!
Do you have any more specific questions or comments? Lay them on me!