In 2015, Jeremy and I decided that we wanted to start pursuing our desire to live abroad with the kids. There were multiple reasons for deciding to pursue the desire. It would be an injustice to my readers to say it was not partially due to the political climate that was in the US at the time. We have very strong beliefs about rights for families and parents to make decisions based on personal beliefs. We saw rights being taken and threatened each day in the US and thought it would be a good time to live abroad and see what would happen in the following years. With these thoughts, we started to research countries we would be interested in moving to and living in. We wanted the freedom to home school, if we chose to continue doing so, and we wanted the freedom to make medical decisions for ourselves and kids, specifically regarding vaccines. We came up with a few countries and decided to look for a job in New Zealand first. No rhyme or reason to our choice, we just thought it would a place that would make an easy transition for the kids. Having worked overseas, I thought it would take years for Jeremy to find a job and consequently us move. Jeremy started updating his resume and looking for jobs late February/early March. By April, he had 2 interviews lined up with 2 different companies in NZ. Even with this, I thought there was no way he would get a job quickly. After interviewing with both companies, Jeremy was offered the positions in June. I was in shock. I just had a baby June 3rd and the thought of moving overseas seemed insurmountable. Thank goodness God had given me such great friends with great organizational skills and drive. I couldn't have accomplished this move without them. We sold our rental property the first week it was on the market. Our residence sold the first day it was listed. We sold both cars, no issue. We sold most of our household items. We packed up two 5x5x5 crates and shipped them to NZ. Our visas processed in record time. Our visa adviser told us it would take 4-6 weeks to process visas. Jeremy’s was applied for first and it came back approved in 2 weeks. The visa adviser was in shock it happened so quickly. The rest of our visa applications were then sent in. They were approved in ONE DAY! This was unheard of! It truly was amazing. A process that our visa adviser had never seen processed faster than 4 weeks was completed in 2 weeks and 2 days. The move became really "real", quick. I spent weeks preparing for the move but not processing the move emotionally. The week before the move, the emotions came on strong. The thought of leaving the friends that God had put in my life was overwhelming and I began to grieve as if someone had died. How could God want me to move my young family across the world so far away from my mom, my sisters and my friends! God made it very clear that this was his plan for our family. EVERYTHING fell into place with no pushing from our end. All the doors were wide open even to the smallest details.
Today as we arrive in NZ, I am in awe of God’s provision and calling. He had prepared the way. We had too much weight in our carry on luggage and we would have had to pay hundreds of dollars to take it but God provided an agent who waived the fee. The kids were wonderful on the 12 hour flight from LAX to Auckland. We had great seats with room for them to move.
I don’t know what God has in store for us. I do know it hurts more than I can express to leave the ones I love and I am so close to. I am excited for the adventure but pray God brings me close friends soon. Some one asked me what I was worried about the most in moving my family to NZ. It is not about the house, schooling for the kids, climate, culture etc but I worry about finding friends that can help fill the expansive chasm in my heart right now. I feel so much pain and agony in the thought of never living with those same friends surrounding me again. It hurts to my very core. Today I truly realized how blessed I am to have such a hurt. Because this hurt means one thing, I have been blessed to have been so close to so many beautiful, encouraging, loving women. Many long for this type of friendship and I have been given many. I will treasure those friendships forever. I will rest in the knowledge that I will once again live with those woman when we enter eternity.
|Annabeth was not happy in the carrier so we held her A LOT during our travels.|
|The boys managing the luggage (each bag was 50lbs and each carry on 15lbs). They each pushed a cart|
|Johanna tired of the traveling|