Monday, May 25, 2015

Less than 24 hours....

We have packed, re-packed, and it is all lined up by the door. Tomorrow morning at 4:45, we will leave for the airport and arrive in Dallas around 9:30am. From there, we board our Hong Kong flight and fly for 15-16 hours! I keep getting different answers whenever I ask how long that flight is...but frankly, anything over 12 hours and it just doesn't matter, does it? It is a LONG trip.

If you've wondered what luggage for six looks like, see below... minus John Henry's. He is still packing. :(

I have snacks, books, activities and Advil...I may share some of it with the kids if they are nice.

Today, my mother is pulling out all the stops for us. She has cooked and baked and cleaned and invited all the family to come to lunch, then dessert and even supper see us off. My dear friend Davida made us some amazing cinnamon rolls for breakfast today, so I won't have to cook all day today. Seriously, we would have just starved...I refuse to buy more groceries and I also refuse to go out to eat, since we will be spending the next two weeks at least eating out. So, I am grateful we will have food and my fridge and pantry got cleaned out.

The plans for the next two weeks are to get to Hong Kong and stay in a hotel. We have an appointment on Tuesday first with a relocation agent to help us get our ID cards, open a bank account, and visit the FedEx office for Steve's final paperwork. Then we will spend a couple hours with a real estate agent to look at apartments. We have also been scheduled to spend another couple hours with him Wednesday morning "if we need it". So hopefully, this means it won't take too long to find a place!! We've given them some listings we found online as a guide, so I'm really praying we find a place big enough for our family.

The next couple weeks will be exciting and stressful, so I kept saying two things all week..."this will NOT be as stressful as having a child in the hospital". And "getting mad about that won't help. Let's just do it". So with those mantras...I go to Hong Kong.

Moving to Hong Kong...

We are moving to Hong Kong....Discovery Bay, Hong Kong, China to be exact. I've been asked by lots of friends and family to keep a journal or to blog about this adventure. I really don't know that I will have a lot to say, BUT this will be one way to keep track of our family travels, so here it is!

The details....My husband's company bases pilots in Hong Kong and he is taking a captain position in this domicile. This is a promotion for him and something he has been working toward for 13 years! The commitment is for two years. We have wanted to live overseas for as long as we've been married. I specifically wanted to do this while all my children were under the same roof, could remember it, and could learn and appreciate living abroad. This could not come at a better time. Lizzy is now 7 and will remember every detail. John is two years away from college. It just works out and we are so thankful!

What we know....we are 99% sure we will live in Discovery Bay, Hong Kong.


It is on Lantau Island, west of the main Hong Kong island. The large international airport is on this is Hong Kong Disney Land! Guess which one my family is most excited about?? We don't have a place to live and the company doesn't provide us an apartment, but they have a relocation company who will help us. See those high rise apartment buildings in the picture of Discovery Bay? That's normal housing for folks like us. The company offers us a monthly stipend to help with rent, but the cost of housing in Hong Kong is HIGH.... $5000-10000 a month high. We will leave all our furniture in the USA and just buy the basics for our life there, which the company will help us with. We intend to take clothes, musical instruments, homeschooling books and supplies, and not much else. We will also take the cat and dog....a whole separate post! We know we will have other families there from Steve's company and many other westerners living in this community. We know we will live in an apartment. We know it won't be big. We know we will not have a car. We know we will learn to use public transportation. I believe we also know that most folks in Hong Kong speak English and Cantonese. Mainland Chinese speak Mandarin. We don't know either, but I'm sure we will learn. We also know that homeschooling is legal and we will continue to homeschool. We know there are lots of Protestant churches nearby and we will visit around.

What we don't know...a LOT!! We don't have a place to live yet. We don't know if we will get time to do a house hunting trip before we actually move. We hope...but we just don't know. We don't know the exact date we will be going, but sometime the first part of August. We don't know exactly how we will manage it. Maybe stay in a hotel for a month and use that time to find a place....maybe rent something just for a month and again sue that time to search for permanent housing. Or go over and find a place in advance and move right in (my favorite option, but not sure it is doable).

What we need...grace...lots of grace! Right now, we are all focused on moving. We are all handling that differently. And right now, we have no idea the wonderful things that we will discover and experience over the next two years, but we know what we are leaving behind. Friends, family, traditions, and life as we know it is what we are leaving behind and that is just hard to do. Right now, we are spending all our time living and every single day something comes up that reminds us of what we will be missing. We still cannot imagine what we will get to do in our new life. So, please bear with me us while we walk through the leaving part. And when I cry over the last time my kids acolyte...understand. When I cry over not signing up for fall activities, forgive me. And when I have to let go of my plan, know that is hard, hard, hard for me, a list making planner.

So the time is growing close for us to move from our Trussville home to south Alabama for the summer... part of the staging plan for us right now. I want to see my family and spend time with them before we go and we want to vacate the house in order to rent it out before the fall. I'm sooooo looking forward to our time at our barn. We will be going to summer camp at Camp Sumatanga and the boys will be doing Boy Scout summer camp as well. But mostly, we will spend our time enjoying some quiet time in the country.