Getting Adjusted…

…to the time

It’s been a full week since we’ve arrived in China and we’re getting adjusted nicely. Plus, we’ve got a great team of people here that welcomed us. When people arrive on the team they are each assigned a family to help them get acquainted to the apartment and local area. They also help us in getting adjusted to the local time by making sure we have dinner plans with them, another family, or by providing a meal. This has given us goals to stay up a bit later each night and get out of the house a little. Nonetheless, we have had a few nights where we have just crashed. And since everyone’s been waking up at about 4am, I’m sure our new neighbours below us are not happy about the fact that we have moved in.


…to the food

One of the first things we did with our host family was to get some food at a nearby restaurant. Jacquelyn and I just about died and went to heaven when we got to eat some “real” Chinese food. Spicy green beans, lamb on a stick, and some other things that I don’t really know how to translate brought us right back to when we used to live in China. The kids, on the other hand, don’t have such positive memories of the food here…or any, for that matter, so we have been introducing them (sometimes through tears) to the local fare.


…to the apartment

Our apartment is really great. It’s 4 bedrooms and has a large living area. On arrival, Anna quickly located her room and was pleasantly surprised by it. She even said, “I think I can used to living here.” The boys are sharing a room and a bed for the time being. We hope to locate some bunk beds soon. The master bedroom is a good size with a king size bed. Our kitchen, though not big, is really nice. The table isn’t really designed for a family of 6, but we’ve enjoyed figuring out how to best make use of the space. We’re still hoping to get a few items for the house.


…to school

Anna and Micah started school this week. Lucas will start on Thursday when his teacher gets back from a conference out of town. Anna has done really great with everything. She was so anxious to get started and join the class that she could hardly contain herself. On the first day her teacher said she could eat lunch with me if she wanted or she could join the class. She chose the class. Micah has never been in school, so this is completely brand new to him. He’s baffled by the Chinese language. At one point He said, “What are those sounds people are making?” But he’s going to do great with time. Right now we have him enrolled in the half day program.


…to work

Today I had my first meeting with the team I’ll be working with. It was great to hear about what’s going on in the immediate future and how I will get to be involved. Other than that, I’ve just been focused on learning peoples names getting my office set up.

We made it to China!

After many days of packing parties and last minute preparations, we woke up on Monday, Jan 11th and started packing the van. Our friend Steve rented and drove a van to help take us and our 19 bags of checked luggage. In addition, Jacquelyn’s mom drove her van and Jacquelyn’s niece Sonja joined us as we made our way to JFK. Including our carry-on luggage, we made the trek with 25 bags.

The checkin process went easier than expected. Because we had a small baby, they put us in the special line, which we were thankful for so we didn’t have to snake through the already long line with our more than 1000 lbs of luggage. It took quite a while to get everything ticketed and tagged, so we were thankful for those that came along to help with moving the bags and watching the kids.

Luggage Galore

Speaking of the kids, they did really great throughout the process. As with her track record, Anna didn’t sleep a wink on the initial 15 hour flight, but then crashed on the second. Lucas slept the most, and Micah finally found a comfortable position to lay in when his body just couldn’t stay awake any longer. Eloise slept quite a bit on Mommy. On the flight, each person has his/her own entertainment center with games and movies, which helped keep the kids occupied. The kids each watched the “Minions” movie twice.



Just as had been planned, and after a brief layover in Shanghai, we arrived in Tianjin at 11:55pm on Tuesday. Our contact was waiting for us with two vans. The drive to our new home was about 30-40 mins. When we arrived, several people on the team here were gracious enough to help us at 1:30 in the morning to bring in all the bags to our new apartment. It was about 2am before we had everything in the apartment. All said and done, door to door, we spent about 29 hours traveling.


Waiting for a job

 # # #

About a month and a half ago my brother told me about a job opportunity in Nashville, TN, very near, and actually, associated with his own job. I read through the job requirements and agreed that the job could be perfect for me. I immediately applied for the job and submitted my resume to HR. With my experience and my brother’s voice in the hiring manager’s ear, I was quite sure that I would be offered the job. Or at least get an interview.

One of the pre requirements of the job was that I needed to take a manager’s test to see if I was manager material in general. I drove down to NYC and took the test and passed. (I got a parking ticket, too…) I was feeling pretty confident about the whole thing. When I initially talked with HR about this position, they said that it needed to be filled by mid-May. As it was already early May at that time, I thought things were going to move along quickly and I’d likely be heading to Nashville with in the month to interview in person and then, if all went well, be moving down my family a few weeks later.

Well, mid-May came and went with no updates on the position. My brother was confident that no one had been interviewed for the position. I contacted HR another time just to let the I know I was still interested in the job.

Finally, at the beginning of June, HR contacted me to let me know that I was no longer in the running for the position. Nathan did some research into it and found that one person had interviewed for the job and s/he was internal. Of course, that really sucked and I’m a bit upset that I didn’t even get an interview. It’s almost as if the position wasn’t really available.

Anyway, what I really started thing about was the psychological impact a possible move has on you. I remember when I was in middle school my mom told me that there was a possibility that my dad could be transferred – I think it was to Minnesota or something. The next day at school I was taking it all in, trying to set things into my memory so I wouldn’t forget about them. I wasn’t sad about the prospect of moving, just sentimental. That transfer ended up falling through and we never moved.

With the prospect of moving to another city for this job, both Jacquelyn and I had a difficult time of trying to move forward with our existing life. It certainly wasn’t as sentimental, as we’ve only been here less than 2 years. And in that 2 years, we’ve always felt like we could be ready to move again any time. But planning even for smaller thing like gymnastics for your children have an additional stressor. I mean, if we register, will we be able to get our money back? Should we plan on not doing the activity at all? I even struggled with my fish tank. I didn’t want to invest any more money into if we’re just going to sell it off or even take it with us to the new job. Should we buy a leaf blower? Should I resign from my volunteer positions at the church?

When the job opportunity fell through, I actually felt a sense of relief. The stress of possibly moving was pretty heavy. I may not have a better paying job with better opportunities for growth, but at least we were finally able to get our daughter enrolled in gymnastics camp.

The Movers are Here!

The movers have arrived! Not sure how they do it in other countries, but here it is full service. We’ve got a big pile of stuff completely n packed and mostly uncategorized and the movers are do it all! I’m pretty sure in the states you have to pack it all up yourself.

I remember when we moved from Dongguan to Beijing we decided to mail about 7 boxes. JK packed them really nicely. We got to the post office and they proceeded to unpack and examine every single item. Then they packed it in their own boxes. It was a 2 hour affair.

Anyway, as far as moving such a large amount of stuff, I definitely prefer the Chinese way.

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