There are so many factors that go into making a decision like moving abroad, and one of our go to's for any big decision we make, is to write out a pros and cons list. It's important to remember when making a pros and cons, that each item carries a different amount of weight, so just because one area has a longer list, doesn't necessarily mean it's the right answer.
Our list was a resounding win for China, but I thought I'd mention the top 3 pros and cons we found while exploring this option.
All of our cons had a similar theme, as you'll notice-
#1 Moving away from family:
Right now we live really close to my parents and siblings and relatively close to some extended family. We love having Sunday dinners with our families, and always having a place to go and people to help. I'm mostly going to miss the free babysitting ;) !! In all seriousness though, the support of family will be missed.
#2 Moving our kids from their home:
This process has been hard on our children. The overwhelming responsibilities we have to get done, have left us with little energy for our children. They have definitely been acting our for our attention, and it's been hard for them to see their toys and other belongings being sold or thrown out. Ellie is particularly sad to have a new home, she loves our house and our neighbors, and its been heartbreak to explain the changes to her.
#3 Feeling Isolated once we get to China:
I fear that when we get to China, the language barrier and new changes will make us feel isolated. It's always hard to make new friends when you move, but with language and cultural barriers I worry it will feel impossible, and that we'll feel depressed.
Those are some points that we've seriously considered, and we are already starting to see unfold, but here are the top 3 reasons that made us ultimately decide to go-
#1 Our children.
As hard as it is to see them cry over their old toys, we want something else for them. We want them to experience different cultures and understand the world a little better. As parents one of our goals is to try NOT to raise ignorant human beings, and we believe this will help.
#2 Learn a new language.
We are putting a lot of effort into trying to learn Chinese, we feel it will benefit our children's future, Drew's professional goals, and give us a greater perspective of the Chinese culture.
#3 Work/Life balance.
In our situation, Drew will only be legally allowed to work 25 hours, so we will be able to have a lot more time as a family. We hope it will build stronger bonds between us and allow us to be more present in our children lives. Along with this comes the cost of living. With the cost of living being significantly lower than the United States, we will be able to travel and do some of the things we've always dreamed of doing.
I could go on and on about the pros we've found for our situations, which is obviously why we decided to go, but there were still many nights filled with research, thought , conversation, and prayer. Every one's situation is different, but we're excited ours is pointing us in this direction.