If you observed our lives from afar, it would appear that we decided to move to Thailand a few months ago and... zip, zap, zoop... here we are well on our way to moving across the Pacific Ocean.
This perspective is entirely incorrect. Below is a bare bones outline of the years we have spent planning this big move. It's still way oversimplified, but it gives you an idea of the time and intentionality it is taking to move our family to another country.
1980s I am born to missionary parents. Nature? Nurture? I don't know what to blame it on, but I grow up loving missions and anything cross-cultural.
2007 I find myself head over heels for a young man who has never really thought about those things. Me, "Hey love, I need to know: Are you open to doing missions someday? Because if not, we need to talk."
Michael thinks for a couple of days.
"Yes, I am open."
Me, "Ok, great."
(Fun fact: around this time, Michael was really into puns and I hated puns. Now, eight years later, I almost titled this post "Thaimline." I still hate puns. I just now join in creating those hideous things.)
2009 We tie the knot.
January 2012 Vacation to Thailand to visit Michael's mom's family and to do the touristy thing.
January 2013 I am seven months pregnant and Michael goes out of town for a couple of weeks to attend a missions conference with his students. I feel a little bored/unsettled with life and I ask God, "Shake things up. DO something." Michael calls me from St. Louis, "Hey love, wouldn't it be awesome to transplant our family to Thailand?" I hadn't thought much about missions for a few years and I feel a little unsure, but the underlying desire is still there and I respond, "Yes."
February 2013 Grace is born. We are slammed with unfathomable amounts of exhaustion and joy. Thailand, hold on a minute.
June 2013 We think, pray, talk to a few trusted people and decide, yes, we want to pursue this Thailand thing. And begin researching and networking to figure out what we might possibly do.
June 2014 Trip to Bangkok to check out some awesome potential orgs to partner with.
July 2014 I quit working a normal job so I can focus on home, kids, and getting us to Thailand.
September 2014 Hello, baby Cora!
December 2014/January 2015 Acceptance into our missions organization, begin fundraising.
Summer 2015 Michael's work with Intervarsity ends and we begin full time employment with our missions organization. We attend a training in Colorado.
September 2015 Fully funded.
Fall/Winter 2015 Get rid of lots of stuff, complete required readings, last visits with family and friends.
January 2016 Adventure begins.
There you have it. By my calculations we've been working on getting our family to Thailand for almost three years.