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Jul 18, 2012
03:10 PM

Contemplating Family Life in China

A critical job may require a southeast Michigan family of eight to uproot to Shanghai. Mom ponders what might change – particularly, practicing her faith.

Contemplating Family Life in China

We take turns flipping through the real estate guide – casually, sporadically, late at night, early morning. We consider high-rise convenience vs. the more family-friendly housing developments, which would require a driver to navigate Shanghai.

We continue with our summer, as if this possibility – moving our family of eight to China for work – is not a possibility. Trips to the pool, Oakland County 4-H Fair, outings with the Kids Bowl Free program, laughter, late-night games, movies – all while the specter of leaving our community of 15 years, the only home we have ever known – is hanging in the background.

We said "no thanks" seven different ways, leading with the primary reason: We are unable to practice our faith in communist China. All reasons to defer such an "opportunity" were deemed unimportant in the face of the current economic climate.

I think we are in year seven of repeating the Michigan mantra, "Thanks be to God, we still have a job!" This follows all demands for extended travel, late nights, middle-of-the-night conference calls to China, weekend work commitments. "Well, thanks be to God, we still have a job!"

That job may now require us to uproot our family, leaving a close-knit homeschooling community, faith community, wonderful neighborhood and extended family of grandparents, aunts, uncles and cousins. We wait. We contemplate a life without mass, the Holy Eucharist, confession. Could I take a two-year supply of consecrated hosts to China? The thought of the Body of Christ going through Metro Airport security quickly ends that line of thought.

We make plans to redecorate our eldest daughter's bedroom for her December birthday, wondering if we will still be in this house to decorate. We move forward with necessary planning for a homeschool program we help run, uncertain if we will be in the country to execute the plans.

We live our life as we know it. We treasure unscheduled summer days, waiting to hear whether our future and our fortunes will soon belong to China.

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