I recently posted this on my Facebook page:

“Big changes ahead. As my mother’s condition has continued to worsen (dementia and/or Alzheimer’s), we have decided to move stateside to assist with her care. Two weeks ago we mailed the last of our green card application documents and we’re waiting for an interview at the American Embassy. We don’t have a departure date yet but we’re aiming for May. Before we leave Japan we’ll spend time in both Tokyo and Nagoya to say lots of goodbyes. We feel both sadness and excitement to see what God has for us in the next stage of our lives.”

There is so much I could say about the whole thing. First of all, I think of how happy I’ll be to see my dear mother enjoying time with Sophie, the grandchild who she longs to hold. I also often think to myself, will I be able to adjust to life back in the US? (I haven’t actually lived in the US in over six years – I lived in Nagoya from 2008-2009, got married in 2010 and moved to Germany for two years, and we moved to Ishinomaki in 2012).

To be honest, the hardest part about leaving is thinking of saying goodbyes to people and not knowing if or when I’ll see them again. I have a special place in my heart for the elderly folks at the nursing home who we’ve come to love so very much. Saying goodbye to them will be the hardest due to their age. I am certain the next time we visit several of them won’t be there anymore. And just thinking about that makes me want to cry.

We don’t know where in the US where we’ll be living but we have some ideas. Both of our top two choices have full immersion German preschools/ kindergarten which I think is awesome. We do know we won’t be living in NJ (where my mom lives) due to many factors including how expensive NJ is and lack of job opportunities. We would ideally like to move my mom where we are at some point although that seems like a very daunting task. Wherever we do wind up we’d love to continue to serve and reach out to Japanese folks. Some of my closest friends have been Japanese who I met in the US. I am really excited about our future and see what God has in store.