Saturday, April 22, 2017

Are we moving back to the United States?

A small handful of my family know. And 2 of my in real life friends ( my most closest friends) here in Japan already know. And they have known since Fall 2016. But Noboru, Bran, Noah and I have known since the end of Summer 2016. Keeping things completely quiet has been honestly really hard. But, I think now is a good time to let ya'll know. That there is a 90% chance that we are most definitely moving back to America. Could be even a 95% chance. But, I always prefer lean towards a low-ball conservative number, so I'll stay comfortably at 90%... that yes we will indeed be returning back to the United States permanently. Umm. There is a lot that I cannot tell you. And it's not because I am being secret squirrel about things. But it's just that I can't say. And for that I am sorry. For the past year or two we have been hearing things through the grapevine at my husbands work. And we blew it off, as just talk. And since last summer. Summer 2016. It was no longer just talk. And so as husband and wife we had a serious life changing talk. "Wow...it seems that moving back to America seems like it's going to be happening. How do you feel about it?" And so we both talked. And we both feel pretty good about it. I also want to point out. It's not Noboru saying or pressuring that...he wants to move. And it's also not me saying or pressuring either. It's job related and that's why and that is all, I can say on that.  It's just...for Noboru...a smarter wiser safer choice because of his job. Since he works for an American company and headquarters and many hubs are there. When will we be moving? In about 3 years. Noboru and I were married and living in the United States when Branden was born. Noboru had a green card. We did things all legally obviously. However when we moved to Japan. And for what it's worth, we never moved to Japan as in forever and ever and we'd die here type length anyways. We always knew because of my husbands job that we could get pulled back to America at *any* time. And we always knew that. Noboru kept his green card. However when you enter the U.S. They do not like it... if you are a green card holder and are living abroad for an extended amount of time. And that's what was happening to Noboru. We have lived in Japan for 14 years now. But by year 9, Noboru was  getting a strong/stern talking to... every time we entered the United States. The immigration guy would tell Noboru..."if you are living in Japan, you should give up your green card" "Because it seems like you don't need it, if you're living in Japan" So every freaking time...whether we'd enter Hawaii on vacation Or on our way to Denver. He'd get... told off basically about his having a green card that he wasn't using. And finally Noboru said...I am driving down to the Tokyo Embassy and giving my green card back! And so he did. And so he has been entering America as a visitor these past 5 years and he's been so happy. However...he's also been green card-less. Lucky that I am obviously an American citizen. And we have been married for ages. And have 2 kids. So, at the beginning of April 2017, we filled out the paperwork for Noboru to get a green card again. So that he will be allowed to live in America again legally and as long as he wants and also be allowed to work. We sent the paperwork off to Detroit. And we awaited an email. And this picture is a blurb from the email they sent me. So yes, the ball for us is already rolling and things are moving forward for this. Basically it says the application is being processed and they appointed our case to the immigration office in Nebraska. I am assuming our case was sent to Nebraska because my home state is Colorado. And those 2 states are right next to each other. They gave us an official case # and stuff. And said to await the letter coming to our home in Japan. 

It arrived last week. USCIS, stands for the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services. How long will it take for Noboru to be granted a green card. I'm assuming 1 solid year. Could be sooner, could be later. But, I'd say around there. We would like to stay in Japan for 3 more years though.  But yes...more than likely...yes we will be returning and relocating back to America.

Also want to say. I do totally *love* my life here in Japan. I live in a gorgeous American imported home that my husband had built especially for me to feel more comfortable living in Japan. With central heating in the cold winter time and central air in the summer time. The hottest floor heating that feels like we're walking on a pancake griddle all winter long. We have solar panels that make the cost for our central heating zero and we even make money in the Summer and Spring and Fall from our solar panels. We have a beautiful backyard overlooking rice fields for as far as the eye can see. And I have really good solid friends here in Japan, foreigners like myself and Japanese besties too. I seriously have amazing irl friends here. That live near-ish me. I have foreign friends in Narita City (Chiba) and foreign friends in Inzai (Chiba) and Ibaraki. And I love my town. I love my rural Japan life. I love the safety. I love that my son can hop on his bike and I feel that he's safe. I love Noah's elementary school. I love Branden's high school. His high school is the absolute best best best! I love my electric car. I truly have a fantastic life here. We 4 are all very happy here. But...bottom line is...we go where Noboru's job is safest and most secure. Will he still be working for the same company in the states? Of course. But in about 3 years he will be asking for an official unilateral transfer within the company. And as soon as he puts that in writing, he will have a set date that we will need to leave Japan (job-wise) and be at the new, but same job just different location.

Headquarters are in Atlanta. But some of their hubs are.... New York (sorry not happening because neither of us want to live there), Atlanta (not happening either, we just don't want to live there), Los Angeles California, Minneapolis MN, Salt Lake City, Utah, Seattle Washington and Honolulu, Hawaii. We have talked extensively about it with the kids too. And we have it narrowed down to 3 places that we would like to choose from the list.

Noboru keeps telling Noah. "You are probably not going to be going to high school here. And maybe not even finish JHS here. But *if* you go to high school in Japan, you will be going to Branden's high school."


Anyways, thanks for always reading here and getting to know us and watching my kids grow up via this blog. And most definitely...you really need to keep your eyes here, these next 3 years. Because I think these next 3 years will be exciting and full of change for us. And we will just try to enjoy the heck out of our life here in rural Japan. For however long that we're here. And hey...if we end up staying in Japan longer or permanently then that's fine too. Because like I said, we do love our life here. But...it seems that yes a change will definitely be coming. Noboru wouldn't have plunked down $550 US about 60,000 yen for the fees for the processing of his application. And that's just the beginning of the fees. But yes...if he wasn't serious about it... he wouldn't be paying the fees and going through all this process of getting a green card again. So....we'll just see how things play out. In the meantime I will still be posting about... our regular day to day type life stuff. But at least this way, we're all on the same page now. If you know what I mean. : )