Tuesday, February 06, 2018

Yes, we are moving back to the United States this coming April...


I lightly mentioned on my blog last March or April 2017 that we were *very* seriously thinking about moving back to the US.

Why do we want to move back to the states? In a nutshell, it’s simply just time. Branden is in the 10th grade right now. Which means in 2 short years, he will graduate high school and would be going off to university. If you do know us in real life. Then you will know, we have *always* said our kids will both be going to college/university in the U.S. And our kids have always wanted to go to university in the states too. We *never* wanted them to go to college in Japan. We always imagined our kids as adults...in the distant future... living in the US. Getting married in the US, raising family’s in the US. And we (Noboru and I would meanwhile be stuck in Japan) If you know how important family is to us. Then you will know the closer we got especially after Bran started high school here. We started thinking that time is growing closer. Our first thought was, we can send Branden to go to university in Guam. However, the career he wants. It’s best for him to be in the US mainland. Would we just see Branden once a year, if he were in the US mainland alone? Sure I could fly over there for free with our flight benefits. But with Noah in school here... time and school holidays matching up would be an issue. So we had a lot to think about. Many long discussions, important ones. Many extremely serious long talks. We thought why don’t...I move to the states with both kids. And Noboru remain in Japan working. But would that be... for all of eternity? How unbelievably sad for a family who... is as close as we are. However...we did have 3 years still to decide. And so we felt we had a few years to think about a plan more. But the more we thought about it...we really had not much time to decide which way we were to decide such a permanent thing. Meaning would we remain in Japan forever or make the move now, before it’s too late.

JHS uniforms cost about $1,200.00 US dollars. Depending on which type of uniform your JHS has. Some can be as cheap as $900.00 bucks. But our particular JHS uniform for our town... cost us about $1,200.00 US dollars. It was insanely expensive and yes the hope is that your child will use that uniform for all 3 years of JHS in Japan. So considering Noah is still an elementary school aged kiddo. He’s in his final year, final last month or so of elementary life right now. So considering the insane cost of JHS uniforms. And no...Noah’s way thinner and shorter than Branden was at the same age and so nope... they can NOT use the same uniform. Anyways...considering the cost of the uniform. We sort of decided. If we would make a move back to the United States of America...it would have to be *before* Noah started JHS...so we wouldn’t have to plunk down that heavy sum for a uniform that he wouldn’t get 3 years usage out of. Or we would stay in Japan for the  next 3 years ...so we could get the full usage out of the JHS uniform.  Also considering Branden would be ready for university in 2 years. That would mean no matter where Branden would go to university...I would be glued to Japan for 1 final year... because of Noah’s final year of JHS. And so that 1 odd misc. overlapping year....was a problem for us too. A huge one. Again though...it was just something we quietly talked about in our household. Which is the right route to take. What is the way we should go. And I firmly believe....only YOU and your loved ones...know the path *you* should be on.

And then things started to change at my husband's place of work. And it started to become extremely obvious to us... that it would be best and smartest for Noboru to transfer back to the US region, same company. I can say no more on that subject. But let’s just say....moving now became best for us all. Our entire family. So...after all was said and done. We decided it is best for all 4 of us. To move to the US mainland. And start a new life together. It’s best for Noboru and his career (thank god, Noboru has an American high school diploma, American university degrees, yes more than one, all of his many certifcates are issued from the FAA, because that means moving back to America for us, was *always* an option we had and thank goodness my husband fluently speaks English and has a career for an American company too, so our option of life in the US was always open for us). It’s totally best for Branden to have his parents there and brother.... when he’s in his final 2 years of high school and while he starts university, he can live at home because it’ll be cheaper, but he’ll have his own car, and get to go whenever he pleases when he’s university aged of course. It’s also completely best for Noah to have his family all intact and happily together. And it’s best for me to move back to my home country too. Remember when we originally moved to Japan... it was for a short 5 year contract. Granted we stayed for 15 long amazing years. And we had an unbelievably wonderful life in Japan. Built the home that we love very much and needed and we felt such comfort living in all these years. I have also had such an amazing good group of high quality real life friends in Japan too, meaning they cared deeply for my  family and I, we shared each others lives, when life got frustrating it was peace of mind to say...let’s go to lunch...I could really use it. Or even in the good times...to say...hey let’s go to lunch and chat for hours...and knowing they’d always be game for that.  And knowing they’d always be there and me for them too. But while I will miss my friends in Japan immensely.... I am beyond excited to say that I am going to love every minute of being able to move back to my home country for good.

Branden, Noah and I will be leaving Japan and moving to the US in April 2018. Noboru will be moving the second he gets his green card. I have already filed our petition for his USA immigrant visa (green card application) last April 2017. There are 3 steps. Step 1 is always the longest and hardest hurdle. Then step 2 and then step 3. We have completed and passed step 1. We got word the last week of January 2018. And are now onto step 2. Step 1 took about 10 full months to complete. And so when will Noboru join us in America? It could be as quickly as 6 months or as long as 1 year. As soon as he gets his green card he’s leaving to the US. But he *will* get approved and he *will* be moving to the U.S. for good. Permanently. We will rent a house at first the kids and I... but yes we will buy ourselves a new house or super nice 2 story type townhome with a fireplace and a garage for our vehicles....you know what I mean...it’s going to be so super nice, central heating and air of course, just like we have here, but we’ll wait until Noboru gets there for that.  But yes...for the small handful of you that already knew this and thank you for keeping quiet about this, until I was ready to let the rest of you all know. But we’re just so happy to be able to start this new adventure. Of relocating back to America. And it’s just going to be really lovely. Just  to have a totally cool new place for us all to call home in the US. What a dream... that has now turned to our new reality. Can we stay in Japan, if we want to? Short answer. Yes. But quite frankly... we don’t want to anymore. It’s the age of our kids. It’s time. It’s the best most perfect time...we are still young enough...to start anew. And you know how hard we work. Look at the home we created in Japan. Can’t you just imagine the type of place we’ll eventually end up with in the states? It’s going to be even better, than our home in Japan. I know us....and I know what we’re capable of.

I’m relieved and thankful that Noah doesn’t have to go to Japanese JHS. Branden went to the 1 and only local JHS in our tiny town. And he did wonderfully. However yes it is soul crushing. Yes you will be ranked. You will be told you are the 1st place in English or 5th place in math. Branden was and is a good student so he did amazingly good. But yes...being told continually all 3 years how you rank compared to your classmates. It’s hard mentally on kids. Anyone who says likewise is full of crap. Noah gets excellent grades. And I am sure he would ride high in a Japanese JHS too. But I’m just glad that he doesn’t have to endure that. I found Japanese yochien amazing. Japanese elementary school was *so* fun. I find Japanese high school the best...the absolute best. So fun! But yes...I have had a son and he did indeed go to all 3 years of Japanese JHS and I felt it was horrible. He studied all the time. Branden never complained. He handled it like a boss. Granted my son passed with flying colors. Thank you Kumon for that. But yep...*so* glad Noah will *never* have to attend 1 single day of a Japanese JHS.

Branden will go to an American high school for 2 years. And get his high school diploma from an American high school and then move onto an American university. Noah meanwhile will have done only half of his education in Japan. Grades 1-6. And he will do the other half...grades 7-12th grade in the United States. So Noah’s American education will be *quite* extensive. Plus Noah will also attend university in the US. 

Sorry not intending to make this longer than a book... but since it's pretty major news. It's only obvious there's a lot to say. I have been wanting to tell you all since August, but I kept super quiet about our news. Now I am relieved that I have finally said it out loud on here. If ever there was a time to keep reading this blog...it’s now. You will get to see us prepare to move. Pack up. Move. Enroll the kids in school in the Fall. Yes, I have spoken to the school district in America already about Bran and Noah already and we agreed it’s best for them to start in the Fall, though they will be tested and assessed and stuff before the kids in the US go on summer break. Anyway...now I can start writing more in detail about what’s really going on. I have held off for so long sharing this. But now it’s time. Definitely between now and the next year...you will really want to stay tuned with what’s happening here with us. It’s going to be a crazy wild fun ride. And I’m taking you all along....just virtually of course via this blog. : )