....Go on an Adventure! Borrowing a line from the Cat and the Hat....The Acord family is about to "GO" on a big adventure! It is finally all official and we can finally share with everyone something that we have been planning and praying over for many, many months. We are packing up and moving to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia!
Yes, you read that correctly! It has been a long and at times stressful process to get to the place where we could share this with all of our friends and make it public. It has always been a desire of ours to move overseas but we were not sure when or if that would ever happen for us.
Here is a condensed version of our journey to get here..... Shortly after we found out we were pregnant with Graham, John approached me with the idea of him applying for a job with Saudi Aramco. I didn't really know what I thought about it but we knew the application/interview/visa process was LONG so I said to go ahead and look more into it and we would pray, talk, consider it as we went along. John applied, we waited for awhile, prayed, researched the opportunity, had many late night talks and then we finally got the notice that he had an interview. The interview went well and he was told to pretty much expect an offer. We went to an orientation to gather more information to help us decide if this was the right move for our family. Then we waited some more, prayed a whole lot, made pro/con lists, prayed more, sought guidance from my parents and accountability partners, talked through all of the scenarios and after waiting a little bit more and we received word late February that an offer was extended. Our prayer throughout this was that as much as we felt this was right, what we wanted and the next step for our family, if we did not both have absolute peace when the offer came that we wouldn't do it. Well, when we saw the FedEx package at our door with all the details we were excited and both felt God telling us that this was right. So, a couple of days before Graham was born, we signed the papers and sent them back. I told John that if we were going to do this that I would need to sign and send back the paperwork before Graham came or otherwise the stress and insanity of having a baby would make me back out! After we accepted the offer we entered a whole new stage of waiting and craziness. We had LOTS of paperwork and also had to rush on getting Graham's birth certificate and passport in order to finalize everything. After a couple of stressful weeks we finally got everything back to Aramco and then we just had to wait, and wait and wait until all our medical cleared, the kids school application was accepted, John's background investigation cleared and we received our visas from the Saudi embassy. As the days continued to pass and we were getting closer and closer to our anticipated leave date without the official word that we could give notice to John's work, put our house on the market and the ability to share the news with friends....we were getting stressed, overwhelmed and frustrated to say the least. Finally yesterday we received word that we had our visas and all contingencies have cleared and we were good to go.
So...we are scheduled to leave on May 19 which is only three weeks from tomorrow! Which is crazy to us and as much as we knew this day was coming when we accepted the offer in March it has come a whole lot quicker than we thought. We still have a whole bunch to do to get us and our dog Titus (we have hired a pet relocation company to help us with that since it is a HUGE and COMPLICATED process to get a dog into Saudi...more on that another day) to Saudi! We are excited to finally share this with everyone and let everyone into what has been going on in our lives and everything that is about to come! In the next several days, I will try to catch everyone up on where we are going, where we are living and anything else I can think of! We are really excited about this opportunity and phase of life for our family and feel strongly that this is where God is calling us at this time. We are extremely sad to be leaving our family, a wonderful community of friends and a strong church home and that has been the hardest part about making the decision to move. And I have been trying not to focus on that part because then I would not go....but we are trusting God that our relationships that we have formed here will withstand the time apart and distance and that the time that we have spent here being blessed with an amazing biblical community and biblical teaching from our church home has prepared us to build a new community in Saudi and have prepared us a family and a couple to go on this adventure. Life will be a little crazy these next few weeks so please keep us in your prayers!