It’s like a wedding, really.

And you know how that goes.

After months of planning down to the very last detail, fretting over color schemes, photographers, and multi-level tiered cakes, eventually it just happens.

You walk down the aisle. He waits for you.

You say I do. He does, too.

Everyone eats. Everyone dances.

And then you go home … married.

No matter how well you planned or how much money you paid, something inevitably goes wrong. (In our case it was a broken air conditioner in the church sanctuary on a lovely, humid New England summer day).

But still … you’re married.

And such is also the case with moving to China.

Although moving to China is perhaps a less common occurrence than getting married, it is nonetheless just as detail-intensive (if not more!) and equally nerve-wracking!

This afternoon — after months of planning and preparation — we will board a plane for Beijing, China.

And just like our wedding, it hasn’t always been easy and it hasn’t gone exactly according to plan … but nonetheless, it is happening.

And in just over 24 hours, we will have moved to China.

Months of planning, over.

Evenings of stress, forgotten.

Unfounded fears, dismissed.

No matter what may go wrong, we’ll still be in China.

For the next twelve months, this will be our home. This will be where we work. This will be where we make new friends.

We’re excited for what the coming year holds, and we’re even more excited to have most of the details of planning such a move behind us now.

No more filling out change-of-address forms. No more packing. No more asking, “What are we forgetting?”

Now we can focus on new jobs. Now we can focus on learning a new language and immersing ourselves in a new and exciting culture. Now we can start to build the relationships that we will come to cherish over the coming year.

But as much as we will gain from this new adventure, we will also sacrifice.

People we love will get married and we won’t be there to celebrate. Our dear friends will have babies and we won’t meet the kids until they’re practically walking.  Others will simply move away.

People will change, and so will we.

But that’s the price of progress sometimes, right? Sacrifice. Temporary loss for greater future gain.

We know this is the right choice for us at this time in our lives. And though we celebrate the opportunity it affords us both, we mourn the people we will leave behind.

To our family and friends, please know we love you dearly and will miss you greatly.

Thank you for your support, encouragement, and assistance during this exciting, but challenging transition.

We’ll see you again soon, and remember, there’s an air mattress with your name on it waiting for you in China.

Love,

Justin & Ellen