Saturday, August 6, 2011

Moving On?

We've now been home from our summer vacation for a little over two weeks. And in that time, we have not been able to do much of anything other than think about and talk about packing up our life and moving back to my home of South Carolina.

We go through this pattern for a few days every single time that we head down South for a visit.  But the conversations usually only last a day or so, and they never move past the "dream" state.

Not this time.

This time, we are seriously talking about it.  We're doing the necessary research. We're weighing our options and trying to make the best decision for our family.

But this is no easy decision to make.  This would be life changing for us.  We're talking about a move into and then across another country.  Trust me, I would know... I made the exact opposite move of what we are now considering just over 9 years ago.

We've spoken to an immigration lawyer and with several Canada/US Border agents, and it appears that we have plenty of time to make a decision about what we want to do.  Ideally, we would prefer to move next summer as soon as Reagan is done with Kindergarten, but due to new immigration processes between the US and Canada, that is not possible.  Well, it's possible that we could move tomorrow, but it wouldn't be the completely LEGAL route to take!!! Because we don't want to move in the middle of a school year, the soonest we are looking at would be July 2013.  That is a long time away.  The good news with that timeframe is that, by then, I will have become a Canadian citizen, meaning that I could move between the two countries back and forth as much as I want to.  (I am currently a permanent resident of Canada, not yet a citizen.)  The bad news with that timeframe is that our children will be even more established and settled in our current life here, making it harder to uproot them.  So we are extremely confused about what to do.

Because of our confusion, Ryan and I sat down separately and created individual lists as to the pros & cons of moving and the pros & cons of staying. Our lists were almost identical when we later compared them!  The reasons to move outnumbered the reasons to stay, but not by much.

But there is a problem that is holding us back...  And this problem is big enough to cause us to stop the planning process completely.  Neither Ryan nor I have any form of employment in the States, and with the current state of the economy and the current unemployment rate, there is no guarantee that either of us would be able to get a job.  Even though we could be mortgage-free and have only half of the monthly bills down there that we have here, it wouldn't make a hill of beans of difference if neither of us was making an income to pay those bills! And truthfully, we only want Ryan to have to get a job there because we both love the fact that I am able to stay home with our kids here while they are young.  Based on the conversations that we have had with people in the same industry as Ryan, we have learned that he would probably only be making a THIRD of what he gets paid here, as he would be starting his career over.

And Ryan has a REALLY REALLY good job here!  That is the #1 reason on his list for staying.  He nor I see the benefit in giving up a position that he has been in now for over 17 years.  He loves his job.  He claims that he doesn't love all of the headaches that come with it, but I think he is full of bologna when he says that. He literally walks around our house on the weekends like he is going to go insane if he doesn't find something to do to keep himself busy!  So I'm not so sure that the slower style of Southern life would necessarily suit my husband.

We have decided to complete the necessary paperwork to claim the right to US citizenship that is owed to both of our kids.  Technically, they are automatically US citizens since I gave birth to them, and I am a US Citizen.  But there is a lot of legal mess that we have to do to make it official for the two of them.

However, we just can't seem to bring ourselves to start the paperwork for Ryan. Sure, we could submit all the paperwork and then change our minds, but what would be the point in that?  It would be a waste of a LOT of money, as the immigration process for him would be expensive.  So, we are waiting until we know 100% for sure what we want to do.

Lord only knows if and when that will ever happen...

UPDATE:  It is now February 2012, and we still have not submitted any paperwork for Ryan.   We realize that this makes our dream of moving to South Carolina about as realistic as our dream of winning the lottery... pretty tough to accomplish when we don't buy any lottery tickets!  But it is just such a big decision to make that we know we can't rush it...

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