Apartment in Sweden

We have found an apartment in Sweden! We’ll be moving to the town of Arvika in the beginning of August. The second floor is ours:

Isaac is now looking for jobs and we’re working out the details. At least we don’t have to worry about visas anymore; Isaac does not need a permit for Sweden because I am Norwegian.. The plan is to stay for a year and then return to Oslo.

Here are a few pictures from our apartment hunt last weekend:




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In the news

We were in the news this weekend! Click here for the news report, here for Saturday’s TV and here for Sunday’s TV broadcast. Hopefully other couples in our situation won’t have to go through the trouble we have had this year.

Isaac will get to stay in Norway until August 8th! So we have the summer to figure things out. We’re now looking for apartments in Sweden. The plan is to stay there for 6-12 months and then return to Oslo. Please pray for an apartment and jobs.

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Letter from UNE

Last week brought some good news: I have a job i get to keep until school starts in August! Finally all the pieces were falling into place, Olivia had been admitted to a kindergarten for the fall, I had a job and we had an apartment. All that was left to do was enjoy ordinary family life throughout the summer months.


Then a letter appeared in the mail that once again made a mess of it all. The letter we’d been waiting for with dread and excitement, one we did not expect to arrive for another month or so. It informed us Isaac has to leave Norway, and soon. July 8th it said, which was just over two weeks.

Now new plans need to be made. I am left in Norway with a full time job and no one to watch Olivia. Isaac is forced to leave his family and his new home.


We can handle this. We’ll get through this as well. But why is it necessary to split young families because of national boarders? What does society gain from such strict regulations? That I in reality am forced to choose between life as a single mother or leaving my home country feels so very unnecessary!

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Smiles in March

Here are a couple of things that make me smile this month (:


Watching our little angel explore her surroundings.



Living next to a beautiful, snow-covered lake.


The sun and blue sky.


Living in Oslo, getting together with old friends and making new ones.


Yellow Easter flowers.


Have a good Easter everyone!

Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In his great mercy he has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead..    1. Peter 1:3

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Your animation

We now live in Oslo! Please stop by for coffee if you are in the area 🙂

One happy family

Olivia playing with boxes




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The Art of Waiting

Latest news when it comes to Isaac’s residence permit: our complaint has now been passed on to UNE, the next level of bureaucracy. Assumed processing time: 7 months starting now.

We have waited 6 months, and are looking at another 7.

It is frustrating not being able to plan our future, not knowing whether we get to study as planned, having our lives put on hold.

Now we know we are only half-way done waiting. We can stop anxiously checking the mail every day, dreading and longing for an answer. We can live our lives without the fear that tomorrow our lives will be turned upside down.

But it is still a life of uncertainty. We cannot plan for the fall as we do not know if we get to stay. And Isaac cannot work or go to university.

We spend a significant part of our lives waiting. Waiting for the bus, waiting for exam results or feedback on an application. Waiting to meet that someone special. Waiting for answer to a prayer. Waiting for visas.

It can be hard to wait, and I think it is the hardest when you don’t know how long your wait will last. Not having a date, not being able to count the days makes the wait close to insufferable.

A good friend of mine used to point out that what we do while we wait matters. We might spend our whole lives waiting, so we have to live while we wait!

Now we know, we will be waiting for a while longer. So we will live our lives in the mean time. Enjoy watching Olivia grow, enjoy the time we get to share. Try to make a difference in the lives of the people we meet along the way.

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We have been offered a student apartment in Oslo! It is just big enough for the three of us, in close proximity to both the subway and great nature areas (Sognsvann), perfect for walks when Olivia will sleep nowhere but in a moving stroller. We have been dreaming of a home to call our own for what seems like a long time and this to be exactly what we’re looking for!

But our first reaction when we got the news was sadness. We thought we would have to give it up, which would mean going to the back of the line of people applying for student housing. As there was no knowing whether Isaac will get to stay in Norway or when we would get to know the result, at first it seemed unwise to bind ourselves to paying rent. Isaac is not allowed to work while we wait. So to finance the apartment I have to work. If Isaac were to suddenly be sent out of the country, I would have to give up said job to look after Olivia, leaving me with no way to pay rent.

I’m sure you can imagine our frustration at this point, as all we want is to establish a home and family life in Oslo.

After thinking it though and being assured that if the worst were to happen we would get help, we decided take the apartment in spite of all the uncertainties. Which means we are moving to Oslo March 1st and we are now packing in excitement!

Oslo is where we want to live, at least the next few years. I think some times it is necessary to act before you have all the answers. I know that God answers prayers and that nothing is impossible to him. Oslo is where the most doors seem to open up; I have a spot at a university there, it is an international city so there should be more options for Isaac there and now we have an affordable apartment there. I don’t know what will happen or how. But I have faith that God can provide for us no matter where we are and no matter the circumstances.

So in faith we go to Oslo, hoping for a home and a life there.


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About visas

The last half year we have been trying to get a residence permit for Isaac to stay in Norway. You might think that once you have married a Norwegian and you have a Norwegian child, getting a permit to stay in Norway ought to be fairly easy. If so you are wrong. I cannot provide for Isaac as required (defined as  having earned 232 000 kroner last year, equaling about 41600 USD), and even if there are exceptions none of them apply to us. There is a slim chance that an exception can be made given the circumstances, and we’re praying and hoping that such an exception will be made. In the mean time we’re trying to find a job for Isaac, but he is not allowed to work while we wait for the result.






I know that most people who marry someone of a different nationality than their own have to deal with visa issues at some point. Many also have to spend some time apart, which is difficult in it self. When there is a baby involved it becomes close to intolerable. Imagine how much a baby develops in just a couple weeks. It would break my heart if Isaac was forced to miss the “firsts” that are coming up these next months. First crawl, first time eating food, first word, first time sitting up by her self, first step…


Our first application for a residence permit has been denied. We have complained on this decision and provided some more documents and more detailed information. Isaac is allowed to stay in Norway until the process is over. But if it is denied again, then what? If that happens we don’t see many opportunities left for us in Norway and we would have to leave.

Maybe I was naive to live in China on my own, without a Norwegian school or organisation supporting me. Still I believe I learned things during my two years living, working and studying independently in Nanjing that I could not have learned any other way. I also believe this experience is very valuable even if I am left with no university credits to show for it. And now I might not be able to stay with my little family in my home country, because I have lived some years of my life slightly outside the Norwegian system.

I ask for a discussion: does not Olivia, a Norwegian baby, have the right to have her father in Norway even if he is not Norwegian? Or should Olivia move out of the country?


PS: Our case has been on national news, here’s the link. And here‘s a follow-up sent the next day.


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Roller coaster year

It is now more than a year since my last post, and what a year it has been! I want to compare this past year to a roller coaster, because I have never before had a year with such great heights and such low depths. And I am still on this roller coaster, but I’ll write more about that later.

First, I am now a missus! I married my darling Isaac this summer, and after six months of marriage I can say with certainty that I could not have found a better husband. I guess I could brag about what a great cook he is, his creativity, his musicality, how practical he is or his sense of romance, but instead I will post a picture so you can see for yourself how very handsome he is:


And here some pictures from the big day, most of them taken by Andreas Fadum (andrefad@online.no):

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Second, I am now the mother of a beautiful baby girl called Olivia. She is 3 months old and I absolutely adore her! Here’s a photographic summary of our time with her so far:

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We have also moved to Norway, here is proof:

Isaac skiing

I will not say much about the other side of the roller coaster; there have been some really tough months in between these high lights and they have made us stronger both individually and as a couple. God has proved himself faithful and life with him is always exciting, although not always easy.

Stay posted to see what we are doing now and where we are headed!

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October Updates

I’m sorry for posting a blanc post again, there’s something wrong with the post-throught-mail function (or maybe it was stopped by the Great Fire-Wall…) Anyway, this is what I meant to post:

It’s November! I’m sorry, again, for not writing in so long. October just went by so fast! Here’s what I’ve been up to:

1. I went to Shanghai to see Isaac’s family

For the National Day-holiday, me and Isaac went to see his family in Shanghai. We had a wonderful and relaxed family-weekend. Here’s a pictuer of me and his two younger sisters, Morley and Tori, we found some fun «hats» while shopping:

 2. I got a new room mate

My original arrangement (that a Chinese friend of mine would move in) fell through, so I’ve been without a room mate for a few months. Then, a couple of weeks ago Cici called me. She had seen my add at an expat site and wanted to take a look at the place. Ten days later she moved in. She’s from Southern China and she just arrived in Nanjing for work. So far we get along very well!

3. I got a 2nd job.

As I was not getting as many classes a week as I had hoped for at my first job, I found a second one. I still work at the first one, but I also teach Oral English at some middle schools now, grade 7 and 8.

It reminds me a lot of when I was first in China. Just like last time I don’t have a text book to teach from, just like last time I have so many students that I unfortunately won’t be able to learn all their names and just like last time I feel less than qualified for the job.

At the same time it is completely different. I have a list of topics given to me by my employer, I only go to the school for my lessons (so no office time) and I’m so busy with Chinese lessons, the other job and friends that I just barely have time for lesson planning. I definitely got what I asked for a mont ago!

4. Nanjing had a jazz festival

We did not go see the opening concert this time, but we went to some smaller concerts the first weekend of the festival and saw Ryan McNally Quartet (Canada), Mellow Motif (Thailand), Yuichiro Tokuda (Japan) and Stephan Köning Quartet (Germany).

5. I turned 21

Thank you to everyone who congratulated me on facebook! I can’t access it, but I do get notifications when people write to me. I had a great day. In the evening we went for dinner at a local Chinese restaurant. We had them put out tables on the side walk (we can do that cause we’ve got guanxi), it was great to enjoy one of the last autumn nights warm enough to sitt outside with good friends. And afterwards we went to Isaac’s place and played Apples to Apples. Cuty even got me a birthday cake with 21 candles ^^, (Thanks to Lynnea for the photoes!)

6. We went bowling as another bible study social

No more explaination needed, really. The extended cell group went bowling. Next social will be an advent one!

All in all, it was a good month and it was especially good to see how God came through for me with the things that seemed difficult at the beginning of the month!


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