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.
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!
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
We now live in Oslo! Please stop by for coffee if you are in the area 🙂
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.
In a few minutes I’ll be on a plane heading for Nanjing. These were the thoughts bouncing around in my head the night before I left for China a bit less than two years ago. I feel like the girl who’s getting on the train tomorrow is in some ways a completely different person. I have learned so much more than I could have imagined and my life has taken directions I never thought possible then.
This time I know where I’m going. I know my apartment, I know the city, I have friends there and I have seen my workplace. In many ways I’m prepared for another year. Of course there are situations to come that I can’t prepare for, but such situations occur whether in China or in Norway.
In a book I read this year (unfortunately I couldn’t find any name of an English translation, but the Norwegian title is Et hjerte større enn verden), Magnus Malm describes among many things our fear for the future as one of the hidden, unseen, unreachable concepts that we humans try, with out much luck, to control. Loosely translated, he writes that the future simultaneously fills us with hope and resignation, expectations and panic.
He goes on to describe how Jesus, in the sermon on the mount, repeatedly refers to “our Father, who sees the unseen” (my translation, look it up in Matthew 6) He writes “the unseen is not emptiness. Neither is it a hiding place for hostile forces waiting to attack me. Even if there are evil forces in the unseen, there is also someone stronger than them. Our Father is in the unseen.”
I like to think that God, my Father, who is love, is in the future. It takes away the feelings of resignation and panic and leaves my heart filled with hope and expectations.
I came across this quote a while ago:
Tomorrow I’m leaving for China again. I feel like I’ve been saying good-bye a whole week already as my dad left for a business trip last Sunday. Leaving gets harder and harder each time, but I think that is a good thing; it means that I realize more and more each time I leave how much I care about the people that surround me. And as the people I care the most about happen to live on more than one continent, I am forced to say good-bye to some of them once in a while.
Saying good-bye to people you care about is supposed to hurt. And I read in a book the other day that “it’s OK to feel pain”. Isn’t it strange that I needed to read that in a book to realize how true it is. But the pain of leaving is mixed with the joy of going and I wouldn’t have it any other way. I’m exited about another year in Nanjing!
Here are some pictures from a night mum and I walked “the Costal Path” along the Oslo fiord by Åsgårdstrand. We were babysitting Frodo the dog.