I don’t know how to communicate in my online life the detours, false-starts, apparent-dead-ends, and amazing turns the journey in our real lives has taken– especially in the past 2 years.
There’s no other way to put it than, we are moving back to America.
Insane, right? I can’t express the emotional roller coaster that I’ve been going through since the idea of moving back was first presented to us.
We’ve been in Cambodia for about 2 years, and there’s been much that has transpired behind-the-scenes of endless photographs. The people we’ve encountered have greatly impacted our lives, as I hope we have to theirs. While living in Cambodia we have traveled to dozens of orphanages, worked with countless humanitarian organizations, taken around 10,000 photographs, and traveled the world. If it weren’t for my relationship with God and my husband I don’t think I would have survived. There has been several moments of confusion of “what am I doing in Asia”, followed by “how could I ever leave Asia”.
Over the past few months, Ryan and I have been wracking our brains trying to figure out how we can better provide orphan care to millions of orphans around the world. We’ve have countless Skype meetings with the Serving Orphans Worldwide office, met with orphan care leaders and directors around the globe, and networked with sustainability organizations all to understand how we can make SOW orphanages more sustainable. And over the last several months, we’ve begun to realize that the best way we can serve the cause of this mission field is to leave it.
Ryan and I will be moving to Tri-Cities, Tennessee to work full-time in the SOW office to develop the biggest orphan care program probably in existence. I will be mapping out a very special campaign that I have so much passion for it hurts. While Ryan will be networking with orphan care and sustainability organizations, as well as orphanage site visits. Looks like I wont be traveling around as much, but it’s not a job requirement…it’s more of a physical requirement because there’s little bun in the Baker’s oven!
The most exciting news of the year is that in around late June we will be having our first baby! Ryan and I couldn’t be more ecstatic. We’ve been wanting to start a family for a few years now, but with amount of traveling we had to do it wasn’t possible. Now we are super ready and can hardly stand it!
And while we are convinced that this is our best-shot at using our giftings to help orphans, I’d be lying to say there isn’t a deep sadness that comes with the decision. Because in many ways, it’s been thrilling to be on the front-lines. It’s been raw and dramatic and exotic. I find myself speaking more Khmer without hesitation and have friends that have helped me become a better person. I’ve learned to love moto rides and little hut food stands and a slower pace of life.
I’d be lying to say I wasn’t nervous about the transition. I’m scared we won’t have the money to get back and set up a life stateside and nervous about reverse culture shock.
At the same time, I’m utterly excited about returning home. To the mountains, to the language of my heart, to bread and not rice, my family and friends. America is the next chapter in my life. I know my children will be little globetrotters because it’s in our blood. I also can’t say any move in my life is permanent. If God ever lead us to move to somewhere else overseas I don’t think there would be much hesitation. Right now God wants us to do as He has asked us to do…to help orphans and widows in their trouble. James 1:27
Please pray for a safe journey home for Ryan, myself, Rugby, Diego, and Eggie (Korean for baby).