I turned twenty-eight last week, and it was the best birthday I’ve had in years – perhaps ever. My best friend and her husband flew up to Spokane from Kansas to do some job hunting (they’re moving up here in June) and it happened to work out that it was also my birthday week. I woke up on Tuesday, March 21st and scrolled through Facebook. My husband managed to make a video involving people from Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Spain, the United Arab Emirates, Malaysia, South Africa, the Philippines, Oman, Egypt, Brazil and the United States wishing me happy birthday. I don’t know how this man does the amazing things he does, but I feel unbelievably blessed to have him as my husband.
Then I got the news that made my entire year.
Joe got his green card.
Almost nine months of waiting, four months longer than we hoped it would take, and yet an incredible birthday present from God. When I listened to my husband’s voxer message and he told me the amazing news I screamed out loud, and then I cried. Suddenly, it was over. All the waiting, all the hoping and expecting, the statements of “someday, when you get here…” was all over.
He has less than one week of work left before he, his mother and sister get on a plane for Beirut, Lebanon. Being the incredibly giving and sacrificial son and brother that he is, he’ll set up his family in their apartment in a village outside of Beirut. He’ll make sure they will be able to withstand the seasons, make sure they’ll have everything they need to be without him for a while. After his dad died nearly twenty years ago, Joe became the sole man of the family. His move to the United States to be with me will be the farthest he’s ever lived away from his mother and sister, and it’ll be the longest he’ll be away before he can see them again. After he renews his passport and his family is all set up, he’ll get on a plane for Seattle, Washington.
His sacrifice isn’t lost on me.
It’s a major life change, and while the move will be one of the biggest transitions of his adult life, he’s jumping in headfirst with faith that will move mountains. He still needs to finish packing, sell his car and say some final goodbyes this week. I so wish I could be there to help him, to make sure he’s packed everything, to hold his hand in that taxi ride to the airport when he leaves Oman for the last time, to help him set up his mother and sister in their apartment, and pray with him before he says goodbye to them.
The process should only take a couple of weeks. Come mid-April he’ll be on his way to Spokane. I’ll stand there in the terminal in a killer dress (I need to go shopping…) and be there with open arms. It will be worth it. We have a long road ahead, adjustments that need to be made from living completely separate lives to coming together again and creating a life together. But I have faith that just as God helped us through the last nine months he’ll help us through the months and years we have ahead of us.
My husband is coming home.