We’ve been getting some really great questions concerning our time here in the States as well as our future in Vienna. If we haven’t yet talked to you about those plans individually, here’s a quick FAQ to help answer some of the unknowns:
How long have you been in the U.S. so far?
We’ve been in the U.S. since mid-May and in Oklahoma since the beginning of June. Close to 2 months total.
Are you here for good, or are you going back to Vienna?
We’re going back! Shortly after our interviews, we were informed that we would be returning to Vienna to join the team. We got ice cream after we heard the news.
What have you been doing since your arrival to the U.S.?
Our first 4 weeks in the U.S. were spent with our Austrian friend, Thomas, who had never been to the U.S. before and wanted to see the big sites. We first flew from Vienna to NYC and stayed with friends for a few days before Will and I flew to Atlanta to see my parents ahead of Thomas who stayed behind to do more sight-seeing. Thomas joined us in Atlanta later on then made the journey over to Oxford, Mississippi with us for my brother’s wedding. The three of us arrived in Oklahoma on May 31st where Will and I immediately began interviews with the committees at Memorial Road Church of Christ. Thomas went back to Austria, and Will and I have since finished our interviews and are now working to get to know more and more people within the Memorial Road congregation, as well as complete work requirements such as psychological testing and meeting with MRCC staff. We are also traveling to different congregations for relationship building and fundraising purposes.
More recently, we’ve ventured into the Kooi’s attic in an attempt to retrieve possessions we left behind 2 years ago. The mothball stench is almost unbearable! We’re going through our boxes trying to decide what goes, what stays, and what we should sell at our upcoming garage sale. (You’re all invited to said garage sale.)
And of course the World Cup has been on almost non-stop.
For how long will you be in Vienna this time?
We’re signing on for 5 years.
Will you have your baby in the U.S. or in Vienna?
Our hope is to have him in Vienna.
If you have your baby in Austria, will he have dual citizenship?
No. He will be a U.S. citizen.
When are you going back?
Short answer: We’re not really sure. Long answer: Our goal is to be back on July 30th as that is the last day I’m able to fly because of how far along I’ll be in my pregnancy. However, our departure is uncertain due to the long wait involved for our work permit. We applied for the permit in early May and the entire process can take anywhere from 6-12 weeks. We have now entered week 8 of the wait and have yet to hear any news. If we don’t hear anything by July 30th, or if we are denied the permit altogether, we will stay in Oklahoma until sometime after our baby is born. We have a Plan B outline of sorts but are holding off on putting it into action until it’s absolutely necessary.
Are you enjoying your time in the U.S.?
Yes! Very much so. We’ve enjoyed seeing family and friends, as well as eating at all of our favorite restaurants. We are starting to feel a bit homesick for Vienna, though.
Will you be deported again?
We hope this has been informative and helpful. If there are any questions we missed, don’t hesitate to ask. And if we haven’t seen you yet, please contact us so we can make that happen!
Please pray over our work permit and the timing involved with it. We’re praying daily (hourly, minutely, secondly…) for news so we can get back to Vienna safely and legally. Thankful for all of you!