So this past week has been completely crazy and hectic. One of those weeks where your feet hurt so bad at the end of every single day. But I wouldn't trade it for anything. My students had their final exhibition and it was Uh-Mazing! I am so proud of them, the work that they created is fantastic it highlights all of their growth throughout this course. We had a visiting artist, Craig Stretch, who came all the way from Canada to share with us the art of paper quilling! It was a blast! AND Quilled Creations even donated the materials so we could continue practicing our new skills! And the art room's fancy make over is finally starting to take shape.
OK so more on all of this stuff at a later time, because hello, there's some big news to share!
AHHH! :) We're over the moon and so excited for our expected bundle of joy to arrive in October! We've been having a lot of fun announcing the news.
Along with announcing the news comes many questions like, "OMG, you're having a baby in BEIJING?!? How does that work?!" I really don't mind anyone asking questions, I just know there are a lot of misconceptions about China in general which makes a lot of friends and family back home worried and we really don't want anyone to worry!
I'm going to tackle the questions we've most frequently received but please feel free to ask us more!
Q: So are you moving back to America and having the baby here?
A: We're going to have the baby here in Beijing! We have an amazing doctor who works at Oasis International Hospital , an amazing hospital fairly close to us. This was something that really surprised me when we moved here. People would casually say that someone was going to the hospital or at the hospital. Turns out, the doctors offices are in the hospital, it's a one-stop-shop. Which actually works really well. Our hospital is located about 20 minutes from our apartment and 20 minutes from my school. The hospital itself is super clean and the staff are very wonderful, from all over the world! A few of my colleagues and friends have given birth at Oasis and they have had wonderful experiences! (Actually, most of my friends who gave birth in Beijing, regardless of what international hospital they used have said they had a very wonderful experience.)
We know that it will be challenging to give birth here, so far away from home, however we are very lucky! Nick's parents will be visiting before, during and after the birth which will definitely help!
Q: Will you get maternity leave?
A: Yes! My school provides teachers and families with some amazing benefits! I will get 10 weeks of 80% paid maternity leave.
Q: Will your child be a US citizen or a dual citizen or will China claim them?
A: Our child will be a US citizen for sure! Unlike the US, China does not allow foreigners to gain citizenship just because they are born in China. They don't allow for dual citizenship.
After the baby is born, we will get a birth certificate and we'll get some passport sized photos of the baby, we will go to the US embassy to get a passport for the baby and then after that, we will get a visa for the baby to be in China. We've had a number of friends from the states go through this process!
Q: When are you moving back to America?!
A: We have no idea! First of all, we have no clue what it's like to be parents, here or in America. But we have listened to other peoples experiences and many of them say that having kids in China makes life so much easier! We will be able to have a full time Ayi (Chinese for Auntie, which is what you call your nanny here) who will take care of our baby one on one when we both work. There are amazing support networks of parents here in Beijing. Thanks to Beijing Mamas, I have been able to connect with a huge community of women all living within 5 miles of my apartment. Overall, the cost of living in Beijing is just so affordable, even when you add kids to the mix.
We really want to move back when the time is right! Sure we've had our ups and downs living abroad, just like you would anywhere! (Just add in a language barrier and cultural differences and you get the idea) Overall, we've been able to do a lot here in Beijing that we wouldn't be able to do back home. We'll keep everyone posted when we know the time is right.
Q: When's the next time you'll be in America?
A: We're planning on being home this summer!
We really are so grateful for all of the love and support thats been surrounding us these past few months! Thank you so much!! We're excited to share this wild journey of pregnancy and parenthood in Beijing! So check back for more updates in the coming weeks/months!