My Journey as Wife of Overseas Worker (WOW)
It was year 2006 when an opportunity ( we weren't expecting it) knocked on my husband's career. It was his dream to work as electrician in a ship but he got an offer to work as Electrical Engineer in one of the laboratory testing centers in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia.
That's where my being a WoW started.
I need to resign from my job, a request from my husband dear to attend to our two boys as he wants me to homeschool our eldest son, Jireh.( I struggle for a year to in making that decision.) Besides, I have to personally attend to them in his absence. My job as Associate Project Officer calls for me to travel in different regions which will make it more difficult for me to attend to my growing boys.
I am glad I did! After 13 years of working in the Development Academy of the Philippines, I need to face it! To be a stay at home mom far from my husband and PREGNANT!
What a blessing to behold! I found out my pregnancy when my husband was about to leave.
Still vivid in my mind, that was November 29, 2006 when my hubby went to Jeddah. I cannot imagine how I will have to manage singlehandedly our home, the parenting, my pregnancy. More over, he decided that we must go back to the province to attend to my ailing mother. He ensures to settle us well in Camarines Sur back to my old home town.
Then and there, the glaring reality of being a one woman army, a dad and a mom, the solo parent sunk in. It was more difficult when you have to give birth without the presence of a hubby. Four months after he left, I gave birth to our youngest, Jael. The major adjustment is even more difficult. THANKS GOD, Joss, my husband provided us two helpers to attend to our needs. It's no longer two boys, this time plus one cutie baby girl. He was teary eyed when he saw our one week old Baby Jael in a webcam for the first time. I can't imagine the longingness of a father's heart from a distance.
Time past too fast. Jael is six months old when my husband went home after 10 months away from us. It was September 2007 when finally he held the precious baby in his arm. One month, so short for moments of bonding to cope with the lost time with the family. As a caring father as he is, he spent every single time with us, ensuring our well being as his utmost interest. Quality time for the family is what he is always after for.
Attending to baby jael while homeschoolling Jireh and Jeb has been my occupation for four years. With the support of my husband and my love for teaching as well as the love for my children kept me going. It was challenging and tasking as a homeschool stay at home mom, far from your husband, far from the city. Whenever I feel exhausted, I call upon Jesus, my Lord, master and savior. He has been my companion away from my husband . His presence is felt everyday.
The scenarios went that way. Joss will spend his vacation once a year, spend a month with us, be back to Jeddah to work again. Many times, welcoming him home is the sweetest moment. Everybody was looking forward for his coming. Excitement is felt in the home. Decorations and banners filled the house especially when he as always went home on Christmas season. We are even having a countdown before he arrives. One month of family togetherness, joyful, adjustments, fixing the house here and there, planning for the next year activities and many more activities basically occupies his vacation. But parting is the hardest one. To bid goodbye would mean many months of being away from him- no one to shepherd us as a family. Thankfully though, his online presence where we can call or chat with him regularly lessen our longingness.
After five years of being an OFW, my husband was granted a family visa by the company. Included in this company benefits are round trip tickets for the entire family and a good place to stay. That God given opportunity would mean that we can stay with him in Jeddah. It was a welcome opportunity as we have been praying for family togetherness in one roof. Everyone was excited for the thought of spending a three months vacation in the the place where he works. My kids will experience the first time to ride in the plane. We will have an entire look of their daddy's place of work. We will experience different culture, a different country. Above else, we will be spending time together as one happy family.
God in his goodness and faithfulness allowed us to spend three months in Jeddah. We visited as many places as we could, ate in different fast food chains, introduced to my husband's friends, experienced the humidity of Jeddah's temperature and many unending times of going out at night ( as it's cooler at that time) to go anywhere my husband would bring us to.
After three months, we went back to the Philippines bringing all the joyful experiences we had. My heart’s gratefulness to the Lord's provision, protection and preferential favors upon our family can't be contained as I kept on praying without ceasing in the plane for God's expression of His marvelous love to our family.
By 2011, we decided to stay for good in Jeddah. It was a leap of faith as we have to brace the challenges in living overseas. I will remain as a homeschool mom to three. It was all prayed over and planned. However, due to my health issues and the difficulties to send homeschool books to Jeddah, we decided to be back in the Philippines.
With deep frustrations and desperation, we need to start all over again. To hope for whatever God has enstore for us. Many sleepless nights and worries crippled me why things has to happen that way. But it was in God's orchestration, because I know everything has to happen according to His plan.
We have the provision to be there yearly though. So, last year we went back again for two months vacation just in time for summer vacation in school. It was so refreshing to see Jeddah with my husband's new found spiritual family where he is growing in the love of Jesus. We spent to many good times with them and visited different places we haven’t been to.
Looking back, If we stayed in Saudi, I will not be able to become a license professional teacher. I will miss the chance to teach future educators and medical technologies. I will miss the rare opportunity to touch the lives of many people in the numerous bringing events we have done in school. As a bonus, I will miss the chance to learn driving too.
I know God is preparing my heart to take on a bigger challenge somewhere in the place of His choice and will, where we, with my loving husband and our children will be together soon. We are truly working hard for it.