We had been apprehensive.

After all, having been away for a few years, we wondered how the Singapore we had left behind had become.

Would it be more crowded, more fast-paced than before? Would it be cold, unfriendly and a pace too fast for a family with two young children.

Over the past three weeks that we’ve been home, our lives have been filled instead with these encounters:

An older middle aged couple offered to help carry our stroller down a flight of stairs in public; a grandmother gestured for us to sit at her table when we had no place to sit for dinner; a passerby asked me if she could push my stroller for me while I carried my tray of food; two complete strangers reached out to our family and took our two kids and me in for an afternoon at short notice so that Cliff could focus on moving our luggage and furniture into our new home; people I had never met gave us a crib, car seats, clothes; a mother asked her little daughter to give us her pack of treats when our toddler had a meltdown.

As we settled in into our new home, a place my own children had never seen or known before, a fear lingered- what if my husband’s and their long-term visa passes (LTVPs) would be denied? What if they all had to return to Canada? It sounded like an absurd fear, yet the possibility was real.

While I was back to fulfill my work contract, Cliff felt convicted to look after our little ones as a hands-on Dad. What if their visas be denied?

Yesterday, on a stressful morning pressed within a maddening throng, we met the nicest macik (aunty) at the immigration office for our appointment, who assisted us with so much grace and love as we struggled to wait in line with an overwhelmed toddler and a nursing baby.

Two more weeks, and you’ll know the outcome of your application, she said.

But with timing that couldnt have been more beautiful, just this morning on National day, we received notice that our whole family would be together, that their visas were all approved. That Papa, and two of you were welcome into Mama’s home.

This is Home, truly, little ones.

You’ll love it here, as much as you have been loved.

Happy Birthday, Singapore.

9 Aug

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