I told my boss I resigned. Though it won't actually be until March that I leave--I gave some reassurances.
As some of my readers know, Jia was given an immigrant visa for the US last month. The visa is only valid for six months, so she has to travel to my hometown before mid-April. This was a bit of a surprise as we just began the application process at the end of July (the consulate Web site said to expect the process to take up to a year). I signed a new contract with the university last summer because I didn't expect my wife to get her visa until next summer, when my contract would end.
Fortunately, my boss is taking it well and understands the situation. I've even offered to help as much as I can in finding a replacement. I find it slightly depressing that I'll leave a job that has treated me so well--I doubt I'll have such luck finding another boss as nice as this one.
After three years in China, I can finally say that I know when I'm going home--and it feels awkward. Aside from my hometown, this is the longest I've stayed in one place. I may not like Shenzhen, but it is still my home of the past three years and there is a strange connection that I have made with it.
Now I have to face the difficulty of moving to the US and finding work in the midst of a recession, while helping my wife cope with a new life (though I think she's better prepared than I am). I have confidence that Jia can find work as a teacher; I'm still busy finding the best city to improve my chances of gainful employment.
I'm looking forward to seeing my friends and family again, but I will miss the friends and pseudo-family I have here. Until I leave, I'll have to seek out some new adventures in the city I will leave behind.