A few weeks ago, I changed my facebook status to "Engaged"....knowing full well, the outpouring of excitement and perhaps surprise from many that didn't know much if anything about my relationship. The funny thing was...while we in the U.S. put a lot of emphasis on engagement as the moment he gives a fancy proposal and hands you a diamond ring, in China...things are different. No fancy proposal, no ring (yet, that comes as part of the wedding preparation....in addition to which you apparently also get a diamond necklace and bracelet...whoa!).
In fact, my fiance and I have been discussing marriage and confirming that we are like-minded since very, very early in the relationship. In fact, during our first sit-down talk at a coffee shop when we had JUST started dating, he told me he didn't want to freak me out, but that he saw it all with me...ordinarily that WOULD freak me out (in fact, it has before with people I thought I wanted to start dating, then once they made similiar committed statements, I freaked out). But, from the beginning, there has been the "feeling" that I often heard people describe and rolled my eyes out....I just knew we were supposed to be together, although I initially took a bit longer than him to get comfortable officially moving in that direction. We' are just hitting the five-month mark of officially dating, and it used to be that I would have considered us moving WAY too fast....except, with him...it just is right.
We still have some time till marriage (next year is the plan, we haven't even set a date yet....still focusing on our return trip to America for him to meet my family). Some people have also gotten the mistaken impression (only if they haven't talked to me about my relationship) that I am in some fuzzy, love-clouded impulsive decision-making mode....that is the furthest thing from the truth...we have fought SO much. About typical things, but also about things most couples don't have to argue about relating to our different cultures.
All that to say, he calls me his "beyonce" "viance" or sometimes when he remember the English correctly, "fiancee", and tells everyone we are getting married next year. We are engaged, but I don't have the flashy ring photos (yet) or amazing proposal story. In fact, we confirmed that we were going to get married in the midst of a rather tense argument. Awkward and yet kind of romantic in a weird way, as I sort of hissed at him "Yessss, I want to marry you." with a glare.
Anyways, this period for us is actually pretty rocky, but nowhere along the way have we questioned our commitment to each other and doing life together...we've just had some intense pressures to overcome.
When I want to kill him for doing something stupid, or doing something differently than I would....when I feel so overwhelmed by some of the pressures facing us (more to come on that later)...I still feel incredibly blessed and see God's hand in putting us together. We're both learning, both growing, and I feel doubly blessed in spite of the double challenges to have a husband prepared for me in a country different than that of my birth.