Chloe’s journey through this “Thailand” process is a beautiful one. She’s seven years old, and she’s taught us all so much already. I wanted to interview her to give you a glimpse into her thoughts as she gets ready for the big move!
Cherie: Thank you for being here today.
Chloe: I’m very glad to be here today.
Cherie: First of all, do you have anything pressing on your mind that you would like to share with the audience?
Chloe: Um … I have 3 brothers and 2 sisters.
Cherie: And parents?
Chloe: Celesta and Gaylord. You can just do ‘Gaylord and Celesta.’
Cherie: Okay, thank you. Now, what is something that most people reading this interview probably don’t know about you?
Chloe: Um … I like … playing with my friends … I am very … I hope I am very … intelligent.
Cherie: That’s a good one. Do you know what “intelligent” means?
Cherie: Okay … well, we’ll move on. The reason for this interview is to get a glimpse into your heart as you process the Big Move to Thailand. Are you prepared to answer any and all questions about this?
Cherie: Alright, great! First question: Where were you when you first heard about moving to Thailand?
Chloe: In Pennsylvania. I was getting ready to go home.
Cherie: How did you find out?
Chloe: Well, I think … some guy told us. Then my dad … I mean, he told my dad, and then my dad told us, and then that’s how I knew! I think.
Cherie: So you’re talking about when we got the phone call in Pennsylvania and we found out that it was actually happening.
Cherie: How did you feel?
Chloe: Um … sort of sad. I cried on the way, actually. A little bit.
Cherie: That is sad.
Cherie: So, did you consider just staying home and not going to Thailand?
Chloe: Sort of. Like, what does “consider” mean?
Cherie: Um, “think about.”
Chloe: Mm. Yeah.
Cherie: But now, you’re planning to move to Thailand. In two months, actually. Are you ready to move to Thailand?
Chloe: Like, what do you mean?
Cherie: Is your heart prepared to go to Thailand?
Chloe: Yeah, sort of.
Cherie: How did you, in the past few months, decide that you’re going to be okay with moving all across the world?
Chloe: When I was with my family in the living room and we were talking about it, I decided that that’s what God wants us to do, so … I decided I’m gonna do it happily.
Cherie: That’s so wonderful!
Cherie: So you’re going because God wants you to go.
Cherie: Are you excited?
Chloe: Mm-hm. A little bit. ‘Cause I’m gonna miss my friends, too.
Cherie: Me, too. What else are you going to miss?
Chloe: Um … sitting by the stove.
Cherie: The woodstove in the sunroom?
[Michael: Are you gonna miss sleeping out there in the family room on Christmas Eve?]
Cherie: And what else will you miss?
Chloe: Um … taking walks in the Wilderness Center. And … walking on the roof … um … did I say “playing with my friends?” And … watching everyone play Ping Pong … that’s fun, too …
Cherie: Maybe there will be Ping Pong in Thailand!
[Michael: I bet there is because there’s like a Ping Pong tournament and there’s all kinds of countries and Thailand was in it. So there probably will be.]
Chloe: Yeah. AND! I will miss playing … well, there might be … but I will miss playing Dutch Blitz!
[Michael: We’re gonna bring it along.]
Chloe: Oh! We are?
Chloe: Okay, we’re actually gonna bring it along, but I’ll miss playing it here.
Cherie: I understand. Anything else you’ll miss?
Chloe: I miss … for the Kauffman reunion, maybe … I’ll miss holding Alexander … and … one thing I missed is … tricking Tom, about me giving a present to Victoria; I wish that could happen more.
Chloe: ‘Cause that was fun … and it was actually him that I was giving it to!
Cherie: That was so fun. And what about the Barkmans?
Chloe: Um … I’ll miss going on the swing … and when they have a big bag with candy in it, and then you WHACK it and then you get candy … I’ll miss playing in the creek … that’s fun.
Cherie: So there’s a lot of stuff you’re going to miss.
Chloe: Christian Life Mennonite. Small groups. Laverns and Garys … Do you think we’ll sleep late in Thailand?
Cherie: Um …
[Michael: It’s probably gonna be the same as here.]
Chloe: Yeah. We might have to do more work. (sighs)
Cherie: Now, what are you most excited for about Thailand?
Chloe: One thing I’m excited about in Thailand is riding on elephants or um, watching them play soccer … elephant shows. That would be fun. (pauses)
Cherie: Keep going?
Chloe: AND! Um … we might see Geicos!
Cherie: You mean geckos?
[Michael: Chloe, Geico is like a company. Like, “Saving you 15% or more on car insurance.”]
Cherie: (wipes eyes) Okay, anything else?
Chloe: Why are you laughing?
[Michael: ‘Cause you said “Geicos.”]
Chloe: Oh. (giggles) And I hope we can have a mongoose. ‘Cause then we won’t be bitten by snakes.
[Michael: Yeah, like Rikki Tikki Tavi.]
Chloe: Um … and I’m excited about seeing my friends Jerica and Nikki! And guess what! Monica said that if I bring my fan along, we can have a Thailand tea party! And THAT … would be fun.
[Michael: (sarcastically) Fun, fun, fun.]
Chloe: Well, I don’t know … some boys could be allowed … like … um … maybe the dads could be allowed?
Cherie: Mm-hm! Anything else? That sounds fun.
Chloe: Uh huh. Oh! We might get a swimming pool! But, we could go to the ocean too.
[Michael: It’s a neighborhood swimming pool. And the ocean is like, 90 miles away.]
Cherie: Okay … so are you ready for a few more questions?
Chloe: A few more, yeah.
Cherie: What do you think God has for you in Thailand?
Chloe: Um …
Cherie: Why do you think He called you to Thailand?
Chloe: So I can like, be missionaries? I mean, be a missionary. ‘Cause I’m not more than one person.
Cherie: (laughs) Okay. So what does a missionary do?
Chloe: He like … well, he or she … takes care of people and tells them about God.
Cherie: I think that’s what He wants for you. And all of us.
Cherie: So, if there were another little girl who was seven years old and suddenly she found out that she has to move all the way across the ocean, what would you tell that little girl?
Chloe: (raises eyebrows) That’s a hard question! I would tell her that … I traveled that far, too. So don’t feel bad. And … I would tell her that … Well, why would she come?
[Michael: Because God called her to something.]
Chloe: Okay. Um … that God would keep her safe and that He loves her.
Cherie: That is wonderful advice.
Cherie: What would you tell a grown-up person that’s moving across the ocean?
Chloe: That’s almost harder.
Chloe: Um … I would almost tell them … him … or her … well, he might already know … but that … My eye hurts. I poked my eye.
Cherie: Are you okay?
Chloe: Yeah. What would you tell them, Mike?
[Michael: Um … (sighs) Maybe … that whatever happens, um … God has a plan for you.]
Chloe: (takes a breath) Yeah. Any more questions?
Cherie: Are three more okay?
Chloe: I guess so!
Cherie: What do you want to say to the people we love that we are leaving behind?
Chloe: That I’ll miss them, and I hope you can have a good time here, and … that I hope we’ll see each other again.
Cherie: And what do you want to say to the people we’re going to meet over in Thailand?
Cherie: Great. Now, Michael will ask you the last question.
Chloe: Don’t do a hard one!
[Michael: Um … what do you think you’ll do first when you get to our house in Thailand?]
Chloe: I think maybe cry.
[Michael: I think all the crying will be out of your head because you’ve cried so much on the plane.]
Chloe: Probably. I’m gonna maybe … look around in the house and … get stuff started. Maybe write in my journal about how it was. But I hope I don’t leave my journal in the plane … like dad did. And I’d wanna see Jerica and Nikki!
Cherie: Awesome. So, would you like to make any closing remarks?
Chloe: Um … who is this to?
Cherie: Everyone. The whole world.
Chloe: Um … seeya.
Oh! And I miss you! Even though I might not really know you.
Is that a good closing remark?
Cherie: It’s awesome. Thank you.