presented by: cj

hello from the shinkansen (bullet train)! we are currently traveling up to Sendai to see friends for the next couple of days, so while on the way we thought we would update you on the trip thus far. i know many of you have been anxious to hear from us, and we thank you so much for being invested in this journey with us. 
There have been some who have questioned the necessity of this trip, so let me assure you it has been so productive and worthwhile for us. like we said in the beginning, though our agency and this country does not require a pre-placement trip, we felt it wise, and we have definitely seen the wisdom in it even more so since we arrived. the first two days were spent in Tokyo, finding the embassy and getting to know the metro system. I cannot tell you how glad I am that we did this now, because the embassy was hard to find (and inconveniently located), and we made our “uh oh-we got on the wrong train” mistakes without a baby and important paperwork. I can only imagine what a wreck I would be without that experience, because we will be having to spend a lot of time going to and from the embassy WITH our child in one of the biggest cities in the world.
PS-we love big cities and public transportation. It definitely doesn’t scare us, just stressful when you are doing it with a child who has not yet bonded and attached to you in a country where you don’t speak the language. Also, I think I can say that after traveling in crowded metros with a baby, I will never complain about going to the grocery store. It will be no big deal. 
Last Friday we headed to Shizuoka where our agency is located. Since we got there that evening, we weren’t expecting to see them until Saturday, but the directors graciously wanted to get dinner with us and start getting to know us better. Saturday they picked us up and we were ready to work! All week we were so humbled that they allowed us to enter into their world and their own families. We really felt like we got to be a part of it, and that was such a blessing to us. We helped out in a variety of ways-washing dishes, helping with laundry, getting paperwork and books made, and yes, at times helping to care for the precious children in their care right now. They are busy and active, and it was really important for us to get to see what “a day in the life” is like, and we are so thankful for that! It was also necessary we make this trip because though all of our paperwork is completed stateside until placement, we still had to fill out some paperwork that they needed from us, as well as give them official copies of everything we’ve already done. So are you ready? We are now…Officially DONE with paperwork and waiting for a placement!
Of course it doesn’t end here, more will come when we get that long-awaited, blessed phone call that says “we have a child for you.”
We loved getting to know them and building relationships with them and their families-some of my favorite moments were sitting around the table eating lunch with their kids, just laughing and enjoying their sweet, fun personalities! We are really thankful for our time there. 
So, we are now heading into Sendai, our last “hurrah” before we come back to Tokyo for a night to meet up with more friends and head home. We love this beautiful country and continue to pray for the people, and our beautiful baby whenever he or she makes their arrival. Thank you to all who have helped us get to this point, whether through financial gifts and/or prayer, we are truly grateful. You are helping to unite a family. We can’t wait to all be together, and pray that it is soon.
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