I am about half way through retelling our family's adoption story and the supernatural journey that God ordained in order to unite us with our oldest and newest daughter, Rebekah. If you'd like to read the whole story, go back to Part 1 and meet me here for daily (well, almost!) installments until the story is finished.
One week after the horrendous initial interview, our social worker called us to say that ISSJ would work with us. Thank you, Lord! She did add many, many times that our pursuit was risky and there were no guarantees that we would in fact be able to adopt Rebekah and were we sure about this? With relief and gratitude I told her thank you for accepting our case and yes, we were sure.
She set up our home study right away. As any potentially adoptive family knows, the home study is a big day. It's nerve-racking just trying to prepare one's house for it. My house contained two toddlers and a baby who followed me around undoing whatever task I had done and it was nearly impossible to keep the house in order before her arrival.
On our big day our social worker flew in from Tokyo and I went to pick her up at the airport. Mark tried to keep the kids and house looking fairly decent. She stayed for 8 or 10 hours. She did not even want any water or anything to eat. She was all business and so we had to also be very on our game. It was not easy to keep the little ones happy, fed, and cared for during the intense, nonstop, gut-wrenching, do-or-die conversation taking place.
Any parent of a toddler who has had one or more temper tantrums at an inopportune moment can relate. In the back of my mind was a voice that kept saying, "Oh my word! There is a precious 11-year-old orphan just a few countries away from here who will remain motherless if I do not figure our how to placate my toddler and scoop her naughty self off the floor without too much incident. There is to much at stake for these little people to fly off the handle. God, help them! You have to!"
There was an additional overwhelming circumstance at play. Japan's population is less than 1% Christian. And we live inside a Christian ministry building. We are missionaries. Mark is a pastor. We have worship services in our home. Our worldview, all of our opinions and values, and our very reason for pursuing Deer are because of our faith in Jesus Christ. Relating that to a non-Christian in a culture with very few Christians was really awkward. I wondered countless times how bizarre she must've thought we were.
We finally made it to the end of the day. Exhausted and hungry I drove her one hour to her hotel before returning home to collapse on the couch with Mark and stare at the wall for awhile.