I’m heading “home” in two days. I remarked to someone yesterday that I feel more at home in Japan than the US. I felt a little surprised to hear myself say that but it’s true. It’s not at all that the US isn’t my home anymore, but Matthias and I have lived in Japan long enough to start to think of Japan as our other home. Life in Japan has slowly become our new “normal.” This new normal includes things like being “gaijin” foreigners, speaking Japanese all the time, eating an 80% completely Japanese diet, and living among people who have greatly suffered. It also includes smaller things like using chopsticks, taking your shoes off when entering a house, drinking lots of green tea, bowing, not talking loudly, freezing cold houses due to lack of insulation, etc. However, I always enjoy these special times in the US and I am thankful for the time to be with my family and friends.

During these past few weeks, as I have been driving around my hometown of Somerdale, NJ and see all the familiar places and landmarks, pass my high school, or go to the pharmacy my mom has gone to forever and ever, it is totally surreal. My entire life feels like a complete blur and I have to pinch myself and say, “Wow…I grew up in this little town. Now live in Japan. I married a German guy. Amazing. Crazy. Unbelievable. How in the world did I, an adopted girl raised in a quiet suburban town, wind up with a life like this one?” My only answer is…God. God has taken me all over the world and I am thankful for so many wonderful life experiences.

In other news, we haven’t heard a peep about Medicaid. I wish I could leave NJ knowing my dad was approved but that isn’t possible. I visited my dad twice today and he was very lethargic and barely spoke to me. I am very aware that he might not be with us much longer and often wonder how many more months or years God will allow Him to live. I had a very difficult weekend because my mother fell down the stairs when I wasn’t at home and fractured her wrist. We spent a long night in the ER and I was extremely upset for several days afterwards. Mom is presently in a lot of pain and it is hard to watch her struggle to do everyday tasks such as dressing herself, making a sandwich, etc. I hate the thought of leaving her right now, but I need to get back to my husband in Japan. I am thankful for the gift of professional caregivers who will be helping my mom and taking care of her as well as doing many household tasks such as cleaning, laundry, food shopping, etc.

Well, I am off to finish packing. Tomorrow, my last day, is going to be very busy. I’ll be visiting my dad, doing last-minute shopping, and spending time with my mom. I always hate that moment when I have to say goodbye to my parents. It never gets easier and I am absolutely dreading it, but I trust God will comfort my parents and I and carry us though this difficult season of life.