This is part 19 of our adoption story. I am only about one-third of the way through the story. If you'd like to read about how God brought Rebekah home to us, go back and start with Part 1 and meet me back here each day as I tell a little more of God's amazing story in blessing us with our daughter.
We came back to Okinawa feeling relieved that we would be able to move another step forward in our adoption journey--what a blessing to have one more critical step under our belts. We were also fairly concerned about securing a Japanese adoption agency. We already knew there was not one located in Okinawa.
Before finding an agency though, there was a more pressing matter to attend to. We brought lice back with us from Thailand. I didn't realize it for a few days, however, I knew we were doomed when I saw Zoe uncontrollably scratching her head and I took a closer look and saw teeny brown bugs scurrying around her scalp. The other two girls had them too and I wasn't sure about myself. Lucky Mark had a buzz cut and was lice-free.
For the next three weeks I was consumed with getting rid of those awful buggers! The kids watched innumerable movies while I combed each teeny lock of hair with a lice comb and repeatedly used toxic lice shampoo on their little heads. Then everyone's bedding and stuffed animals and anything else cloth got washed and bagged--not to be opened until the lice were surely eradicated. It was an all-consuming chore, but we finally became lice-free. Phew! (Does your scalp itch now? Mine does.)
I can't remember exactly how I found our adoption agency. I believe I googled for adoption and Japan. The US Embassy lists three agencies for this entire country, as adoption is exceedingly rare here. I called our one and only hope: International Social Services Japan. The woman who answered the phone passed me off to an English speaker who was a social worker. The social worker sucked her teeth a lot as she listened and then finally said, "Oh, Oshman-San, your situation is very rare. It's very difficult. I do not know if we can work with you. I will bring it to our staff at the next meeting and I will call you to tell you what they say."
Our adoptive future was in the hands of the staff of a small and rare Japanese adoption agency. Another huge leap of faith in our journey. We prayed like crazy that they would accept us!