Robert & Roberta Adair

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To answer the title of this blog, which is something R asked me a several times last week: indeed.

Last Tuesday, I received a package in the mail from my mom. It surprised me because it arrived about one week before she comes for over a month (yippee!!).  Inside the package was a stack of cards – cards that are funny and touching from family and friends back home cheering us on. Family members planned this card shower, and I felt and still feel really touched by people’s kindness and generosity.  [everyone says this, but...technology is great, but holding cards or letters that people I love held, seeing their handwriting, and all of that "so-last-century" stuff is special.]

“feel loved?”

one that made me laugh :)

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Then on Friday, both R and I were surprised by a shower by our A2 team.  We were pretty snippy with one another on the way to the meeting (partly because we were running late, which always makes us both less than pleasant).  We walked in and heard, “…Surprise!” I almost fell apart – so totally, totally surprised. And touched. And went from one end of the emotional spectrum to the other. :)
We had abbreviated team time and then enjoyed a taco bar (YUM!) and delicious cake (double YUM!).  Then R and I opened thoughtful, fun, and practical presents from people who have kids. In Japan. And know a honkin’ lot more than us about what we’ll need and what we’ll find useful.  We played a funny newlywed-esque game [funny moment: “How often does a newborn poop?” R’s answer - 6-8 times a day.  My answer: uh, a couple of times a week??  Yeah, I forgot that "inconsequential" detail and our crazy discrepancy in guessing made me cackle].  Then there was a sweet prayer time likened to filling a basket with blessings followed by much-appreciated advice.  The whole time, I felt quite overwhelmed by the kindness of our team in Tohoku (the region where I live) and of our friend who came up from Tokyo just for the shower. (My friend and colleague Sue T blogged about the shower here.)
“feel loved?”

diaper cake made by Casi and yummy cake made by Sue T

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“feel loved?”

a Moses basket

“feel loved?”

why, yes, that is my outie belly button

Then yet another surprise happened on Saturday evening. This time, R was in on it. I was to pick him up at 5pm after his English class for a last pre-baby date.  He told me ahead of time to dress semi-warmly, so I thought we were going on a picnic at sunset.  We went shopping briefly for romantic items like garbage bags and another laundry rack before heading to the secret location. Then Sneaky R looked in his bag, said he forgot something, and we headed home to get it.  He asked me to find his headlamp (?? but this is R, so that didn’t throw me off) while he got the “secret item.”  When we got to the house, we saw that the door was unlocked.  I’ve been so scatter-brained lately that I thought I forgot to lock it and that R would be a touch perturbed.  And then…
Many friends from church (all sitting quietly while I babbled apologies about forgetting to lock the door) yelled “Surprise!”  Totally shocked.  And my vision got a little blurry as I walked around giving hugs to people (ha – no bows this time around).  We ate yummy pot-luck food that everyone labeled with an animal-related name, played a silly animal game, and opened gifts (quite kawaii).  I didn’t read the notes of blessing until the next day, but they were really, really sweet – for R, for me, and for the baby.
“feel loved?”
“feel loved?”
I feel so full – and so undeserving.  Baby showers aren’t culturally Japanese, and I assume this was the first one that many of my Japanese friends had ever been to.  Yet their thoughtfulness and friendship in doing this for me, for us…wow.  I feel like it’s too much, yet it’s been a neat reminder of what grace is (by definition…too much, undeserved, wow).  I still feel overwhelmed when I think of how crazy these next few weeks will be, but I know we are supported and, yes, loved.
…By family and friends back in the US.
…By A2 team and mission.
…By church community.
…By God.
[It's too wonderful.  I heard a song the other day that talked about God being before, behind, and beside us.  This last week made me realize that his Church is, too.  Before us - all the women on my team are moms of at least 3 kids.  Behind us - friends and family are supporting and cheering us on from the US.  Beside us - friends from church and community are present with us in the day-to-day.]

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