Today the girls went ice skating with their friends after school. I don’t think Akie had ever been ice skating before and was a good sport. Juliana sticks by her side and helps her and includes her in everything she does. I am proud of all the work she puts into making Akie feel at home here.
For dinner, I served roasted chicken from Costco, rice, fresh corn, and sliced pineapple. I think she liked all of it, which makes me happy. I love that she is willing to try everything.
After dinner, we took Akie to Target to do some inexpensive American shopping and browsing. We were looking at the dollar section right as you walk in the store, and as we’re browsing, we hear “AKIE!!!”
Two of her Japanese friends walked in with their host family and we were all happy to see them. It was really cute to watch them greet each other. They walked up to her and decided to reach out with their arms wide open for a slow, animated, hug. I was shocked! So was Akie. They hugged, which is not normal for Japanese people. They were practicing being like their American friends and it was so cool!
When we left the store, I asked Akie about the hug and she said this was the first time she ever hugged her friends. I told her that I hope she takes the hugs home with her back to Japan and starts a new tradition there. She laughed and smiled. This really made me happy.
She loved looking around Target and admired the accessories, especially the colorful sling handbags and floral jewelry. She spent a lot of time in the candy aisle, and chose two different types of Ghiradellii chocolate bars to bring home. She also enjoyed looking around the kitchen aisles. I loved watching what she liked and what she admired.
We came home and unpacked and sat at the table, sharing a drink and a snack. Akie left the table and came back with a surprise for Juliana, wrapped up in her red scarf. She called Juliana’s name and when Juliana looked up, she presented her with a hand made gift that is priceless. I wish you could have seen Juliana’s face.
I took a picture of Juliana admiring her treasure and then asked Akie to give her a hug!! She laughed and joined in on the fun.
I can’t even tell you how much I love this girl and how much I am going to miss her when she goes back home in a few days.
Having her here with us is a great gift that we will treasure for a very long time.
Life is good.