Supporting your child’s dream sounds easy. But what if your child dreams of living on the other side of the world?
From the time my daughter, Peyton, was four years old, she has loved the Asian culture. She fell in love with it at church during GA’s (Girls in Action). She used to say, “When I grow up, I’m going far, far away and tell people about Jesus.” It was so cute then. It was even cute when she wanted to buy a Japanese doll and decorate her room Asian style. There’s nothing wrong with that—right? Besides, the best Christian physiologists advise parents to support their child’s dream. So far, her dad and I were doing well showing our support.
Then, things got serious.
In Jr high school, Peyton began learning more about the Asian culture—the music, the food, the customs, and the language. Before I knew it, Peyton was teaching herself to speak Japanese! Sticker’s with strange symbols were stuck to every object in our home–my oven, the telephone, the curtains, and even the dog’s water bowl. The big blow came when Peyton informed her dad and me that after college she wanted to enter the JETT program. What’s the JETT program, you ask. We were curious about that too.
The JETT program is a community of people who live in Japan and teach the English language to Japanese students. It was at this point we wondered why she had to dream so big. Why couldn’t she live and teach in just another state within America?
“It’s not the same thing.” Peyton says with conviction. The kind of conviction that tells you deep inside she’s going one way or another.
Since her dad and I believe in God-given dreams and passions, we decided to get on-board. However, instead of sending our daughter to Japan, we decided to bring Japan to our daughter.
In just a few short weeks, we will have a new addition to our family. An Asian exchange student is coming to us from Japan! Hitomi (pronounced He-Toe-me) will be with us for an entire year. Both she and Peyton will be seniors this year and attend the same school. Peyton is so excited she can hardly wait. The excitement is building for the rest of us too as we rearrange our house to accommodate our newest family member.
Hitomi has a special passion for visiting America. Her deceased father was American. Hitomi longs to learn about his culture and especially his faith. (Hummmmmmmm!) Isn’t that interesting?! Not only that, she loves theater…just like Peyton and she plays tennis, which is my husband’s game. Hitomi sounds like a perfect fit for our family…but isn’t that just like God!
When the year concludes, Peyton has the option of returning with Hitomi to Japan. Her dad says we’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. In the meantime, we’re looking forward to Hitomi’s visit…and a new chapter in our lives as Peyton’s dream continues to unfold.