No, not those kind of aliens!
According to japan-guide.com, All foreigners, who stay in Japan for more than 90 days, need to apply for an alien registration card within the first 90 days of their stay. Applications are to be made at the local municipal office (e.g. city hall). The alien registration card is an important document required for opening a bank account, obtaining a cell phone and similar activities. Foreign residents are required to carry their alien registration card with them at all times.
Philip's company works with a relocation company to help with our transition to Japan. They scheduled a relocation specialist to accompany M and I to the ward office last Friday and translate for us. I had a really hard day last Thursday. Everything difficult about this transition seemed to be hitting me. Matthias was (and is) going through a fussy time, making it hard to predict when would be a good time to go out without a meltdown. I was really missing family, friends, English speakers, and familiar American things. Philip has been absolutely swamped at work, working about 11 hours a day plus commuting an hour each way. I knew that I had an appointment to go to the ward office the next morning and I was in tears walking Matthias to sleep that night, dreading having to get myself together in the morning and do a bunch of bureaucratic stuff. I kept thinking that I would be met by a single Japanese woman with impeccable clothes, hair, and makeup, who might feel uncomfortable with me needing to nurse Matthias in public. Little did I know that God had a divine appointment to encourage me...
He sent a German woman, married to a Japanese man (hence her Japanese last name), who was not only a mother of SIX, but also a follower of Christ who described English as the language of her heart (of the three languages she speaks). She was kind and compassionate, understood Matthias's needs, and talked freely about her experiences as a foreigner in Japan, as a mom, and as a believer. To top it off, she has a son who has some special needs and was eager to talk about occupational therapy! Resources for children with special needs are seemingly more difficult to obtain here in Japan, so not only was she a blessing to me, but I had the privilege to be a blessing to her by lending an understanding ear to her concerns and offering a few suggestions. It was such a refreshing time. She helped us get registered, showed me where to find a good pediatrician for Matthias, and introduced me to the paradise called Azabu National, the international grocery store.
On Monday, our sea shipment arrived!
|Just a portion of our many boxes and wrapped furnishings|
|Supervising with Mommy|
|Supervising with Daddy|
|Perched atop the boxes for a better view!|
On Tuesday, the movers continued helping us unpack the boxes and assemble furniture, leaving us with many piles around the apartment. I am hoping they will disappear soon, but a certain almost four-month-old has been keeping his mommy pretty busy and rather sleepy! He seems to be going through a growth spurt, eating frequently and prolifically, in addition to dealing with some teething pain/discomfort. It's been a tough week or two, but he's worth it! Seriously, who could resist this face?