Warm Reunion

Though there was no translator for the reunited family’s first meal together, sentiments transcended words. “You hear so much about how reserved the Japanese are, but these were beautiful, warm, loving, kind people,” Wendy gushes. “I will never forget my elderly aunt giving me the longest, hardest hug.” Wendy immediately noticed her cousin’s height. Like Wendy, she was nearly six-feet tall. “I assumed that my height was inherited from my father,” she said. “Little did I know I may have inherited my height from my Japanese relatives. That was just totally unexpected.”

Everyone’s life has been changed forever. “Leaving was emotional,” Wendy recalls. “We fell in love with the country, its culture, its history, beauty and people – especially my new lovely family!”

It was along voyage home indeed for Wendy Bryant Gow, but one well worth the wait. “Returning home was incredible, exhilarating, educational, awesome, and bittersweet as I had often dreamed of returning home to meet my birth mother – thought in a sense I did.”

Wendy believes that every adoptee should have the opportunity to connect with their heritage. “This trip and the connection I now have with my Japanese relatives are a blessing and a dream come true.”

“I owe a great deal to the people at ISS,” Wendy says. “They opened doors no one else could. They couldn’t have been more lovely.”

“Now, for the first time, I feel complete.”