True Family Transcends Biology
True Family Transcends BiologyBy Mr. Yasuaki Iwamoto, Director, Child Welfare Center, Nagasaki, Japan
I have always felt out of place due to my distance from my family of birth and upbringing, but now my world has changed dramatically. Two years ago my wife and I started a company together—a child welfare business called Child Development Support and After School Day Service, along with a free school/
parents association. Because we were in debt to begin with, we had no money to fund our activities or buy the things we needed. Eventually, we had only 1,000 yen to live on!
In the midst of all this, my wife and I decided to take advantage of Miross counseling. When I think back on it, I don’t know how we were able to pay for the counseling. It’s as if I have no memory of that time at all. After the counseling, I had many realizations. It was the place where everything truly began.
First, our bank loan was easily approved without any reduction, and our operating funds came in on schedule. Since we had debts, we thought half of the money might not make it through the application process, but there were no stops, and we thought we had a go. I contacted my mother at my oldest sister’s place to borrow some money until the bank loan was finalized, but she refused. At the same time, I was dealing with my whole family concerning my inheritance. I was very surprised to find out at age 38 that the parents who raised me were not my birth parents, but at the time I was strangely calm and thought, “Oh, really…”
I should probably tell you a little about my background.
I grew up as the youngest boy with three older sisters. For some reason, from the time I was in kindergarten I felt uncomfortable within my family. When I was hospitalized in elementary school, I felt much more at home in the hospital than at my own home, where for example I had to ask permission to take things from the refrigerator before I could open it. I went to a Christian high school and lived in a dormitory. Looking back, it seems that I was always distant from my family, and there was a sense of discomfort at our lack of communication.At one point, I told my sister that I had promised my late father that I would inherit my grandfather’s heirloom: a letter of thanks from the Pope and a life-size statue of Jesus Christ as a child that he had bought in Rome. I said that I would donate it to the Catholic Church if he did not pass it on to me. My sister objected vehemently. She said, “Since you are not Iwamoto’s child, I will take over the heirlooms. I will not give heirlooms to someone who does not have Iwamoto’s blood in their veins.” I couldn’t believe that she said such a thing to me out of the blue, so I asked my mother about it. I found out then that she was not my real mother and that I was not her biological child, even though I had always thought she was my mother. I never imagined it, but it was the truth.
My birth parents had seven children. Three of them, including me, were taken in by other families. My mother was working as a volunteer at the foster parent agency, and when she heard that my birth parent said she would have no choice but to kill me in the bathtub, she decided to take me in herself. However, all her family members were vehemently opposed to the idea. She finally persuaded her husband and grandmother to take me in, and they accepted me into the Iwamoto family as their “biological child” on the family register.
This was a shocking thing to discover at 38 years of age. But all I could say was, “I somehow knew it,” and the only words that I could say to my mother were, “You saved my life. Thank you, Mother.”
My mother said, “You may resent me. You should. And you can look for your real mother.” But I didn’t feel any resentment or any desire to see my birth parents. All I could say was “Thank you.”
How hard it must have been for my late father and mother to raise me without telling me all these years…. I can only thank my sisters for not telling me until this age, even though they knew too.
Later, I felt a surge of anger and sadness, but taking the Miross curricula every month and my wife experiencing what I had to go through together with me helped me calm down.
I also began to appreciate the fact that my family had registered me as a
“biological child” and not an “adopted child.” That also reminded me of the
many ways that my family loved me. If I had not known about Miross, I would never have been able to overcome this experience.
This was what came up when we decided to establish our current company.
The thought of being betrayed by my parents was simmering in my mind, and it coincided with the knowledge that I had gone through three divorces and had experienced the same betrayal from my wife (now ex-wife) each time. I was surprised to find myself doing the same thing as the parents who gave birth to me, including agreeing with their program of not being able to raise their own children, just as I had in my three divorces.
This feeling of betrayal, along with a spirit of self-sacrificing service as a Christian from a young age, was a normal part of my upbringing. Thus, I completely sealed off my own feelings and was inclined to want to be a good person to others, not be thought of as bad, and have good intentions. I realized that I had completely betrayed my own feelings, and as a result my stress disappeared.
I understood that the reason I am now involved in social services was because I felt guilty for not taking care of my own children due to my divorce, and I wanted to help children in need. I also understood that I’ve wanted to prioritize my emotions all my life.
As I came to understand more and more about my life program, what had been a tangled web seemed to become a single thread, and even though it was my own life it was an interesting experience to me.
Let me tell you a little bit about the name of my company. It’s called Ohana/ Laule’a, and if you know this, you know Hawaiian. Ohana means a true family that transcends blood, and laule’a means peace and happiness. I chose this name to represent my feeling that the true family, which transcends blood relatives, should be peaceful and happy.
Our name, Ohana, a word that has been with me since I was a child, is a true family that transcends blood relations. We felt and understood that we were born with this theme, and that we wrote this program in order to experience it ourselves.
By taking the Miross curriculum every month as a Miross couple, understanding our children as a mirror, and getting to know myself, the mission was activated to create the space of Ohana.
We felt and received the fact that the world in front of us changed in an instant by our understanding. We were born with a program of our own choosing, and we needed the experience we’d had so far in order to carry out that program and mission.
The great energy of the curriculum, which I sought not for someone else’s sake but for my own, and the fact that I was able to make friends beyond my true family through the curriculum, made me and my wife truly happy.
Here we have friends beyond blood relations. In absolute peace of mind, my wife and I came to know ourselves through the Miross curriculum and our children, and became aware of Ohana/Laule’a, the space I had envisioned since I was a child. We are beginning to realize the world of pure peace and true love.
Thank you Mr. Rossco, Ms.Midori, Fujioka instructors, and fellow Ohana members for the program to meet us. Thank you for the resonance of this program. Thank you for your continued support.
And by the way, the family heirloom was inherited by my eldest sister. Letting go of it is so much easier now. I once again realize that what is important is not what’s on the outside, but the love I have for myself. We are spending our days together as a couple filled with joy.