I got some exciting news from The Penpal today: her parents had given approval for our engagement!
She told me that it was a big discussion, so she and her parents had decided to talk about it a little each day. It was a big decision for them because The Penpal is their only child, and they were concerned about her living half way around the world. The fact that I am going to be the first non-Japanese person in the entire family tree came up as well.
I did have a few people on my side through this process. The first was the Penpal’s uncle and aunt who had lived in the US for a few years. They did a lot to help calm worries about how The Penpal would be treated living in another country married to a non-Japanese person. Another person who had my back was The Penpal’s grandmother, who I had met once. Apparently I made a good first impression, and her opinion carries a lot of weight.
Note to my readers: always do your best to be respectful to people. This may just help you out some day!
Ultimately it would have been The Penpal’s decision whether or not to marry me even if her family did not agree. However, it is much easier having the family give their blessing than for us to do things on our own. I am a very happy man today!