I can't believe we have been home for 3 weeks now.
We arrived home on Tuesday evening July 6th into JFK and were greeted by Karley, My Mom, Bill's parents, Judy & Joe, Alicia, Joe & Pastor Steve. Sally arrived about an hour after we did and her and Joe brought our luggage home. As much as we enjoyed the trip it was great to be back and be a complete family.
I was going to post airport pictures but I have none. Somehow I deleted them from my camera and I know our camera was the only one to have a family picture so I'm so disappointed :(.
Since we have been home we celebrated Kai's finalization day on July 8th and his referral day on July 11th. We celebrated Jana's 1st birthday on July 14th with lunch as Korea Garden in Blue Bell. We dressed Jane in her Han bok and had lunch and a great cake from Agape Bakery.
I'm still in shock but it only took Jane 2 days to get on our schedule and she has been sleeping 12 hours thru the night since. She also takes a great nap. She is very happy all the time unless she is hungry or tired. I'm not able to switch up her schedule much but we are working it out.
We went swimming at Mom Mom & Pop Pop's, Uncle Chuck & Aunt Patti's and with Georgeanna, Chuck & Kevin and Jana just loves the water. All 4 of the kids are fish so I'm glad everyone likes the water.
We are planning on a few days at the beach so I'm hoping that goes well. I don't have much time to post these days but I can't complain things are really settling in and I'm so happy to have Jana home with us at last and moving on. She fits right in as if she has been wit us forever.
We haven't had many visitors yet but Jana does great with everyone she meets. I think her adjustment has been one the the easiest so far. I am so thankful to God for the amazing blessings he has given us.
I wanted to add some pictures but for some reason they are not adding right so I'll do a separate post for them.
Sorry it took so long to post this but life has kept me busy. Most of this post was written in Korea and has been saved as a draft. I hope you enjoy our account...
When we got back to Holt after lunch we walked in to find Tae & her Foster Family waiting for us. I barely got a glimpse of her when DJ pulled me to the side to tell me the Foster Mom on her way in was fostering a little girl from our agency. I was anxious to take some pictures of Lucy for her family as I told them I would if I saw her. While I was meeting Lucy and her Foster Mom I missed the initial meeting of Tae & here everyone went upstairs to the meeting room. After I snapped a few pictures & DJ gave me an update on Lucy I realized my family was gone & DJ took me upstairs.
When I entered the room I found everyone sitting around fussing over the baby. I was instantly in love when I saw her. She was so much more beautiful in person and has such pretty eyelashes. We were so lucky to get to meet the Foster Dad & their daughter as well. With the boys we only got to meet foster mom.
It was obvious how much the FF loved our daughter. The fd was reluctant to let us hold Tae but the FM gave her to me for 1 minute when the daughter came & took her back. We sat with them for about 20 minutes or so asking questions and taking pictures of her and taking turns holding her. Before we knew it it was time to go meet the Doctor for the pre-flight physical. It wasn't the usual doctor and this guy just listened to her heart & lungs and said she was good to travel and sent us on our way. DJ took some photos of all of us with the FF then we went back upstairs to exchange gifts and for one more good bye. The FM gave Tae a bottle and then gave her to us with a bag with some pictures, 2 big cans of formula, some clothes, her favorite pillow, a stuffed animal we sent for Tae, some toys for her for the plane ride and some snacks she likes and a han bok for her 1st birthday. We told them we would have a traditional 1st Birthday celebration for her and send them some pictures.
The time just flew by and we forgot all about the video camera. I had carefully planned everything so we wouldn't miss a single minute of our meeting and the day just passed and I missed too many pictures and taking a video. I wish I had someone there who would have captured it all for us.
Words can't express the amazement of meeting our daughter and holding her for the first time. Watching as she interacted with Julian & Kai and how she took to Bill so quickly. My post certainly doesn't capture the beauty of this amazing day but it is something I will forever hold dear in my heart. After such a long wait she was finally with us.
DJ walked the family out then came back to review Tae's file with us and give us directions about clearing immigration at the airport.
DJ walked us out and grabbed a taxi for us and told him where to take us. As we got into our taxi we saw the FF outside in their car just watching us and crying. It absolutely broke my heart. We got in the taxi and set off for our hotel when Tae started crying and calling for Oma. She cried the entire ride home and for the next hour until she fell asleep. My heart was breaking for her and her loss. I felt so bad for the boys they were upset as well to see her sob. Kai got upset, started crying and said "I made a mistake, we need to take her back. I shouldn't have wisher for her". I felt so bad for him but explained that baby Tae was meant to be with us. Although she would have a hard time adjusting she soon would become comfortable with us and settle in because we are her family and we are all supposed to be together. It definitely was one the the hardest afternoons of my life.
While Tae was sleeping on my lap we asked the boys what name they liked. They both were calling her Jaci at the agency but I told them they needed to look at her face and decide how they thought she looked like and not just pick a name because they liked that name. Julian quickly said although he liked Jaci he though she looked like a Jana and Bill agreed. Kai wasn't sure at first but then decided he agreed.
After Tae woke from her nap she was smiling and so happy. The boys really wanted to go swimming so we took her to the pool and she loved it. She stayed in for about an hour with Bill and didn't want to get out. We returned to our room and everyone was exhausted. I washed Tae which she really didn't like and then she ate and started crying again. After about 30 minutes I got her to sleep. She slept for a short time and woke hysterical, I couldn't settle her down so Bill took her and after about 20 minutes he was able to get her to sleep.
We were all exhausted so we went to bed. Tae woke at 3am, we gave her a bottle & called my Mom on Skype so she could meet Karley. After a very short talk we went back to bed and got 3 more hours sleep. Once everyone was awake we called Karley again and this time Aunt Judy & Uncle Joe met Tae too and she was on the floor dancing & playing with the boys.
Our Last Day
We went down to breakfast and Tae loved eggs and rice. After breakfast we went for a walk to Lotte mart, love that store and wish we would have found it sooner. They are like WalMart but much cooler. On the first floor it was like a supermarket but then you can take the escalator up with your shopping cart and there are clothes and bedding, a Toys R Us, a section with a few CD's.... this store had everything. The boys picked out Hello Kitty flutes for both girls and we bought the baby some clothes because everything I packed was too big. We got some baby food and then had to get back to the Hotel to pack. I could have spent an entire day in that store but we were out of time.
We took a taxi back to the Hotel and ran up to our room. Bill convinced them to give us to 2pm to check out so we could pack and i really needed the time. Before we knew it we had to leave. Our trip was amazing and our time went way too quick. As we sat in the hotel lobby waiting for our taxi back to the airport we talked about all the things we just didn't have time to do. We decided we really need to go back in a few years as a family. We thought this trip was a once in a lifetime trip but we realized we really need to come back as a complete family and really plan our trip better so we can do alot of sightseeing.
At this moment I can't single out the best part of the trip because there are so many memorable things that I will treasure forever. I know my account is no where as moving as our experience but I do hope if anyone reading this has the opportunity to travel they should definitely do it. It's truly an experience you will treasure forever. The thought of traveling with 4 children 7 years form now is overwhelming but we will start saving now and maybe have the help of a travel agent to plan it out but it's something I want to do for our family. I am in love with Korea and look forward to our trip back. How could I not be, it's where our lives changed from a couple to a family, and now a family of 6.
I prepared this post in Korea but needed some time before I posted. This post is really personal but in hopes of giving a realistic account I've decided to share this information. My account of Tuesday July 6th in Seoul Korea Today is a day I have been waiting for since we got our sibling call on August 21st while food shopping in Genuardi's. We were at the egg case as the boys like to remind me ever time we are food shopping. This is a call I had once dreamed about but never dared believe would happen. What are the chances that a birthmother would have 2 babies she couldn't keep. And having a daughter 7 years after having a son. We had 3 amazing children on that day when I woke up. I was a Mom to 3 children that I never imagined I would have. I was settling into having 2 boys and 1 girl and we were done, so I thought. Just 2 days before was the conversation we had that we had been blessed with 3 amazing children and to hope for more was testing fate. Not to mention we live in a small townhouse and were not getting any younger. It was time for us to start focusing on the future and not a time to start over, or so we thought.
On this morning our lives changed yet again which brought us to today. It's been a very long and difficult journey but never did a day pass that we didn't know God was leading us down this road. It wasn't always ease to have the strong faith we needed to have but none the less we did have faith.
We had planned on taking the subway to our meeting but as it neared 11am and I looked at the 16 bags of gifts we needed to get to Holt in one piece we decided to take a taxi. We made it to Holt 5 minutes early and arrived at Holt more stressed than I had ever been. I had packed the backpack with 2 camera's the boys video camera's, disposable camera's and our video camera. I had such plans on how we would record this day but the moment I stepped out of the taxi that all was lost somewhere in the back of my brain.
We walked up to the second floor and there was a foster mom talking to someone so we had to wait to get past. Finally after standing in the hall for a little bit Bill excused himself & went to find DJ. She took us right in to see the boys foster mom's who were already waiting for us. It was amazing, they both looked exactly the same. They jumped up and grabbed the boys and hugged them, Of course I wasn't prepared with the camera so I didn't capture this moment. Kai's Foster Mom made him climb up on her back, it was really cute. DJ later told us his FM said he loved being there so she put him on her back to see if he remembered being there. We enjoyed some light conversation and updated the FM on what they boys have been doing. They both had a handful of pictures with them, Julian's fm had pictures of when he was a baby and we enjoyed looking at them. She told us she was happy to see he cut his hair shorter. Kai's fm had current pictures of him and they all shared the photo's. We shared pictures of the boys with Karley and some of the new baby. The boys fm's happen to be good friends so it was nice that we were all able to meet together.
After what seemed like a way too short visit we were off to lunch. Kai's fm walked out with us but couldn't join us because she had a baby at home to go care for. She reminded us that she has a grandson the same age as Kai. I remember from the pictures she had given us that her son & wife lived with them and they had a baby very close in age to Kai. She gave us all a big hug and left us then. It was so sad to see her go so soon but Kai was happy for the time he got to spend with her. They were walking hand in hand and it made me cry to see them together again.
Julian was much more quiet and shy. He sat with and walked with his fm but he was too quiet. He walked to lunch with her but all the time was looking over his shoulder for us. When we arrived at the restaurant he didn't want to sit with her but sat across from her next to Kai. He started to get filled up and asked me to please come sit beside him. If he could of climbed inside of me he would have. Julian is a thinker but has a hard time expressing his feelings, were still not exactly sure what was going thru his head but he was scared. In the end he told us he was really glad he got to meet her.
We had lunch at a Vietnamese place close to Holt. It was really good. Julian didn't want to eat so I ordered something to share with him. Our conversation was light and we got a chance to know DJ better. Julian's fm & her sister were worried about him because he wouldn't even look at them and most of the meal he looked like he would break down in tears. I offered to take him outside or the bathroom to talk with him but he didn't want to go. He was so scared but at the same time didn't want to miss a moment of this meeting. By the end of lunch he was doing much better. He walked back to the agency hand in hand with his foster mother and she was so happy to have this time with him. I took lots of pictures but some are missing from my camera so I'm not sure what happened. It was so hot and the humidity was 98% so I think my camera wasn't working properly.
I feel like my words are not enough to express the priceless visit we enjoyed with these woman. It was so amazing to see our boys back with these woman after all these years and to see the love gush out of them. Bill and I started out on this trip thinking it was a once in a lifetime experience that we would never get to do again and we are both starting to wonder if we could ever do it with all 4 of them. How amazing for them all to meet these woman again that gave to much of themselves to care for these children just to prepare them to leave them for us. It takes an incredibly gifted and strong woman to do this and we managed to be blessed with 4 of them.
I'm going to leave the post here and continue the rest on another post.
I wrote this post in Korea the morning we were to get Tae but I couldn’t post it. I also wrote about our first meeting but needed a few days before I could post. I will post that soon.
I'm so incredibly nervous today. Not sure what has me the most anxious but I have so many feeling. I should be preparing for our meetings but I'm kind of stuck.
We headed down to the Hotel restaurant for breakfast and I couldn't really even eat. The boys seem pretty excited but Bill is nervous as well.
We have to be at Holt at 11:30am to meet with the foster mom's then were having lunch with Mrs. You our caseworker then back to the agency to meet baby Tae. I really hope everything goes smoothly today. I'm so worried Tae is going to break down hysterical when it's time to leave her family that's taken care of her for 7 months. I am so worried about her Foster Family, how will they be? I can't begin to imagine how they are feeling at this moment. Their hearts must be breaking, I know mine is for them. I feel a bit guilty for taking her away from them. Today is so much harder than I expected it to be. I do believe this baby is meant to be with us but why do I have such a heavy heart right now? How I wish this didn't have to be so hard.
Every day we have been here I keep looking around us wondering, are one of these women the mothers to my children, sisters, aunts, uncles, brother's, fathers grandparents?? Are any of these people foster families we never met Do any of these people recognise our children? Does Kai & Tae's birth Mother know we are here and are preparing to take this sweet baby girl away from her birth country to raise in the United States? I wonder are we being watched? Are they observing us wondering what kind of people we are and if they made the right choice sending theses amazing children to live with us.
I'm also worried that once the Foster Mother's meet us will they think we are doing a good job with the boys? Do they get the pictures and letters I have been sending every year since they have been with us. Will they think I'm doing a good enough job? Am I doing a good enough job?
Well Day 5 was another whirlwind day. We started the day at Paris Baguette again then off to Church. Our friend Sally recommended us to Seoul Presbyterian Church and an English service. We arrived on time (were usually late for everything) only to find out the English service was cancelled so we stayed for the Korean service and they provided us with headphones with English translations
When service was over we were off to Coex Mall. We were a bit confused and needed to call Sally. Here the mall is actually underground so after descending a few flights we found the shopping Mall. The first store we found was Hello Kitty so of course I had to go buy something for Karley. They had so many cute things but were a bit expensive. Then we were off on our mission for the book store Sally told us about and on the search for a baby doll for Princess Katherine. After several hours we had to opt for a barbie-ish Korean doll but we found the books we wanted.
We stopped back at the hotel to wash up and change clothes it was a really hot day. We set off once again in hopes to complete our shopping. We went back to Insadong in search of the stamp store which we didn't find. We did buy most of the gifts we needed but were missing a few including a drum for Matthew. At the very last store we found that drum YEAH! We had a few gifts we would have liked to get but we just ran out of time.
While shopping Min's brother-in-law called and said they wanted to meet up with us. They found us in Insadong and gave us another big bag of food. This time it was Min's sister, her Mom, brother-in-law & his daughter. They were so sweet and I just love her Mom. We visited for a bit then parted ways. They had wanted to take us out for dinner but we had to decline as we really had to finish the things on our list. When we parted Min's Mom & sister gave the boys a really big hug. I really wanted to take their picture but Min's sister didn't want her picture taken.
We returned to the Mall in Insadong in search of a gift for my Mom and there was a band playing, they were really good they were called The Big Issue. The girl singer had a great voice and we stayed to watch them for a few songs.
Finally we finished and returned to our hotel about 8:30pm. The boys goal was to make it to the pool every day so we had to go swimming. At 9:30pm I made everyone return to the room as I knew I had a late night ahead of me preparing gifts. I got everyone showered and all 3 boys fell asleep watching TV. I was up until about 12:30am and then felt so sick so I had to call it a night.
I woke several times during the night but wouldn't let myself get up until 6:30am. I'm not exactly sure how much I slept but all I now is that I'm nervous.
Day 5 was a big success, I think, and now we have to prepare for our meetings
Yesterday was another good day. Although we didn’t go sightseeing the boys got to experience some traditional markets.
We started the day off at Paris Baguette, everyone was sick of the breakfast buffet at the hotel. After breakfast we took the shuttle to Myungdong Market. We wandered around a little and were able to find a jazz cd that was a requested gift. Thankfully the shop owner knew enough English to help us find a popular choice.
We soon discovered that this wasn’t the best place for us to find what we were looking for and decided to go to Itaewon which was a little more familiar to us. Thankfully we were able to find some things there. We don’t have the means to buy everyone gifts but we wanted to get a few things for the kids and we have a small list of requests we were asked to bring back. It was really hot and humid and the boys were getting tired so after walking for about 2 hours we headed back to the hotel to drop off the things we bought and get rid of the heavy backpack.
The boys were hungry and although they like Korean food they really wanted a burger. We decided to go to Outback which is a few blocks from us. Lesson learned, although it was an Outback they had a menu that was Korean inspired so no burgers. Julian had steak which he loves and Kai had chicken fingers. The portion was huge and we all ate too much. Since we were so full we decided we needed to walk so we headed to Time Square Mall to shop or so we though. When Bill asked the girl at the information desk at the hotel about souvenirs shopping she suggested we go to Time Square Mall since the forecast was for rain. She said it was indoors and we would do much better there. Time Square Mall is alot like King of Prussia Mall with all high end stores and it was packed with people carrying lots of bags. I was amazed how busy this place was, this was a much different experience. There wasn’t a children’s store or toy store so we left soon after arriving. It was so congested there and unless you are interested in high end shopping I wouldn’t recommend going there.
We then headed to Namdaemun Market which is a traditional Korean market. There are vendors all over the place and lots of interesting food. I was looking for some blankets for the kids and this is a great place to get them. However by the time we got there many shops were closed. If time permits we will head back before we leave. As soon as I arrived I remembered it from my visit to Korea with Judy when we went to get Kai, although yesterday was much busier. People were pretty rude & just shoved us around. If you have patience for this it’s a great place to shop. You can pretty much get anything you need there and the prices are much better than in Itaewon and the shop keepers are more willing to bargain with you. Many speak English as well as at Itaewon. We didn’t last real long cause the boys were exhausted so we headed back to the hotel.
Bill took the boys swimming while I cooked the bulgogi Min’s Mom brought us on Friday night. Although it was the best bulgogi I ever had we were all really full from our lunch 6 hours before so we didn’t eat much.
After dinner we played cards with the boys and then they entertained us. I’d love to share what they did but we have been sworn to secrecy (I do have them on video). :0)
We finished off our day by calling a very special your man to sign Happy 13th Birthday to and then the boys headed to bed exhausted.
Once again I was up way too early and it’s catching up to me, I’m now exhausted. Kai was up at 6, bill shortly after 7 and Julian close to 7:30 so I think they are all rested now.
We just finished our Skype call with Karley and we are going to head to church today then possibly the Coex Mall in search of a baby doll requested by Katherine. I’m planning on making it an early day cause I have lots of gifts to prepares for tomorrow and I want to try and get as much rest as possible as this many be my last chance for rest once the baby is with us until we get home.
I’m so anxious about tomorrow so please keep us all in your prayers
This morning I'm reflecting and I'll post about Day 4 later
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEkh_KxKao0 ~ Walk by Faith Jeremy Camp
I'm not sure if this link will work but this is the song I'm currently listening to and it seems to be our theme song. Our(Bill and I) lives together have always been about walking by faith. Everything we have ever done never made sense on paper but to us it did. As many others have looked into our lives they have thought we were crazy with decisions we made, some told us some didn't and some just sat back and watched.
God has done such amazing things in our lives. I have been doing alot of reflecting these past few days and I am completely amazed at the miracles God had granted in our lives. Bill and I have been through some absolutely impossible things but God has always brought us through these tough times. There have been many times when we wondered if our faith was enough or questioned our faith but in the end we choose to believe for all things are possible thru God and he has always provided for us just when we needed it and not in our timing but his.
God has also put some of the most amazing people into our lives. Sometimes I don't think we realize or appreciate the importance of those who surround us and the chain of event that unfolds for us. Years ago I read this email chain letter about how God puts people in your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime and I find I reflect back to that often anymore. I often question why things happen the way they do but I do believe it's all for a purpose even when it's not a good outcome.
In 1991 I met Bill; we started dating in 92, got engaged in 93 & married in 94. As many couples do we talked of a family and hoped to have 2 children. I had thought 2 boys would be amazing but knew it was all in Gods hands. At the time I had no idea how true it was that the outcome of our lives really is in God's hands. We tried for years to conceive and have children and as we watched many in our lives give birth to their children we suffered is sadness of what we thought we were loosing. It was a very dark period for me but Bill's faith is what really pulled us through that time only to be brought to this journey we travel today.
I never would have imagined the life we lead today in my fairytale of a dream I dreamed but if we keep our hearts, our minds and our faith open anything is possible. When I look around me even today but especially my life I just cry at the impossibleness God has provided for us. To think we would have been blessed so richly.
One day, years ago someone asked me if we were rich and I answered by saying we are rich with love and that continues to be my answer. As I look at people around us I'm sure some wonder how we will manage with 4 children in a small home with a single income but those people don't truly know us. Life is full of hardship but not many can see past the hardship and financial aspect. We have been blessed to realize the material things are not whats important but the love we have in our hearts and our faith is enough. That’s not to say we don't wish and dream for more in our lives, we certainly do but at the end of the day we are so very thankful for all that God has blessed us with.
I had intended to single out those who have helped us so richly through this process to help bring baby Tae home cause there are so many of you who have but then I remembered its not Gods plan for us to look for praise, he know our deeds and works and that’s all that matters. For those of you who have helped us, which is all of you in our lives, you know who you are and we will be forever grateful for all you have done. Your prayers have been our biggest gift.
If knowing us has taught you anything I hope you have taken away that thru God all things are possible so have faith even when it scares you to death. And God tells us to ask for what it is we want. He may know your heart but you need to be specific when asking.
Our journey isn't close to being over.. I can't help but wonder what God has in store for us next.
Sorry in advance for the long post but there is so much to tell
Yesterday was Friday July 2nd and our City Tour. When I got up yesterday the sky looked dark and cloudy but I had hoped it would pass. As the morning grew on it kept getting darker and by 9am it was raining really hard. (It is monsoon season here)
Our tour guides met us in our hotel lobby and they were 2 college students. I feel terrible but I don't remember their names. One of them was studying art and the other Chinese. They were both so sweet and so excited to be showing us around.
We traveled by subway to Gyeongbokgung Palace:
Gyeongbokgung, also known as Gyeongbokgung Palace or Gyeongbok Palace, is a royal palace located in northern Seoul, South Korea. First constructed in 1394 and reconstructed in 1867, it was the main and largest palace of the Five Grand Palaces built by the Joseon Dynasty. The name of the palace, Gyeongbokgung, translates in English as "Palace Greatly Blessed by Heaven."
Heavily destroyed by the Japanese government in the early 20th century, the palace complex is slowly being restored to its original form prior the destruction. As of 2009, roughly 40 percent of the original number of palace buildings still stand or are being reconstructed.
There are guards all throughout the Palace and you can get your picture taken with them. I felt really bad for them cause it was raining so hard and so many wet stinky people were pushing they way to get their pictures taken with the guards.
After we had seen all of the palace we went ot the National Folk Museum. I don't have many pictures because I couldn't use my flash on my camera and I couldn't figure how to make it stay off. It was so humid out that I think that effected my camera. For more information visit: http://www.knto.or.kr/enu/SI/SI_EN_3_1_1_1.jsp?cid=268152
Since one of our tour guides was an art student she really wanted us to see this market. She took us to a store where 2 famous artist work and there the boys had stamps made with their American names in English and under that is their Korean names in Hangul. It was about $30 each so we didn't have them made for the girls but I really wish we would have. If time allows we may go back and have stamps made for the girls.
When in Insadong we had lunch. The girls took us to a place they like to eat. They asked us a few question about our experience with Korean food then ordered for us. I couldn't believe all the food they brought out. I was going to post a picture but I can't get it to upload so I'll do it later. Anyway we had so much food. They brought out all the side dished plus Japchae http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Japchae, Bulgogi http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bulgogi which was served with lettuce wraps & some red sauce, spicy radish, cold soup- it had a clear liquid base with bean sprouts and was spicy, we also had boiled bulgogi, soybean soup which I loved, kimchee, korean spinach http://www.maangchi.com/recipe/sigumchi-namul and korean beef soup. The boys especially like the Japchae so the waitress kept bringing back more dishes. We all ate way too much and there was still a ton of food left over. The six of us ate for less than $5.00 each, unbelieveable.
After lunch we wandered around Isadong for about 1 1/2 hours, picked up the boys stamps then came back to our hotel. We gave the girls their gifts and returned to our room. I had wanted to start shopping, I have many gifts to bring back but I couldn't find what I was looking for so we called it a day.
When we got up to our room housekeeping was here so we took off our wet shoes put on flip flops and wandered out in the pouring rain again to buy milk at the 7-11 across the street then we came back to the hotel and Bill & Julian played pool. By this time I was cold(yes I said cold even know it was incredibly hot & humid) and tired so we returned to our room and I took a shower & relaxed while Bill took the boys to the pool. When they got back we all layed down to watch TV about 5:30pm and I woke at 7 to find all 3 boys sleeping as well. We decided to skip dinner and try and rest since we were so exhausted.
At 10:30pm Bill and I heard this strange sound and we couldn't figure out what it was. Still half asleep we heard a male voice so Bill jumped up to see who it was. It was someone from the front desk with a big bag of food. We looked in the bag and decided they delivered it to the wrong room. Bill called the front desk and they said they would look into it. After about an hour Bill called the front desk again and they said a friend delivered it for us, they said there was a memo on the bag but we took the entire bag apart and there wasn't one. When we opened it there were several bags of treats for the boys, cherries, homemade dumplings, several containers of rice and 2 really bags of bulgogi. Min's sister did tell us she wanted to cook for us and was going to drop off food on Sunday night so I guess it's from her even know it was friday night. I tried to email Min to find out but I haven't heard back yet. I guess our guardian angels have followed us to Korea too.
Bill and I are completely humbled by all the love and support we have been blessed with. We can't even begin to express our thanks to everyone.
There are actually so many more things I'd love to do but we are running out of time and I don't know how much we can squeeze in the next 2 days. All our sightseeing has to be squeezed into today & tomorrow because Monday we have the Foster Mother visit and we pick up baby Tae and then we come home Tuesday.
We got an email from our agency at home that if we wanted to visit the Reception Center we had to go Thursday or Friday. Well our city tour is today so we changed our plans and once again didn't make it to Seoul Tower yesterday.
We arrived at Holt at 9:35am and met Mrs. You, our caseworker here in Korea. She is amazing and was so sweet with the boys. The boys were both very nervous around her but they didn't say why. Mrs. You walked us to the Reception Center which was about less than a 10 minute walk. She took us up to the nursery then left. We presented the volunteers with several boxes if rice cereal & a bag of goodies for them.
It takes an amazing woman to give so much of herself and let me tell you these woman give so much to these babies. For any family who had or has a baby at Holt Reception Center please know how much they are being loved and cared for. There was even 1 baby in a incubator and they were talking to him. He was so tiny and his eyes were taped shut I just wanted to hold him but he looked so fragile.
We stayed for a little while and got to rock the babies and play with them. We even got to hold them. One little girl was crying and I was able to hold & rock her, it was amazing. I so would love to work there. We all enjoyed our visit to the nursery especially Julian, he didn't want to leave he kept saying " just a few more minutes" but we really had to go.
We took the subway/metro back and it's pretty easy to navigate, thanks to Bill. When we got off we couldnt' figure out which way was our hotel so since we were pressed for time we got a taxi only to find out we were about 10 blocks away. Thank goodness it only cost about $2.40 for the taxi ride.
It's very hot & humid so we had to freshen up and we waited until 12:15pm for our friend Min's sister to arrive. When she didn't come we headed to Lotte World. We had a really great time there but didn't get to ride any of the bigger rides, the lines were way too long. Julian, Kai & Bill did ride everything that was smaller that they could and all had a blast. Shortly after arriving at Lotte World we received a call from Min that her sister would meet us at 5pm and take us to dinner. We were a little nervous since she didn't speak english but Bill and I were looking forward to meeting her. The boys were very nervous.
Yun-Kyung arived on time and was able to speak a little English. She is beautiful and so sweet just like her sister Min. She took us by taxi to a Korean bbq and we had beef & pork that she cooked right there for us on the table. She didn't eat anything saying she was on a diet but she is so super skinny. We enjoyed some light conversation and by the time we parted Kai was fast asleep on my lap. Yun-Kyung insisted on cooking dinner for us so she is coming to our hotel on Sunday after she is done work and will bring us dinner. We kept telling her it wasn't necessary but she wouldn't take no for an answer.
We took a cab home because Kai was sleeping and Julian wasn't far off. It most definately was the worst cab ride of my life, even worse than in New York. He drove so fast and almost got in so many accidents not exagrating. I get motion sick so it wasn't a good experience for me at all. Thankfully he drove very fast and got us home in about 25 minutes instead of the 40 it should have taken.
We were all exhausted and needed showeres. The boys were so exhausted but cried that they couldn't go to the pool. I don't think any of us even would have made it down there. By 8:15 the boys were fast asleep and about an hour later so were Bill and I.
Once again I was awake this morning at 3:19am. Not sure if it's the jetlag or the 13 hours time difference. This morning I stayed in bed until 4:15 trying to get back to sleep but too much was racing thru my mind so I finally got up. I'm trying my luck at a load of laundry, it's a little difficult when there are no directions and this thing is a washer/dryer in one so hopefully I do ok.
Today is Friday and we have our city tour. I'm really looking forward to the boys finally get some cultureal experience. I jsut wish I knew if our tour guide would be male or female so I knew what kind of gift to prepare for them. Maybe I'll prepare one of each, only problem there isn't enough room in my backpack for both.
Well Kai is up so I'm gonna go spend some time with him. Sorry for the typo's but my spell check isnt working for some reason and I'm sure I have overlooked some. I probably won't get to upload pictures until after were back home.