Sunday, August 12, 2012

The Schedule

Today was the first day where it felt like Robert could get back on the schedule that his foster mother so lovingly provided for him.  He really has been a little trooper considering that he doesn't understand the language, he misses his family, he misses the sights and smells and tastes that he is used to. And knowing that he loves to play outside, it's been so hard as the weather here has been terribly hot.

Rob and I are also figuring out how to be parents and teammates.  It feels a lot like on-the-job training.  We're figuring it out as we go.  It may not be pretty, and I may forget to pack a few things in the diaper bag and Rob may forget to put the remote control to the TV out of sight, but luckily we have lots of people praying for us and for Little Rob and that's the power that we're drawing off of right now.

I probably won't be posting as much now that we are home. Perhaps for his birthday and some milestones.  My time is so limited now and I need to use any bit of time I can steal during naps to clean, get back to a little Bible study time, and "speak" Rob's love language of quality time together.

The adoption experience has been hard. It has a lot of ups and downs, and downs, and downs.  We know that's what all parents experience, but of course, it's all worth it.  The past two years has led me to a dependence on God that I had never experienced before.  I had more times on my knees in prayer.  I had more real conversations with God than ever before.  And I got to experience God's love through the people he put in my life like never before. I may look like a frazzled mess right now, but inside I'm content knowing this was God's plan all along.

Saturday, August 11, 2012

Finally Home

We are finally home after being awake for 36 straight hours. Taking two flights with a toddler is difficult, but add to that a little guy who misses his "umma" so much and you have a very stressful airport/ airplane situation.  It was, without a doubt, the most stressful day of my entire life. Since our flight didn't leave until 10:00 at night, we had a full day of activities before we even headed to the airport. We went, once again, to the indoor mall called the Coex, but this time we went to the aquarium-- along with hundreds of screaming toddlers and school groups.  Craziness.

We left for the airport at 6:00 pm, but Little Rob fell asleep in the van. We were worried he wouldn't sleep on the plane so we tried to keep him awake, but I've learned that when this guy wants to sleep, there's no stopping him. As I am writing this post, the gardener is outside of his window with a leaf blower and Robert hasn't stirred! Suffice it to say, our experience at the Incheon Airport was my worst nightmare. Two straight hours of screaming, tantrums, biting, scratching, throwing himself on the floor, ear-piercing screams, and a lot of dirty looks.  Luckily for us and for the passengers on the plane, our little trooper slept all 9 hours to Hawaii (plus an extra hour we sat on the plane while they kicked off a customer and then forgot to get his items from the overhead bin.)  Of course he woke up about 10 times and screamed at the top of his lungs for 2 minutes, but it could have been so much worse.

In Hawaii, we had to go through Immigration with our Resident Alien and it took forever. They actually told us they forgot about us because they were changing shifts. I seriously don't know how that was possible as we had a crazy toddler running up and down the place and trying to enter the booths. Nonetheless, we got through Immigration but still needed to check our bags back in. We only had 30 minutes until our flight was taking off, but we found out that our plane was delayed 3 hours. Oh, the torture continues. I texted my friend Melanie to ask for prayers, and that girl has a direct line to Jesus because we had a good airport experience and even got seats together with an empty middle seat between us. The people around us at the airport gave us smiles, and even the people on the flight congratulated us and gave us compassionate looks when Robert cried out for his umma.

So we got home at 3:30 am local time.  Our wonderful small group friends had a sign on our house for our arrival. So awesome. We all fell asleep around 4:30 am.  Home.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Day 5

Sorry I'm a little behind with the updates. Yesterday was both wonderful and difficult. Our time with the foster mother was heartbreaking. She loves him so much. She has been a foster mother to many babies over the years, and our son is her last. We were surprised to find out that there never was a foster brother or father. She actually has two older daughters and a sister who helped her.  Robert loved his sister and clung to her for a long time until he was ready to play with Rob. The foster mother told us over and over again how smart Robert is. Her nicknames for him were "genius" and "doctor." She said he is calm and reserved and very clean. He will eat anything, and he eats a lot!! She told me his schedule, and he really has stuck to it today. She said he loves to go outside, ride in cars, and go in the stroller. She made me 3 picture albums of him with cute captions. It was obvious he was well loved by many family members including her mother who is over 90 years old. She said he was the superstar of the neighborhood. We have found everything she told us to be true. We call him the little prince because he has a way of getting you to dote on him. (Yes, he even came with a fan so when he's hot, someone can fan him!)

Here are some things I've learned about him in the past two days:

He looooves to eat! He especially loves snacks. He fills his mouth up like a chipmunk.
He does not like to take baths. At.all.
He loves electronics and figures out how to use them quickly.  My iPad has a film of crackers all over it. He knows how to turn on an iPhone and then swipe it to get to the main screen.
He loves Rob.  Rob can make him laugh like no other.
When you take his picture, he does a one-finger peace sign, kind of like a number one sign, next to his mouth. He likes to see the picture after you've taken it.

That's all for now. We are all getting up from naps. We are going out to dinner and then we have a photo shoot with our photographer, Greg Samborski.  If you are coming to Korea for an adoption, you have got to let me tell you about him.  He's super awesome!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Family Day-- Tuesday, August 7

Here is a preview. I'll write more later.  He is sleeping in the hotel room right now.  :-)

Day 3

Today we had a tour provided by our agency.  Michael was our guide.  He's a 19 year old, originally from Korea, who lives in Seattle and will be starting school in Pasadena in August for automotive design. This was his first time as a guide for Holt. He was awesome!

First he took us to Gyeongbokgung Palace.  It was an interesting place, but it was so hard to enjoy it because it was SO HOT!  We stayed long enough to see the changing of the guard and then took a taxi to the markets at Insadong. Vickie and I did a little souvenir shopping.  Then Michael took us to a tea room where we enjoyed cold pomegranate tea and some kind of sweet made with red bean paste in rice cakes. We tried to do a little more shopping but it was just too hot. So we had sandwiches with Michael for lunch and then we took our lives into our hands once more by hailing a taxi to head back to the hotel for showers and naps.

Right now we are getting ready to go out to dinner. I've just gotten the diaper bag ready, along with all the gifts for the foster family, the doctors, nurses, and staff of Holt Korea.  We probably won't get much sleep tonight! :-)

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Day 2

Today started with egg and muffin sandwiches at Dunkin Donuts. We then ventured out on our own. We took a cab to the Coex Mall which is a giant indoor mall/conference center/food court/aquarium.  It has many shops with brands we are familiar with, and many shops with costume jewelry and trinkets. We bought charms for our Christmas stockings and some Pororo toys for Robert.

At lunch we went to TGIFridays and ate fajitas while watching the USA men's Olympic basketball. It felt like we were at home!

Seoul is a very safe city so we decided to walk to the Olympic Stadium.  Um, bad idea. It was at least 90 degrees and there really wasn't anything to see there so we just took a couple of pictures and hailed a cab!

After we freshened up back at the hotel, we had dinner in the hotel lobby and then we had a tour bus pick us up at the hotel for a tour of a market and N Seoul Tower. Unfortunately for Rob, the market was actually another indoor mall. I bought some wedding ducks (white ducks) to give Robert when he gets married. The N Seoul Tower was spectacular. It is the 3rd tallest tower in the world, with one of the fastest elevators in the world. The 360 degree views are amazing. Before we left, we put a lock on the railing for our family.


I finally figured out how to get pictures to load, but they may come out sideways! All of the directions on my iPad are in Korean!

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Day 1

Well, we finally arrived in Seoul!  It's a little like "planes, trains, and automobiles!"  We were up for a full 24 hours, ate breakfast, lunch, and 3 dinners before finally sleeping. We had two nice surprises on the way to Seoul. The first was being served "anniversary cake" on the Korean Air flight.  I think my dad must have arranged for us to be served a treat because they put a special sticker on my seat and kept asking me when I wanted my cake. When they served it to me, they said, "Happy Anniversary!" So thank you, Dad and Jeri! The cheesecake was delicious!

The second surprise were the wonderful letters that our small group friends wrote for us to read on the plane. I pulled them out about 40 minutes before we landed in Seoul.  It was exactly what I needed--advice, encouragement, humor, love, support, and Scripture--written by those who have been through this journey with us from the beginning. We love you guys.

Seoul is amazing. It is so much bigger than I thought. We are staying at the Marriott Renaissance Seoul on the 16 th floor. Our plan for the day is to find food, look for things to do around the hotel, and tonight we are going on a night tour of Seoul Tower.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Family Day!

Our Family Day is scheduled for Tuesday, August 7 at 10:30 a.m.  So so so happy.