Thursday, May 17, 2012

Seoul Day 4 Part II: Family Day!!!

The 4 of us walk off the elevator as 2 couples one last time, the next time we enter we'll have our children in our arms.  It was very surreal, and very nerve wracking.  Immediately upon entering the main office we saw Suhbin and his Foster Mom and Foster Dad.  I know that we are incredibly blessed that we were able to meet his Foster Father twice - I think that they were very close.   They greet us and we talk to him.  He's fairly happy, much better than yesterday anyway.  Not that he necessarily wants to be in a waiting area of some office, but he hadn't just woken up so that was good!

We are immediately ushered into another small room on the other side of the office.  Our Social Worker goes to get the rest of the documents and we try to interact with Suhbin some more.  It is very difficult and awkward to be in a room with people who do not speak the same language as you, yet you share a love for this child and you desperately want to tell them how thankful you are that they took such great care of him over the past 11 months!  It was hard but we managed.  Basically all attention was just on Suhbin and he's pretty good at demanding attention so it worked out OK. 

When the SW got back she got down to business.  She showed us the important customs documents (DO NOT OPEN THIS ENVELOPE!!!) and his placement report, which was basically his immunization record and a quick update on his health and stats (84 cm, 12 kg).  She invites the family to give us the things that they brought for Suhbin.  There are bags of snacks, clothes, everything we sent to Suhbin in his care package (they said that the 24 month clothing was too big!  Hurray!), Mong-Mong, a few pieces of clothing and some mittens and a hat that her children had made for him (sob!).  We also got a book of pictures (that I just looked at this week, more crying), and a CD of pictures.  We finally have pictures of him younger than 10 months old!  They took custody at 5 months and she has pictures from the day they took custody.  It was such a gift!  We are so thankful to have these things.  SWS also gave us formula, bottles, a Korean flag, and CD.  We were weighted down with stuff!  It was amazing.  Also on the way to the elevator, one person who I had brought a gift came out with a beautiful jewelry box for me.  I'm not sure if that's customary but it was wonderful and beautiful and I hope to give it to Suhbin one day for his home (OK, to his wife...).  Brian became a pack mule while I took some pictures of Suhbin and his foster family getting him ready one last time.  We were told what to expect - the hand off would be at the elevator, after we got on.  The doors opened, we stepped in, I turned around and Suhbin's FM handed him to me.  We both choked back tears as she waved goodbye and I held a screaming, unhappy boy!  The elevator doors closed and we started the longest elevator ride of our lives!  It stopped at maybe the 3rd floor?  Someone was about to get on with their baby, but saw what was going on and said to go ahead.  Thank you!  He continued to try to arch out of my arms, push away from me, and scream.  I patted his back and said "Kwen chan ah, Mienhamnida, O gee mah" which are the things FM told me she would say to comfort him (they mean "It's OK, I'm sorry, and don't cry").  It was heartbreaking and I was a bit freaked!  But the elevator doors eventually opened and we walked into the blessed construction!  Our boy was fascinated and stopped screaming or fighting immediately!  Brian said he wished we could take it with us.  We headed out and he cried a little more but then we got to where we could see the cars and trucks going by (the main road) and he was fascinated again.  He was so interested in all that was going on, what a blessing!  We hadn't fully figured out the carrier yet, so hadn't had time to put it on at SWS, and I was trying to carry him best I could.  We felt like we had to hurry out of there in case the foster family came down right away, we didn't want him to see them at that point, it seemed that would be even harder.  We made it around the corner and our hotel was just a block or so away so we just walked as quickly as we could.  He was interested in the inside of the hotel, but the moment we crossed the threshold to our room they crying started again.  We dropped everything off and Brian entertained him by looking out the window for a few minutes while I cleaned up a bit and tried to figure out the carrier.  Then we got him in the carrier (quite a bit of trial and error - poor boy was NOT happy still) and wrapped Mong-Mong around my neck and we hit the street with our newest addition!  We walked to a very nice park that had terrific walking trails.  It was quiet and he loved being outside so it was a great walk!  We mostly just let him see what was around.  Here are a few pics of our first night:

The tiny little elevator (don't let the mirror deceive you!)

Our boy napped in the carrier.  Foster Mom said he hadn't had a nap that day.

Sweet sleepy boy.

At the park we found!  He woke up and enjoyed it.  We tried to let him walk once, but he wasn't having any of it.

Back at the hotel, looking out the window (his favorite spot in his not so favorite hotel room) with the Paris Baguette snack we picked up!  Sweet Potato filled pastry!  He was a fan! :)

Looking out at Seoul.

Leaning against Daddy and keeping Mong-Mong close!

Umma, Suhbin, and Mong-Mong

Perking up for a little bit!

It actually took him a day to fully figure out the whole sippy cup thing.

Silly people - nothing is coming out!  How do you expect me to drink this?!?
Taking his bottle on the floor (he didn't want to have us near him while he drank his bottle.
     He actually slept fairly well.  He called out a bit, but slept better than I expected for the first night.  Of course we haven't hit the jet lag yet...    
Sound asleep!  See that monkey blanket?  His FM said it's his favorite!  It's the one we sent in the care package!

Tomorrow we will see how a full day together goes....



  1. Awww! I'm all teary eyed. So happy for you guys. Can't wait to read more.

  2. What a cutie-pie he is! Congratulations on the beginning of your life as Suhbin's parents! We brought our boy home a year ago, what a journey! I remember that little elevator, thanks for the picture. We are so blessed to be able to be parents to these precious children aren't we? My thoughts and prayers go out to you, Suhbin, and his foster family during this time of change. All the best :)

  3. Tucker came to us in the same outfit!!!!