I was babysitting a friend's daughter on Wednesday the 3rd. I was in a bad mood, even though I truly believed God had told me to pray for Jack to come home by Christmas, the calendar had read December for 3 days so far and they played Christmas songs constantly on the radio and my baby was not home! I started to doubt the Lord and became angry every time I saw Christmas decorations...which was very hard for me because typically this is my favorite time of year.
We had been playing outside and I went inside to make sure my friends hadn't called saying they were here to pick up their daughter and I wasn't answering the front door. Sure enough there was a message. So I played the message expecting it to be my friends and instead it was my social worker saying she had good news for me and to call her back. I became frantic, yelling at Kylynn to be quiet so I could hear the number and completely freaking out! I called her back and as she was telling me the good news our power went out..which made my phone stop working. Luckily she immediately called my cell and gave me the details. Kyle came home early from work and we spent the rest of that day trying to book airfare and hotel, arrange someone to watch Kylynn, and make a huge list of all we needed to get done.
Three days later, on Saturday, we flew to Korea. The travel went great we had absolutely no problems, we flew Asiana Air to Korea and I felt like I was in first class, I have never experienced anything like that...and I've flown internationally before. I cannot sleep on planes, so we stayed awake for 24 hours (mostly) and easily adjusted to Korean time, just went to sleep when we got there at 9pm and woke up the next morning.
That morning we woke up was Monday morning and we had a 9:30 appointment to meet Jack. Miraculously I was calm and not about to throw up (which I really do when I'm extremely nervous). The foster mom walked in and our social worker said here's your baby! And I looked at Kyle like, do you see him? I know he's supposed to be small and all but there is no baby here. Then she took off her coat and underneath was a baby tied to her back. We both got to hold him, but Jack was not having any of that he cried instantly and after a few minutes the foster mother would take him back. We enjoyed meeting him but were a little concerned about how scared he seemed of us. We got to spend 20 minutes talking to the foster mother (our social worker interpreted for us) asking her questions about his preferences and their family. I will write more on the topic of his foster mother soon, but let me tell you she desperately loved him and raised him as her own precious son, I could not believe how God blessed us again. We said goodbye to Jack and his foster mom and were told to pick him up Wednesday at 4pm, 24 hours before we were scheduled to fly out, due to his stranger anxiety, they thought the longer he got to spend with us the better (usually you pick up your baby 3 hours before your flight).
Amazingly we were both fine saying goodbye to Jack, it was obvious to us that he was very loved and happy. We spent the next 2 1/2 days exploring Seoul. I cannot remember if I was smart enough to pray that the Lord would make us fall in love with Jack's country, but thankfully somebody did. We loved Korea, the people were amazing, very helpful and respectful. They bow, and I loved that so much, I want to start that in the US, we could learn so much for them on how to treat our neighbor the way you'd like to be treated. The city is huge! with so many people everywhere I couldn't believe it. When you use the subway during rush hour they come off in a large mass and rush towards you, they walk everywhere and are always in a hurry. And I couldn't stop looking at them, they were the most beautiful people I've ever seen and everyday, everybody (I'm serious!) was dressed to the nines, amazing fashion! We loved the food and there was always somebody who could speak enough English to help us order our meat cooked! It was a little pre-baby vacation for Kyle and I and we shopped and sight saw all the time we had so much so that our bodies ached and we slept like logs at night.
Wednesday we went to the agency to pick up Jack. The second I walked in the door I was crying, I could not imagine the pain his foster mother was going through. They gave us lots of stuff and instructions, the foster mother gave us about 5 outfits for Jack, Christmas presents for all of us, photo albums, and toys. Then they gave me a carrier and put Jack in it. His foster mother was crying and telling him goodbye in Korean, after a while the social worker told me to go ahead and walk off, so I did. But his foster mother ran after us and held onto Jack one last time and hugged Kyle and I. For days I would break down crying replaying that in my head, I feel so blessed by her love for my son, and I cannot wait to see her again someday in heaven.
Unlike the first time we met him, Jack was very calm during all of this, not a tear. We began walking back to our hotel and he fell asleep in the carrier. When we got to our room, I sat and let him sleep till he woke up. When he woke up he was very scared, he had no idea who we were or what was going on. That first hour of him crying was hard, but I comforted him the best I could and eventually realized that maybe he would be happier if I was not holding him, we put him on a pallet on the ground with toys and I sat next to him and he was happy. Ever since then, he seems happy to see us and only unhappy when he has a need that needs to be met or during the night. For the first couple of days he asked for his ooma (Mommy in Korean) several times a day, but lately that has lessened. He appears to have bonded with me on some level and cries when I leave the room. He is a very happy baby and his favorite past time seems to be laughing and making funny noises.
God worked out some miracles on our behalf on the flight home. We had three different people move us to the front of lines so that we could make our connecting flight in Los Angelos. I cannot thank you all enough for your many prayers, the Lord immensely blessed our travel, Jack did great never crying for too long, and sleeping some, I couldn't have asked for it to go better. Of course I hope to never have to get on a plane again, two 24 hour trips in less than a week is crazy!!
Kylynn loves Jack, but is not crazy about sharing me with him, but is getting better everyday, now that we're back to "normal" life and routine. Our parents cared for Kylynn and she had a blast while we were gone and tells me she wants to go back to Nana/Grandpa's house (I'm pretty sure there was less rules there :). My parents came that first weekend we were back and it blessed us to have them here loving and admiring our new baby, we were really sad when they had to go.
We'll see what the future holds but right now Jack seems like a very happy baby who really loves his family, and I even think he'll be a great sleeper once he figures out we've left Korea! :)