Monday, November 17, 2008
I apologize for not posting in such a long time. There were days that I had to chose between showering and posting on the blog and think the people around me were happy with my choice. :-) We are doing very well, though. I think Ian is starting to feel at home here. We've been taking baby steps to get him into his own bed and we succeeded last weekend (with NO tears!!). He started out sleeping with us in our bed, then we put a mattress on the floor in his room and slept with him there. And now we just sit in his room while he goes to sleep in his crib.
He is such a happy little guy. He and Cydney "play" well together...I'm not sure Ian understands he's playing most of the time, but he likes to hang out where Cydney is. Yesterday they were playing restaurant under the table. Cydney wanted to know why Ian just wanted to eat the plates and not the play food. :-) She also likes to "talk" to him. While riding in the car the other day Ian was babbling away at her and she was graciously replying with "Oh, really? That's nice." With most certainly days ahead of us with sibling quarrels I'm soaking up all I can of these little exchanges. It is more than I'd hoped for.
Here is what we've learned about Ian's likes and dislikes. He likes yogurt, cheerios, tickling, anything that can be chewed on (he's chewing on a string from my robe in this picture) or anything that he can pull himself up on, and he loves being tossed in the air (gently, of course). And Grandpa Russell, we've even checked it out and his Gollywopper is ticklish! Things Ian dislikes are car seats, highchairs (basically anything that keeps a man down), and socks. :-) The jury is still out about the dog. He has been pretty scared of our dog, but at the same time is fascinated by him.
This past weekend was a huge turning point for Ian. I think I can now consider myself part of his inner circle.(high fives all around!) He seems to have relaxed and is enjoying himself with us. We are sure enjoying him!! He is a delight and such a great gift to our little family. He lives up to his name...Ian means "Gift from God."
Thursday, November 6, 2008
We are here!! It is so good to be home. Ian is doing well. We are enjoying getting to know him and his little isms. He is a relatively easy going baby. He is tending to do his grieving at night. It breaks our hearts when he does, but we're working through it. Here is a picture of Ian's last sunset in Korea. We said good-bye and that we'll be back someday! The flight home was a loooong one. Ian slept for about 3 hours total. He is also cutting 3 teeth the poor guy. He has taken to Sean very well. Sean seems to be the only one that can soothe him. He lets me hold him and feed him, but only Dad will do when he's sad. I'm so glad that one of us is able to soothe him when he's sad. Cydney is being such a good big sister. She doesn't like to hear him cry so when he does she goes and finds the "best" toys to bring him so he'll be happy again. Ian is likewise in awe of her. He likes to seek her out. Here is a picture of her watching TV and Ian checking on her. And here is another picture of them breaking in his bathtub. Please disregard the kids' hair. If you think that's bad you should see what I look like!! We've been in a fog since we've been home. :-) Oh and we've gotten a lot of questions as to Ian's hair. No, we haven't given him a Mohawk. It is just the endearing way it is. We gave him a bath and as soon as we dried his hair it was back up again. :-)
We're slowly exposing Ian to different things in our lives. Sean is in the other room as we speak playing the guitar for him. It is never too soon to start him on a musical instrument. ;-) It kind of looks like Ian is dancing. :-)
I'll leave you with a few pictures of Ian this morning. He seems to be happiest when he is clothes free.
Monday, November 3, 2008
We had a meeting with the elder Dr. Kim and lunch with his daughter, Dr. Kim. It was nice after a few days of just site seeing to finally be doing something adoption related. Here is a picture of Sean and I with the elder Dr. Kim. He's technically retired, but still likes to meet with each family that is adopting. He was a sweet man that has done so much for orphans and unwed mothers here. I had no idea the size of the organization that he's manage to build in 25 years. The lunch with the younger Dr. Kim was delicious!! We got to meet many other families here that are adopting. They sat us next to Dr. Kim and I was very nervous about my dinner etiquette. At least we've had some time to practice it the last few days. We spent the rest of the day just milling around the area near here. There is a cinema that was showing English movies with Korean subtitles, so we broke down and saw one. We finished the night with a nice meal at restaurant overlooking the street. It is the latest we've been out since we've been here (8:30pm)! We should be going to bed early tonight because tomorrow we get Ian....FOREVER!!! Or at least until he's eighteen and goes to college, but I can't think about that now. :-)
I'm very excited and scared about tomorrow. The talk at lunch today turned towards the grieving that these little guys go through being taken from everything they know into a world where nothing is familiar. This isn't new news to us, we've been warned about it and read books about it and gone to classes about it. My heart breaks for him. It is so much grief for such a little one to have to bare. I can't blame him. We look funny and smell funny to him. Most of the stares we get in public are from children. I saw a baby on an elevator today and I was trying to get her to smile at me, but she was so scared and she was in her mother's arms! Don't get me wrong, I have been ready for tomorrow for a very long time and I will hold Ian until the pain goes away and I'm a familiar face. I'm just afraid my heart might shatter in the process.
When we've taken these classes that discuss his grief and attachment to us, it has been suggested that we keep visitors to a minimum when we get home. We will probably be hermits for the first few weeks so he can work on becoming attached to us. Depending on how that goes, we are then going to ask that visitors be no more than a few people at a time and for a short period of time. This is so hard for us to do!! Believe me, I can't wait to introduce him to all of you back home that have been praying for him and loving him since before we knew him. We hope you can understand. He might surprise us all and have very little trouble transitioning. I hope so.
I'm not sure I'll have a chance to blog tomorrow or not. The ceremony is set for 4 p.m. Dr. Kim will say a prayer for Ian before he's entrusted to us. If you don't mind saying a little prayer for Ian and us tomorrow too I would very much appreciate it.
Since we didn't take very many pictures today, I'll leave you with this one. A view from our final room here at Eastern. We love it and I hope it will bring some peace to Ian tomorrow night. So our next post may be state-side. Thank you to all of you who have shared in this journey with us. It has been wonderful having all of your support over here with us!
Sunday, November 2, 2008
Today we hiked and boy are we feelin' it tonight! We hiked up Mt. Namsan to the Seoul Tower. I think I'd recommend taking the cable car up there. I was sure envious of the people riding to the top when we were going up the stairs. We even ran into some bees and gave the locals a good show trying to get away from them. There were women with high heels passing us! (Which actually wasn't unusual, women here wear high heels everywhere.) It was a beautiful hike. The leaves are changing here and it was a wonderful view from up top! We ate lunch there and went to the observation deck. Here we are waving to Chicago...we didn't see anyone waving back. How sad. It was amazing to see how big Seoul really is. It just kept going and going....
We then walked down the mountain on the other side and walked to another shopping area called Itaewon. I had wanted to go a get the kid's names painted by this vendor that another couple had used when they were here. Little did we know that most of the stores were closed because it was Sunday. We had a time getting there and had to whip out our map several times. We had so many people stop and help us today. They would just come over and ask if they could help us. This isn't uncommon here. Like I've said before they are the warmest and friendliest people I've ever met. It turned out that the vendor wasn't there today, but we did find a fantastic dessert shop that was open!! It might have been the millions of calories that I burned going up and down the mountain, but the chocolate and dessert at this place was to die for!! And there were so many to chose from!! My mouth is watering just thinking of them again.
We started walking toward the subway and found all these antique shops that were open. That was a lot of fun!! There were so many nice things. Sean, who is ever the voice of reason in our relationship, pointed out that if I was willing to leave all my clothes here, then I could bring something back!! :-)
Speaking of clothes, I am in awe of the way people are dressed here. They are soo stylish! Everyone is dressed so nicely. Like I said before the women are usually in dress shoes everywhere they go. I bought a scarf the other day to try and blend in. Sean doesn't think it worked. I think he's right. But they sure make me want to strive to be more stylish!!
I have a correction to yesterday's blog. I posted the wrong picture of the rat. I actually posted the snake which is the animal of the year I was born. Sorry. Thank you to those of you who are REALLY reading the blog. Take my word for it, the rat look just about the same only with ears. :-)
Saturday, November 1, 2008
We were shameless tourists today. We went to a palace and a folk museum to learn a little more about the history of our son's country. We took pictures, tried on costumes, and watched a show of traditional dance and music. My hat wouldn't fit in this picture (my head is too big). It was kind of nice being in a place that had a lot of other foreigners. We didn't feel like we stuck out quite so much. Although we were still sought out by University students trying out their English. Today they only had us fill out some surveys. Yesterday we were separately stopped in the market and asked about what people in our country thought about their hair styles and tattoos. So Sean spoke for everyone in the US about our views on tattoos and I represented what the women in US think about their hair. Sorry ladies, you just aren't lovin' your hair right now. They asked me to pick out a hair style I wished I had from celebrities on a page and I chose Jennifer Aniston. And these kind, very generous and I'm pretty sure blind students said "Oh you look like her!" You know that annoying saying that all Asians look alike, well I think they just proved that it goes both ways. The only sad thing is, if I look like Jennifer then I also look like Joan Rivers. Yikes!
Here is a picture of me with a little statue of the rat. 2008 is the year of the rat and since it is Ian's year we thought we should take a picture of it. See... tourists.
A question that many of you have asked is if we will get to see Ian again or if we have since Thursday. The answer is no to both questions. No one gets to see their kids over the weekend and we've heard that other families are having meetings with their little people on Monday afternoon. We tried to push for a meeting with Ian that day, but it doesn't seem like it will happen until Tuesday at 4pm, when we get him forever. We have some different theories as to why that might be. His foster mom might live too far away to make the trip, perhaps they saw our first meeting as going well and didn't think we needed another one. We're just not sure. I sure am missing him, though. I'm missing both my kids. I know they want us to explore the country and learn about the culture that we will now be tied to, but I can't help feeling that I just want to zip through these days until we can get him. Three more days and he's ours forever! It won't be long, I know. Don't get me wrong I do like being a tourist.