Wednesday, December 16, 2009
Thank you for all of your comments on our first visit with Lily! She is such a doll!! So, here's more about yesterday....
Wednesday morning, we slept until 9 (after going to sleep at 3:30 a.m.) and then began our day with breakfast at our hotel. A couple of hours later, we took a 45 minute taxi ride to the agency. Ugh, the taxis! I am thankful for transportation, but I thought I was going to be sick the entire ride. Stop and go, stop and go....anyone remember "Stop n Go" in Russia when we adopted Owen? Well, let's just say, this ride made me feel like I was riding with him again! We decided to take the subway back to our hotel later that day!
Once we reached the agency, we were greeted by the sweetest Ms. Lee, our baby's social worker. She was so nice and friendly, as almost everyone we've met here has been, and she gave me 3 pictures of Lily from this past week! I was so excited to "see" her again! It had been 5 months since I last saw her face, and she had gotten so big! She now has much more hair and a lot of teeth and has grown so much! She is probably at least an 18 months size if not a 2T. Ms. Lee then told us that we were going to go to the foster family's house!
(picture of the entrance to the hospital where the adoption agency is)
After about 35 minutes (and a lot more stopping and going in all the traffic), we arrived at the foster family's apartment. Ms. Lee called the foster mother, and she excitedly responded that she was ready for us. We went up stairs and were greeted at the door by the most precious little girl dressed in a pretty pink dress--Lily Soojung! She looked at us like, "Who are you and why are you here?"
She ran over to her foster mother and asked her to hold her. Her foster mother introduced me as "Omma" (mother) and she started to cry. Oh, it was so hard to see her so upset at the sight of us. I started bringing out toys, and I was told she didn't like dolls and asked if we had any other toys. Guess what her favorite toy is--cars! She will LOVE our house as Owen has tons of cars and trains! When we told Ms. Lee we have a train table with trains and lots of cars, she told the foster mother, and her face lit up as she smiled and said she was glad to hear that. She also loves books, and I was glad to hear that because I brought a lot of books with us, and we have tons at home!
While we were letting our sweet girl warm up to us, her foster father came home. It was so sweet for him to come home from work to meet us! Both of her foster parents are so kind and love her dearly. She has truly blossomed with them and seems so much older than almost 13 months old, almost more like an 18 month old in ways.
I took out my pen and journal I've been writing in for Lily, and she started coming toward me.
She liked the pen and took it when I offered it to her (she hadn't taken other things from my hand). She tried to draw on the paper like I was doing and let me help her make a circle and happy face. She smiled and giggled and then tried to do it herself. She looked up and me and babbled "dooo dooo doo bah bah bah" like she was trying so hard to tell me something. Her foster mother said she babbles all the time. She is using a lot of single words in Korean and understands almost everything her foster mother says. She is so smart and just has the best personality! What a blessing to us!!
After playing a little with the pen and paper, she was happy. She let me hold her and loved playing with my hair and earrings. She giggled when I made them rattle and thought it was fun to take my hair and put it over my eyes and play peek-a-boo. She thought it was so funny when I said, "Num num num num" as she ate her piece of fruit and would shake her head side to side like me to ask me to say it again. She loved my kisses and leaned into me so sweetly.
At first, Lily wanted nothing to do with the photo album I brought, but after playing a little while, she wanted to look at it. She was so sweet looking at the pictures of me and then smiling and looking up at me, gently touching my cheek like "that's you!" It melted my heart! She is so so sweet. She is also so so fiesty and dramatic (my friends with girls are saying to themselves, "I told you!") . She loved to perform for us and have everyone clap for her. She got up on her knees and bounced around and laughed and laughed as we watcher her, making sure all eyes were on her the whole time. She loves to laugh!
She also loves my camera! Each time I took a picture, she would grin and then smile really big after the flash and want to look at the picture. She loved seeing the picture of me and her together!
After playing a while, her foster mother prepared an afternoon meal for us, bringing in a big tray of juice, fruit, and rice cakes (which look like balls). We followed Ms. Lee's lead and tried the rice ball and juice. Well, we made it about half-way through the rice ball and started having trouble getting through the rest. It had peanuts in it, and I don't care for peanuts, but I finished it with a smile :) The juice was delicious, and Lily Soojung loved the fresh fruit! She came over to me and sat in my lap and ate her fruit, even offering me some of hers!
Next, Lily's foster mother brought out gifts for me for Lily. She gave her a beautiful hanbok (traditional Korean dress) and a pair of new pink shoes! When I saw the size of the shoes, I immediately thought, "Oh no, the ones I brought with me are going to be too small!" They look like they are for a 3 year old! She has such big feet! Maybe they are a little big :) I hope her clothes I brought fit too! She may be in a 2 and not 18 months! I hope they fit! I know some of them may not fit her legs and arms. Her foster mom said she's very "healthy" and "loves cookies"!!! I giggled at that combination--healthy and loves cookies! Healthy was her way of saying chubby! :) I love her chubby little legs and arms, and I am so thankful she is so healthy! Oh goodness, I was told she doesn't like "hair pins" AKA bows! She likes to pull them right out of her hair. I'm saying a little prayer (I know, it's a shallow prayer, but still) that she will learn to love them if I make a big deal out of how pretty they are! LOL
Before we left, Lily Soojung came over and gave me a huge hug! She actually left her foster mother's arms to hug me, which was so sweet and unexpected. She played with my hair some more and gave me more Eskimo kisses.
She then picked up my bag as I put on my coat and got our other bag like she was going with us. It was so cute! She reached for me as we were leaving, and her foster mother told her she had to stay today. She learned to wave and say "bye-bye" as we left her (which was a dream for me as a speech pathologist and mother!). I can hardly wait to go to the agency tomorrow to get her!
So, today we have free to tour the city and have found a great bus tour to take to visit all the palaces and markets in this area. For the most part, the city is not very expensive to stay in, and we have not had trouble finding things we like to eat and drink and have had English-speaking angels everywhere we've been. Actually, the night we got into Seoul, our flight was an hour late coming in. We talked with the person at the airport info desk and had her write the name of our hotel in Korean/Hangul. She advised us to take the midnight bus to a certain stop and then take a taxi to our hotel. We got off the bus at our stop and then tried to find a taxi. One man tried to help us but didn't know where our hotel was. Then, out of nowhere, a young boy who had traveled home from the US made it his mission to find us a cab and get us to our hotel. He even offered to travel with us to make sure we got to the hotel before going home to see his family for the holiday break. He was so sweet! He was definitely an angel for us that night! He got us a taxi who knew where our hotel was (after 3 didn't know) and sent us on our way. We thanked him over and over again.
I wish we didn't have this day between seeing Lily Soojung, but for some reason that is how the agency has arranged things. We will pick her up at 2 pm tomorrow (Friday here), which is 11 p.m. Thursday at home. I plan to wear the same outfit as yesterday to help Lily remember me better. She kept the photo album she loved so much yesterday too which should help as well. it is going to be hard for her to leave her foster mother, I know. She adores her and would go to her every time she got upset and clinged to her when we first got there. I know she will do okay over time, but tomorrow will likely be very very emotional. I will not just be a new friend coming to play. I will be taking her away from everything she has known to a new home and family. Her foster mother seems very excited for Lily to have us although I know she will also miss her.
So, now we are off to get ready to go on our palace and market tour!
So happy, so excited, and so thankful,