Friday, October 24, 2014

Saying Goodbye... For now

Today we are leaving Seoul. It's a complete mixed bag of emotions. We are crazy excited to see Nash but sad to be leaving Leo. Friday was an extremely eventful day. We had our court hearing and then our second meeting with Leo. Our court hearing lasted approximately 10 minutes and we think it was uneventful (which is what you want!). Our agency prepared us. We were given a list of possible questions we might be asked.  The judge was very pleasant. She asked us where Nash was, how do we incorporate the Korean culture in our family, and some logistical questions about how long I would spend with Leo before returning to work. We were there with other families. Some of which were first timers. I didn't envy them. They seemed much more nervous than us.  

After court we had our second meeting with Leo. I'm not sure how it could have been better than the first but it was. Leo was so engaging. Giggling and playing around with Bret. He loooooves Bret. It's exactly what happened when we met Nash for the first time. Nash took an immediate liking to Bret and only warmed up to me weeks later. Last time I felt really bad about this...but my attitude this time around is completely different. It might take a little time, but everything in the end balances out. I think Leo is going to be really social. I keep comparing the meetings in my mind to when we had Nash's and Nash was much more serious. Still can be at times. I told Bret that it was a long time before we could make Nash giggle. During the course of the meeting we got lots of giggles from Leo. Before long it was time to say goodbye. It was tough. This part of the process really sucks. I know it's not for long though. We are hoping to travel back by mid-November.  

My final thoughts. Overall, this trip I felt more relaxed and less anxious (accept when we were almost at the airport for our return flight home and I couldn't find our passports. They should have been in my backpack. Instead, Bret must have placed them in the luggage because that's where I found them and it's the only logical explanation). Anyhow, when we traveled for Nash, I was much more like the couples we saw in court. Nervous, serious, forgetting that the end was near and to really just enjoy every moment. Leo's foster family is really amazing. You can just feel how loved he is and how they have tried to prepare Leo the best they can. He is obviously is good hands and that helped ease my mind as we said our goodbyes. At the end of the meeting I asked them if they had any questions for me. They had two. One was what we named Leo and the second was if we were bringing Nash back when we took custody. I took that as a sign that we should. I mean, how hard can that be traveling with two toddlers, half way around the world.....ok, let's change the subject before I change my mind again.  

A gift from Leo and his foster family. 

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

First Trip to Meet Leo

We arrived in Seoul on Tuesday night. I've just now gotten the chance to write so applogies for that. The time change is much more difficult than the first trip for some reason. Last might we feel asleep at 6:30 pm (thought we would catch a little cat nap) and woke up at 9:30 to decide that sleep trumped dinner. Well it's now 4:00 am as I'm writing this and my stomach is regretting that decision. Ok, enough small talk!!!! Yesterday at 10:00 a.m., we had our first meeting with Leo and his foster mother.  I was really nervous. Even though this part of the process was exactly the same you can just never prepare for all the wave of emotions you feel. My tears were a ticking time bomb.  I just told my self (and was reminded by Bret) that we need to make sure we keep our emotions in check for the sake of Leo. We are staying in a guest house at the adoption agency. We were to report to the first floor at 10:00 a.m.  We decided to take the elevator. Why does this matter? Well, it was a strategic decision. Last time, we took the stairs and ran into Nash and his foster family before the meeting.  It's not ideal because you are so caught off guard and there is no one to do the translations. Frankly, it's just awkward. So, wanted to avoid that. So we loaded the elevator and for some reason accidentally pushed the wrong floor 2nd instead of 1. The elevator doors open and the first person I see is Leo. Standing there holding his foster mothers hand. We literally just starred at each other for a few seconds before I said something like "oh my god" covered my mouth with my hands and 3..2...1... Que the tears. He looked exactly like his photos. Only his hair is a little shorter and he was wearing an outfit we sent to him.  I swear this moment only lasted about 20 seconds but it's just one I will never forget. Don't worry, we only had about 10 minutes of paperwork to fill out before we were together again. This time in a proper setting. They have these meeting rooms set up with toys. It greatly helps the initial interaction. During the meeting we got to pepper foster mom with questions. We learned all about Leo's habits. What he does and doesn't like, how he sleeps, what sooths him (thankfully not a bottle), and what types of toys he enjoys (trucks!!! We have plenty of those). 

Leo is perfect. He is active, smart, independent, engaging, adorable and very loved by his foster family. The foster mother had 2 daughters with and the older one did a lot of talking. Telling us everything he can do and all the things he knows. You can tell they are just very proud of him. He calls us mommy and daddy. He recogized us from the pictures we sent. It's was a perfect meeting. Only one obvious part missing. Nash. We decided (for many reasons) to leave Nash at home with Grandma Sandy. I just keep thinking about the first time those two will meet. A moment to look forward to (man, I'm  crying again). We said our goodbyes, Bret and I each got kisses, hugs, high fives and giggles. We get to see him again Friday after court. 

Until then, Seoul is a beautiful city and we are taking full advantage. Unfortunately I can't post any pics of Leo, but here are some from our adventures. Everything here is just so beautiful. The people, buildings, history. This is a long entry. So if you skimmed that's ok. You see, I forgot my journal. So, this is for Leo to read someday. 
Above is traditional Korean BBQ. I want this is my last meal. #delish