Sunday, August 29, 2010

15 Months & First "Official" Play Date

Yesterday Wesley turned 15 months and we celebrated by having his first "official" play date. Our good friends (and former neighbors) Jim and Alison drove up from the Bay Area with our goddaughter Kira who is one month older than Wesley - we have all been dying to get the two of these kids together!

Wesley was sooo excited to see Kira when they arrived that he started kicking and squealing while I was holding him. We put the two kids together in the family room with some toys and Wesley immediately went over to one of his favorites to show Kira. And, it went on from there. . . The two of them played really well together it was adorable. Wesley definitely had a close eye on Kira since she's older and is walking - it didn't hurt that she's beautiful :)

Wesley and Kira playing together.
Kira is starting early with the phone in hand :)

The highlight of the day was when the two were playing peek-a-boo behind one of the family room curtains. If you have read this blog you know that Wesley is a big fan of peek-a-boo.
The beginning of the "peek-a-boo" dance
Are you talking to me?

We had a wonderful day with our friends and Wesley had a fun time getting to know his new girlfriend. He did really well the remainder of the day once our guests left with the exception of nap time and bedtime. He woke up an hour into both crying, but I rocked him back to sleep and he was good to go. He's never done that before so I can only guess that it was a reaction to the day's festivities - which we've read can sometimes happen.

15 Months
At 15 months and almost one month home with us, Wesley has done remarkably well. There are many areas in which I feel that he has really made progressed since we arrived home. Then, there are unfortunately a few areas where we still struggle, but we constantly remind ourselves that we haven't been home that long and he's been through a lot. Here's a little breakdown:

When Wesley left South Korea he was only on formula (every 3 hours) - hence the almost 30 pound little boy we now have on our hands :) Our pediatrician wanted us to keep him on the formula a little longer (reduced amount) but introduce solids. So, we've been having a blast trying out different foods with Wesley. And, boy does this kid LOVE to eat! He literally hasn't turned a thing down. He loves anything and everything. Vegetables, fruit, yogurt, oatmeal, etc. he eats it. And, he really "gets into" his food.

Note the crazy hair - food is caked in there making it all stiff and spikey

What's so funny?

This is still a challenge. More so at nap time versus bedtime, but it varies. We've done our best to establish a schedule and routine for naps and bedtime. However "somebody" just doesn't want to go to sleep the majority of the time and tends to put up a fight. Now, this may sound like every other child, right? Well, throw in some grieving - which happens to occur during these times and it's a whole new ballgame. There's not only crying, a struggle and calling out for foster mom but, we are now seeing some new signs of grieving which have been upsetting. We're hanging in there, being patient and just giving him the love that we know he needs hoping that he can work through the grieving.

No walking yet. . . But, he's close and we're okay with that. He's all over the place as it is simply by crawling and by cruising along the furniture. He has a few walker toys that he uses down our long hallway and he loves to cruise along our bar stools in the kitchen. Something tells me it's coming soon.
Here's Wesley cruising around in the hallway

One word = drool. Lots of it. It seems like ever since we brought Wesley home he's been teething. He's gotten 3 teeth in since we've been home and we're pretty sure that he's cutting a molar. The drool is non-stop and he's been putting his finger(s) in his mouth like he's trying to gag himself. Poor guy :( Baby Orajel is his best friend and sadly he knows the tub and makes a grunting noise for it when he sees it. I feel for him.

Well, I think that's it for this post. I got him down at 10pm tonight and while we were laying on the floor together in the dark room with the Beatles Bedtime CD playing (just part of our "routine") he looked at me, smiled and touched my face. And in that moment, any of the challenges, sleepless nights, worries, etc. faded away and he melted my heart. THIS is why we're parents. . . Goodnight.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Good Things

We're in our 3rd week home with Wesley and although there are some things we're working on as well as some challenges (which may just take awhile), we are really starting to get in the groove of things. I still can't believe that he's really here sometimes. In the short time that he has been here, he has brought so much joy into our life. Last night after I put him to bed, I reflected about the day and a few "Good Things" in our world and thought they were "post worthy."

Michelle's Good Things
1. My adoptive mom friend Michelle and her husband leave today for Korea to go pick up their son, Maddyx. Bringing our babies home is always a good thing but Michelle and I have a special connection (in addition to both being in California) and our sons are close in age (and size, hee hee) so I am especially excited for the journey she is about to take. YAY!

2. I haven't blogged about this yet, but we recently found out some wonderful about some neighbors of ours. We actually had not met them, but we found out that a couple up the street from us is adopting from the very same agency that we did and that they just received a referral for a little boy! What are the chances? They came over a week or so ago to introduce themselves, meet Wesley and bring him a gift. How thoughtful is that? We are thrilled for them and to one day (hopefully soon) have a playmate for Wesley that close by. This is definitely a good thing in my book.

3. My mom came over yesterday to watch Wesley. This was a first for all of us. I had a hair appointment (the gray was getting out of control) and we desperately needed to do a good cleaning of the house since our first post-placement visit by our social worker is this afternoon. So, we had my mom come to hang out, play, etc. with Wesley while I was gone and while Brian got started on "Project Clean Up." Like I said, this was a first - so, we didn't quite know what to expect from Wesley. Well, he did great! When he started the day off with a greeting of smiles and kicking his feet for his Grandy, I had a feeling things would be OK. They played, read books, ate lunch and shared a lot of laughs. In turn, we were able to get a lot done. Thank you Grandy - Wesley says, "Come back soon."

4. As I mentioned in the above Good Thing, our first post-placement visit from our social worker is today. I label this as a Good Thing because it brings us one step closer to finalizing Wesley's adoption. We have a total of 4 of these visits over the course of 6 months. I am hopeful that all will go smooth. Stay tuned. . .

5. My last Good Thing is the outpouring of love that we have experienced since we have arrived home. Whether it's been from friends, family or neighbors, it's been absolutely amazing. From homemade meals, to thoughtful cards and generous gifts for Wesley, we are constantly reminded what special people we are surrounded by. It does not go unnoticed and we feel blessed to have each and everyone one of you in our life.

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Bubbles. . .

Wesley was having a bit of a meltdown the other day and nothing was working to calm him down. I mentioned to Brian that sometimes you have to get creative. Of course in the middle of a meltdown, that is probably the LAST thing he wanted to hear. Next thing I know, Wesley's in the Ergo carrier and the two of them are are headed to the backyard with a bottle of bubbles in tow. Creativity at it's best.

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

2 Weeks Home - Udpate

I can't believe that we have been home now for two weeks - it doesn't seem like a long time sometimes and yet just today, Brian said to me, "We haven't been at work for three whole weeks" (this includes the week that we traveled to Seoul). We get lost in our days with Wesley, and it is sooo not what Brian and I are used to. We are planners. We like set schedules. We are WAY out of our comfort zone. Sometimes I ask Brian, "What day is it again?" We are behind on our DVR'd TV shows. We're trying to keep up with what's going on in the world via the Internet and late night news. If you keep up with our blog then you are aware of my "hairwashing situation" - I'm happy to report that I'm cool with that. However, I'm pretty confident that I haven't worn mascara, lipstick, earrings or perfume since we left Seoul. And, you know what, it's all O.K. Now, back to Wesley after all, this blog IS about him. . . He's doing really well for being home 2 weeks.

He continues to be a happy, funny, active and inquisitive little boy. He is literally "in to" everything! He has to touch all that he passes by. He's discovered mirrors and it's the funniest thing. He goes up to the sliding mirrored closet doors in our master bathroom, stares at himself, inches up closer to put his face right up to it and slobbers all over the mirror like he's kissing himself. It's hilarious. Wesley LOVES to play peek-a-boo! This is one of the things that I selfishly enjoy doing with him. I must get a funny look on my face or do something that cracks him up, because he absolutely looses it. It's the BEST sound in the world to hear him laugh. He also does this little squeal along with laughing. Too funny!

Brian takes Wesley out every morning for a nice walk (Wesley in the carrier - stroller is next step) on our nature trails spotting bunnies, birds and all kinds of wildlife and making friends. This is one of the highlights of Wesley's day as well as Dad's. :) As far as day-to-day things go - eating is going great. Wesley is picking up eating solid foods really well. We're slowly introducing vegetables, yogurt, fruit and some starches. Unfortunately, his tummy was taking a little longer to adjust at the beginning. There was one day that Brian and I labeled the "BP Incident." We were literally doing all we could to "plug" him up. We needed a "Top Kill" procedure and fast. The poor kid pooped eight times that day and we're talking runny, messy poop. When I called my mom for advice and she asked me to describe it, I think Brian's description was, "applesauce." Yeah, he's ready for this.

So, now we've come to sleep. This is where I grab a glass of wine and try to choke back the tears. Nights are good. It's nap time that's tough. And when I say tough, we're talking crying, struggling, pulling hair (Wesley pulling mine), calling out for "Umma" (which is Korean for Mom = foster mom), etc. We're not forcing nap time upon him; it all starts with him being upset because he's tired and snowballs from there. Although he's tired, he fights going to sleep and it seems as though the grieving is coming out. The only thing that seems to work is walking up and down our hallway with him. Which sounds ok - except he's quickly approaching 30 pounds and I'm quickly approaching 40 years of age, you do the math :) I'm happy to do whatever makes him happy, it just breaks my heart to see/hear him hurting. It's so hard to not be able to give him what he needs during this transition.

Well, as I write this post it's aroud 10:00pm Pacific Time and we're in for a long night as Wesley had another tough day and his nap schedule was all out of whack - sorry for the ultra long post, but it's been a week so I suppose I had a lot to say :)

Here's a few photos we took over the past week. Some highlights if you will. Enjoy!

Dad and Wesley reading. Wesley's favorite books right now are, "Little Panda" (thank you Liz) and "Handy Manny, Manny's Book of Tools" (thank you Nanie)
He's getting comfortable standing/pulling himself up - walking is just around the corner.

LOVE that smile!
First time playing in the kiddie pool. Hmmm, I think I like this!

Big difference between Dad's shoes and Wesley's. . .

Thursday, August 12, 2010

1+ Week Home

Yesterday (Wednesday) marked one week that we have been home. In one week's time Wesley has experienced many milestones/firsts. Just on our journey home he had his first car ride, airplane ride and first time in a car seat - big day! As prepared as I thought I/we were for Wesley's arrival, I am a bit embarrassed to admit that I do not yet have an "official" baby book for him. So, I have been recording his "firsts" and important milestones in a journal so that we at least have the information and dates down to transfer when I do finally get around to getting a book.

We went into this first week thinking that it would be one of transition but somewhat uneventful in terms of activity on Wesley's part. We figured that he would spend this time bonding with us and the exploring and such would come later. Well, looking back, we had a pretty busy first week. We visited the doctor's office not one but two times (once for what we thought was more than a cold and once for his first physical). We made the switch from Korean formula to American (Enfamil) formula and then introduced solid foods such as: sweet potatoes (pureed), orzo pasta, green beans (pureed), turkey deli meat and cheese.

We had our first social "outing" to a nearby park and then went shopping that afternoon. And, last night Wesley slept in his room alone in the crib - with the exception of the first night we came home, Brian's been sleeping on the floor each night with Wesley in the crib.

I think there is more sweet potato on his face than in his mouth.
Wesley still has his moments of grieving but overall he's a very happy, active and curious little boy. His pediatrician described him as having a very happy disposition. The last two social visits we've had, we've done outside of the home and they have worked out much better. On Monday, my mom stopped by and we took a nice walk to a nearby park. Wesley did great and ended up in my mom's lap. It was very cute.

He loves his Grandy already.

Although we really aren't on a "schedule" per se with Wesley yet, we are doing our best to roll with it. We're tired, you probably already read the post about me not knowing when I last washed my hair (it's clean by the way), and we eat when we can - but it's still the best thing we've ever done and we wouldn't change a thing. When this little dude looks up at you with these trusting eyes that just melt your heart - nothing else matters. Nothing.

Monday, August 9, 2010

Meeting The Family & A Few Outings

We just put Wesley down for the night (hopefully) and I just realized that I can't remember when I last washed my hair. I supposed that pretty much sums up the last few days. I know that I have washed it since we arrived home on Wednesday, but that's about it. Now, let me clarify something - most people with naturally curly hair don't wash their hair every day, we try to preserve the natural oils, etc. However, I've been in a bit of a haze that I can't remember, there have been baseball hats involved, so who knows? I've showered each day - THAT I know. Oh, well. Tomorrow, it will get washed.

Anyway, back to our sweet Wesley. He continues to grieve and work through the time change. He's also cutting some new teeth (3, I think) which is definitely adding to his overall demeanor. Can you can drool city? I have two teethers that I purchased for him - one that you put in the refrigerator which he hates and one that is a rubbery-nubby thing. He likes it, but still prefers to bite on anything and everything he can get his hands on. This includes his big toes. We're not quite clean on where he learned this, but he sucks and bites on his big toes. It's the funniest thing. He either brings his entire foot up to his mouth or leans down to it.

Wesley pulling out the toe suck in public at our park outing on Sunday.

Saturday Wesley had his first visitors since our arrival on Wednesday when my parents quickly stopped by. My brother and his fiance (Kelli) stopped by with their sons. Wesley did great - he really liked both my brother and Kelli. He pretty much just stared at my nephew Brooks who is a little over 3 months. And, I think Kelli's son Jaden was a little too old (6 years) for Wesley to relate to.

My brother holding my nephew & Brian holding Wesley.

The boys posing for a picture.

After the gang left, Wesley took a turn and for the rest of the afternoon into the evening he was struggling. I don't know if the visit was overwhelming for him or if he it was the grieving or a combination of both, but he was hurting. He cried a lot and not too much made him happy. In the end, he ended up falling asleep around 10pm that night and sleeping all the way through until 7:30am.

Sunday we were supposed to have our good friends Jose and Shannon over to visit (they watched over our animals which we were in Seoul). After Wesley's reaction on Saturday, we decided to have an outing instead of having them at the house. We walked to a local park between our home and Jose and Shannon's and met up with them in the late morning. The weather was perfect and we were met with a portable picnic table & umbrella, snacks, drinks and goodies. It was such a treat to get out and have some fresh air and a little exercise. Wesley enjoyed the trip and was very comfortable hanging out on a blanket on the grass. Shannon played paparazzi and got some great photos.

Later on that same afternoon, we decided to take Wesley for a ride in the car to get him better acquainted with the car seat. He's just not a fan, and with anything so far, the more that we do it, the better adjusted he's becoming. Example - he hated getting his diaper changed on our changing table the first few days. Cried, cried, cried. Now, he helps us out by raising his legs. It's really cute. So, we loaded him in the car along with the diaper bag, small toys, etc. and headed to the outdoor outlet mall. We were going to make it a short trip - just in & out. Baby Gap, here we come! He cried when he first was placed in the car seat, but then as we got going, it wasn't so bad. I put a CD on for him, opened up the sunroof and then, miraculously the crying stopped. After awhile, he actually seemed to be enjoying the ride. Go figure. We got quite a haul at Baby Gap - it was fun.

Today we stayed in after having what could be considered a "big weekend." Wesley's been on & off in terms of mood. He woke up last night/this morning at 3am and didn't go back to sleep until later this morning. So, I'm a bit sleeping. . . He's been real fussy and more clingy to us. I think we'll take it easy this week, although he does meet his pediatrician tomorrow for his initial physical. We'll see how that goes. I'm hoping that we can get some guidance on food versus formula and talk to him about some other concerns we have regarding sleeping, etc. Other than that, nothing this week. Just us and our son. As he awoke after an hour after putting him down for bed tonight, we are very aware that he's still grieving and it will be awhile before he's completely at ease. And, that's ok - we're in it for the long haul.

Friday, August 6, 2010

We’re Back - Our First Few Days Home

First, let me apologize for not posting earlier. I’ve been trying to write this post for the last 24 hours and it just hasn’t happened. I actually had it almost complete last night and somehow I managed to erase the entire post, photos and all. Go figure. After the evening we had, I gave up and decided to wait until today. Well here I am, 10:30pm trying again. The good news is that it’s 10:30pm and Wesley is fast asleep. It’s not 3am, it’s not 1:30am, it’s 10:30pm. We’re making progress. . .

We made it back after a 1 hour van ride (really 45 minutes with the crazy driver), a 10+ hour plane ride and a 2 ½ hour car ride. Picking up Wesley from Eastern was very difficult and emotional. I cannot even begin to imagine what foster mom was feeling nor can we express (although we tried) our gratitude for her taking such good care of our sweet boy this past year. Wesley had a tough time in the van ride to the airport. Unfortunately, it wasn’t just us in the van like it was when we arrived in Seoul – there were 8 other people with us. Although, I really don’t know if it would’ve made a difference; he knew that something wasn’t right and he cried almost the entire way.

On the other hand, our airplane ride went unbelievably well. Wesley slept with Brian for 2 hours and me 4 hours and either ate, played or just hung out the rest of the trip. I actually impressed myself when I had to do not 1 but 2 diaper changes on board in the restroom. If you have ever used the so-called “changing tables” in plane restrooms, they are a joke and if throw in an almost 30 pound, 31 inches tall, little boy – forget about it. The first change was a bit rough and when I came back to our seats Brian said to me, “What happened? You’re totally sweating.” Yeah, just what I needed to hear. . . The next change went much better, it’s like Wesley knew how much I had struggled the first time and decided to cut me some slack.

Here’s proud Dad with sleeping Wesley.

Quick sidebar – I can’t say enough about Korean Air. On the way there and most certainly on the way back, they were so accommodating, polite and first rate. I must say, on the way home each and every flight attendant must have stopped by and offered to help in any way that they could. A few also stopped by and commented on how “tired” I looked (code for I look like crap) and if I wanted to let them take Wesley for awhile they would more than happy to help. Very sweet.

We landed in San Francisco, sailed through Immigration (tip for anyone going through SFO – go to the far right of Immigration to Line 34 or 35 to the sign that says “New Immigrants” it will save you a lot of time and hassle) and Baggage Claim. Now, on to phase 3 of our journey – the car. Wesley was not a fan of the car seat. He cried for the first 25-30 minutes of the trip and then was actually able to take in the scenery for awhile before he conked out for the majority of the ride.

We finally made it home and were surprised by festive decorations in the entry way of our home. Then, as we went inside and approached the dining room, there were all these welcome signs for Wesley. Our friends’ kids all made signs for him – very touching. Brian and I immediately starting tearing up – just when we thought we were all out of tears!!!

We were welcomed with some decorations in our entry way from our friends.

Our good friends and my parents also filled our dining room and refrigerator with goodies – from fresh vegetables/fruits and dinner to chocolates and champagne to our favorite beverages and gourmet cupcakes, we were so surprised and moved by their thoughtfulness and generosity.

The cupcake theme is "Little Peanut Surrounded By Love"

We took Wesley on a tour of the house and it all started to become very real. This little boy was ours. He’s really ours. Not too long after we arrived home, my parents stopped by just to say a quick “hello” and to welcome us home. Wesley was doing great – he went right over to my dad and gave him a big smile. The two of them hit it off right away, laughing playing, etc. I think they are going to be very close. Unfortunately, the poor little guy had already had a long day and he couldn’t hold out too long and shortly after that he came to me for some love and then fell asleep on my chest – just in a matter of minutes.

Day 1 photo

Dad and Wesley napping on the floor in their matching camo.

First bath in my new home.

He had such a great day and did so well considering the situation. He took about a 4 hour nap (this was around 5:30pm-6pm when he conked out). So, then he was up at 10pm. Oh boy, we’re in for a long night. Needless to say, he went to bed that night at 3am. He slept until almost 12noon the next day. He was in a great mood for the first part of the day. He was obviously struggling with the time change and ended up taking a nap early afternoon for 4 hours again. However, shortly after he awoke there was a turn – a turn for the worst.

Wesley then hit full-blown grieving mode. It was just like we have read in the books, other adoptive moms’ blogs, etc. He didn’t know what he wanted. He cried uncontrollably. He’d reach out for us then push us away. It was heart-breaking. The one thing that did seem to work somewhat was to stand and hold him. The issue with that is that he’s basically 30 pounds. Brian and I tag-teamed and then Brian got the Ergo carrier and put Wesley in that walked the house (I haven’t tried it yet – Brian used it the entire time at the airport). Finally, at 1:30am he went down actually in the carrier and we put him in the crib. He’s been napping in the crib, so we decided to put him in the crib last night with one of us sleeping on the floor. He slept until 11:00am.

Today, we thought that it might be a better day. It started with me calling our pediatrician's office to see if they could squeeze us in. We don’t have our initial appointment until next Tuesday, but Wesley’s had this cold thing since we were in Korea. It hasn’t gotten better and it seems like it’s gotten into his chest which had me worried. I wondered if that had factored into any of his unrest yesterday, which unfortunately continued into the first part of today. He was right back to the crying and grieving. He fell asleep in the carrier at 2pm and slept until we left for the doctor apt. at 3:30pm. Wesley woke up in a great mood and even better news was that the doctor said that he’s just got a cold. No ear infection, no chest issues, nothing to be worried about. Phew! The rest of afternoon/evening went really well. We even test drove the high chair and tried out some solid foods (thanks Jen T. for the tator tots).

Brian just came and gave me a kiss goodnight. He’s going to take floor duty again in Wesley’s room. He’s been absolutely amazing and I couldn’t have done this without him. As prepared as I thought I was for all of “this” it’s not the same when it’s actually happening to you. He’s made all the difference in the world and I feel so blessed to have such an understanding, patient and loving partner. Wesley adores and trusts him and it’s such a gift to see it happening right before my eyes. For those waiting parents, the grieving is tough, but the good times and the joy are priceless. I can’t wait for you to experience this part of your journey for it is truly worth the wait. . .

Goodnight. :)

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Our Last Full Day in Seoul

We decided to spend our last full day (Tuesday) in Seoul shopping. We still had a few gifts to pick up as well as some items for Wesley. Although Eastern provided us with 2 bottles (and formula) for our trip home (the same that Wesley is using now) we wanted to try and buy more of the same, so we hopped on the subway headed for a big department store that our social worker recommended called Grand Mart. However, my heat rash had not gotten any better so the first stop of the day needed to be a pharmacy to get something to sooth the itch.

After we got off the subway, we walked around the neighborhood until I spotted in the international sign for pharmacy – the big red cross. Hallelujah! This isn’t my first time going into a foreign pharmacy with an ailment and dealing with a pharmacist that speaks little or no English (Italy 2006). This also isn’t your run-of-the-mill pharmacy; it was a little store with a counter and all the over-the-counter medication behind it. I walked in and asked the man if he spoke English. Nope. Ok, not a problem. I scanned behind the counter to see if anything resembled hydrocortisone. I said the words, “Hydrocortisone?” He just looked at me with a blank stare. Brian then sees a box of something that looks like itch stuff. We point to it and the man grabs it and sets it down. I look at him and pretend to scratch my arm. The light bulb went off and he says, “Very good.” I look on the box and the only words in English are something about cortisone and steroids so I think we’re good. Hooray, success!

We spent about an hour after that at the Grand Mart upstairs in their department store section buying bottles and these really light weight burpie clothes (Wesley uses these as blankies). We said goodbye to the Grand Mart and headed out to do some REAL SHOPPING; back on the subway to Dongdaemun. We had 2 stops to make – 1st the wholesale toy market and 2nd Doosan Tower. We got off the subway and quickly found our first stop. The toy market is an alley pretty exclusively dedicated to toys. There were a few vendors selling random things like outdoor/water equipment, but for the most part, it is a child’s dream. We were in search of Pororo items. Pororo is HUGE here – he is this adorable animated penguin with a group of friends. We weren’t able to find any DVD’s, but we did get a few other items for Wesley. According to foster mom, he’s a big fan of Pororo.

Here’s a picture when we first started down the alley.

Here’s Wesley’s haul of Pororo goodies and items from Grand Mart.

After making it through the toy market, we trekked over to Doosan Tower. By the time we reached the massive mall the sun had come out, so that combined with the humidity = 2 very hot and sweaty people. We entered the mall and I felt like a dirty bum. All the girls were so cute and dressed up and I was sweaty and wearing my walking shoes. Not the best representation of an American. Sorry.

This mall is big – 2,000 stores, 9 stories. Here’s the kicker – it’s open from 7am to 5am. It’s THAT popular. Nuts! It was packed too. A Tuesday afternoon and it was PACKED! We had fun picking up a few more goodies for people back home and then took a break in the very cool food court. I relaxed with a beer (yes, they serve beer in the mall) and Brian fed his sweet tooth with a yummy crepe. We walked around a little bit more to check out the other floors and then headed out. As we were exiting the subway at our stop to go to our hotel, it hit me that this was the last subway ride we would be taking and although I think I’m ready to go home, it was a bit sad.

We knew we had a lot to pack and we wanted to get it done Tuesday night versus waiting for Wednesday to come to worry about it. So, we spent our last night in Seoul – “in.” Our last night as 2. The night before everything changes. Pizza, beer and packing – just the 2 of us. I’m feeling a bit overwhelmed. We’re both a little afraid of the unknown. Wednesday is going to be emotional for everyone. One step at a time. Plane ride first. Car ride second. Home third. Thank you all for the words of support, love and encouragement. Next time you hear from us, we’ll be a family of 3.

Monday, August 2, 2010

Our Second Meeting with Wesley

Hi everyone, this is Michelle’s husband, Brian or as I like to be called, Wesley’s dad. Michelle is taking a little nap and dealing with a little case of what we think might be heat rash (for those that know Michelle well, this isn't entirely surprising). We just came back from our second visit with Wesley. This morning we arrived at Eastern Social Welfare Society around 11am and met in the chapel with 4-5 other adopting families. We watched a video on Eastern and all the amazing services that they provide and then had the honor of meeting the President of Eastern, Dr. Kim. She gave us some more background on the both Eastern and Korean culture and how they both pertain to adoption. We then had a group luncheon where we had time to talk to some of the other families that were there picking up their children.

After lunch, Michelle and I had our second visit with Wesley, our social worker and foster mom. This time FM brought a few of Wesley’s favorite toys which she gave to us to keep along with some Pororo (Korean animated character) items, his hanbok (traditional Korean outfit worn on his first birthday), photos from the past 14 months and a few other goodies. The meeting started off with Wesley being a little apprehensive and clinging to foster mom, similar to our first meeting with him on Friday. For almost the entire time he played with a soft toy/photo album that we had sent him with our pictures in it (see below).

As the meeting progressed he started to warm up to us a bit more. At one point Michelle started playing peek-a-boo with him and he started to laugh for a little bit and then he cried. He still is not sure what to think of the crazy woman with the curly hair but he will come around. Anyway here is some video of that encounter. It was wonderful to see the two of them interacting.

Then something totally unexpected happened that took me totally off guard. As Wesley was playing with his book he started to inch his way over to me little by little in a sort of scooting motion, backing up towards me. Foster mom explained to us that he likes men better and before you know it Wesley was curled up next to me. It was an awesome moment for me and one that I will never forget. I will be perfectly honest with everyone it took every ounce of strength I could muster to fight back the tears of joy that were welling up in my eyes. I didn’t want to scare him but it was an amazing feeling. I had connected (even just for a few moments) with my son.

The visit ended on a high note (sarcastic) with foster mom stepping out of the room and Wesley started to cry for her. I picked him up and tried to calm him and even walked around with him but he continued to cry until she returned – this was a small sample of what is probably to come on Wednesday as we head home (11 hours in the air, 2+ hours in the car). She put him on her back and wrapped him up in the carrier and then they left. The next time we see him will be Wednesday when we get Wesley forever just before we leave for the airport. We're heading out for dinner - I am taking Michelle out for some BULGOGI!!!!!