Thursday, August 4, 2011

Forever Family Day - Home 1 Year

Today our family celebrated a milestone – one year ago, Brian, Wesley and I took a very long plane ride from South Korea back to California to begin our lives as a family of three. It started with an emotional goodbye at the adoption agency in South Korea with Wesley’s foster mom. We had exchanged gifts, expressed our gratitude, but really how do you properly thank someone for taking care of your son for the last 14 months? It was hard. Harder than I thought it would be. Lots of tears. Then, all of the sudden a group of musicians and the three us were all whisked away into one of the “Love Vans” from the agency and we were off to the airport. Wesley was hysterical – not only was this his first time in a car, but he was just taken from the only mother he’s ever known. He cried so hard he vomited all over Brian. We thought he wouldn’t stop crying and then all of the sudden he stopped and fell asleep in Brian’s arms. We wondered if he was ever going to bond with us.

Surprisingly the flight home went smoother than we expected but after 10+ hours of flying and not much sleep for either Brian or myself (Wesley slept 6 hours) the thought of putting Wesley into the car again for 2 ½ hours was starting to hit us. However, it went okay. 30 minutes of crying and then a little sight-seeing and then a nap. Finally, we were home. We came home to a decorated house, filled with food, treats and well wishes from our fabulous friends which made the long trek not seem so bad. It was wonderful and thoughtful. My parents came over for a brief visit to say “hi” to their new grandson and shortly thereafter, Wesley fell asleep from all the excitement.

Brian on the flight with some precious "cargo."

Wesley and Brian napping on the floor our first day home. Note the matching camo. :)

I don’t think any of us had a clue of what was in store for the next year, heck the next 24-48 hours! That night was one of many long nights in the beginning, but it did get better. And, “yes” Wesley has bonded. We’ve had some tough times, but I’d like to think the wonderful times outweigh those. There have been some challenges, but I think it has made us better parents. I have seen a whole new side of my husband that I never knew existed. I’ve watched my parents and my mother-in-law with Wesley and it brings me a level of joy that I can’t even describe; they are the grandparents that any child would be lucky to have.

Wesley and his Nanie (Brian's mom).

Hanging out with Pops and Grandy (my parents).

Over this past year, we’ve watched Wesley develop into a sweet, sensitive, funny, energetic little boy that totally fits into our family. I love that he is cuddly and likes to hug everyone. I love that he thinks it’s funny to wrestle me, not Brian, but me – really? Mom? It’s “Friday Night Smack down” in our house and his “professional” wrestling name is “Spicy Kimchi.” I love that he loves to eat. The child will eat anytime, anyplace, anything. I love that he loves books. I love that he likes to kiss both me and Brian (because you know there will be a day when that’s not cool). I love that he loves to dance and the boy has rhythm. I love his sense of humor. The kid is funny and is always up for a laugh. Sometimes I’ll just look at him and smile and we start laughing. I could go on, let’s just leave it at. . . I love him. And, one year ago today he was the best thing to happen to Brian and me and we will forever be changed and thankful.

Wesley and I did a little "photo shoot" before bedtime tonight - I think he was going for the "dramatic" look.


  1. Oh Michelle, if your video wasn't enough to bring tears to my eyes this post was! I'm so happy for ya'll!

  2. I have tears too! Happy Forever Family Day! This post gives me so much hope for what will hopefully be happening for us very soon.

  3. Beautiful. Happy Forever Family Day! What a difference a year makes!!! :)

  4. I'm all teary eyed! What a lovely post. Today has been a low point for me as a mom (big tantrums and resisting nap, etc. - Max, not me!) so I needed this reminder of how amazing our sons are and how they have changed us for the better. Happy Family Day. It's been a pretty crazy-but-wonderful year for both of us :)

  5. I was so excited to read this post!! I've missed you (and Wesley, of course!). I seriously cannot believe how much you've got going on over there. WOW! I'm overwhelmed just reading about it. Hopefully now that you're in your new home things will start calming down and settling in. Are you staying home with Wesley right now while you're not working?

  6. Happy Forever Family 1st year! Ours was 6.5 years ago. We are in Whitefield NH visiting Sue's grandmother and parents so I can't see the pics or video, yet ;) but I will look when we get home. Elam has left his balsa airplane, used and re-glued, for Wesley when you all are here next month. It is next to the freezer w/a note on it designating it for Wesley. Elam is excited to have a cousin who is adopted from another country, just like him, which he says is just fun! Elam had tantrums that required help for his parents from the wine country. You might want to take a look at a book called "Out of Sync Child". It doesn't need to be a read-straight-through book. His temper tantrums started getting scary big after we got his lazy eye fixed. He'd end up in complete scream/kick mode over simple things like a change in schedule, or after being around large numbers of people or high levels of activity. We also figured out his high energy level was the result of not being able to handle stimuli overload. Just some thoughts, may not relate to Wesley's life. Enjoy him and each other and congratulations! Wesley sounds like a beautiful boy. I'm sorry we're going to miss meeting him and seeing you guys in NH. Don't forget Wesley's "present" :)