Friday, April 16, 2010

Family Day

Yesterday the day we had waited for for so long - and the day that I dreaded in the end - was finally here. Just to repeat myself one more time, it's still surreal to even be in Seoul, never mind getting the baby we dreamed of.

In the morning we bought a bouquet of flowers for the foster mom, I did not want her to leave empty handed. Then we had breakfast at Dunkin Donuts. They're on every corner, you can't escape. And then we walked down to Seoul Station to purchase an additional suitcase for all the stuff we had gotten while in Seoul and some groceries at the Lotte Mart. We made our way back to the hotel, changed, and then headed back out to grab some lunch and then get on the subway towards SWS. I ended up wearing the same outfit as I did the day we got our referral!

We arrived about 45 minutes early, and walked the neighborhood and got some sparkling lemonade at the same place we had lunch with Gary and Lisa just two days earlier.

About 20 minutes before 2 we went into SWS and were asked to wait in a room with two big couches. There was another couple in the other room getting their baby, and the foster mom was pacing the big office and crying. There were also tons of other foster moms and babies at SWS that day, probably for the medical checkups.
Finally, I saw Hoyoung's foster mom and Hoyoung in a stroller. She came into the room and put down lots of bags. She took Hoyoung out of the stroller and turned her back to us and started crying. That's when I lost it and started sobbing too.

The social worker then said that he will have his medical checkup and for us to please wait. We waited. When they came back, the foster mom and the social worker sat down on the couch opposite of us. We asked some more questions, and the social worker showed us the paperwork and the gifts from SWS and then the foster mom showed us some more outfits she had brought. She also brought yoghurt, bananas, strawberries, and some home made rice porridge that he eats every day. She broke out in tears every couple of minutes (which was my cue to cry). My husband started to cry as well.

We went over his daily routine one more time and she told us once more that he loves to be carried on her back. She also pointed out again how beautiful his eyes are.

We asked the social worker if the foster mom wanted to know anything from us, and she just said that she just asks us to love Hoyoung and take care of him. More sobbing ensued.

Meanwhile, the baby was getting very tired. It was past his naptime and he was hungry.
The social worker called a cab for us, and the foster mom fed one more bottle.

Then the social worker said it was time to say good-bye and that we would say good-bye at the elevator. We walked towards the elevator and when the doors opened, she told the foster mom to hand me the baby. She gave the baby to me, I got in the elevator, and all I could hear was her loud sobs. It was truly one of the most difficult moments of my life.

We got in the cab, the social worker told him where we were going, and off we went. At first, Hoyoung seemed happy, but after a minute or two he realized that Omma wasn't there, and he started screaming.

At the hotel, we gave him a bottle, and then he cried himself to sleep for a short nap. He screamed on and off until he went to sleep in the hotel crib at 11 and slept through until 5 this morning when it was time for another bottle.

The most magical moment was when we fed him a banana. Daddy was holding him and I was feeding him little bits of fruit. He kept on looking at us and holding on to both of us and gave us a wonderful smile.

It hurts so much to see him so hurt. I am so sad that he doesn't get to grow up in this beautiful country. I am sad for all that he has lost. I hope we can be the kind of parents he needs to grow up happy and healthy. We are so in love with the little guy.


  1. Ben's foster mother was still there when we arrived. She was standing in the hall with your social worker. I could tell she had been crying!! So sad! I was the one crying at the elevator. Our social worker told us not to worry that Cooper's foster mother was a strong one!! Didn't make it any easier!! She just handed me Cooper & gave both of us a big hug as I sobbed!! A day I know that you & I will never forget!! We are officially mommies!!

  2. What a bittersweet day. So many emotions. Hope you're able to enjoy it and that your sweet little son knows very soon that he's in the loving arms of his forever family.

  3. With tears streaming down my face, congratulations on the beginning of your next journey with Hoyoung. The way you describe the departure from the foster mother is so touching. This is the part that I am most scared of, too. You put it so beautifully. Some day you can tell Ben how much his Omma loved him. Happy Family Day!

  4. What an emotional day it must have been. I can't imagine. He's such a cutie! Can't wait to hear how he does when you get him home.

    Take care!

  5. Tears here, as well. Wow, I know that must have been so emotional, but you know just how much his foster mother loves him, and I know that has to warm your heart. Congrats on your family day. He is just precious!

  6. Pass the kleenex!! I just finished reading this again to Andy - both of us are sitting here with tears streaming!!

  7. Congratulations on having you sweet boy in arms! What an emotional day and my heart goes out to you, Hoyoung and his foster mom.

  8. What an emotional day. All those wonderful feelings along with sadness. You will be wonderful mother. I can't wait to more of your journey!