Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Another Day in Seoul

These pictures are from Monday's meeting as we didn't get a chance to take any pictures during todays. I arrived at Holt and Seon-Mi was asleep on her foster mother's back in a carrier. So cute! She said that Seon-Mi was fighting her nap today and finally fell asleep on the way over. Mrs. Lee helped the foster mom take her out of the carrier and handed her to me. She did wake up briefly, but after a few pats on the back, she was asleep in my arms. I held her like this for another 10minutes or so, until it was time to see the Doctor for one last brief checkup. I didn't want to be the one to wake her, so I handed her off to her foster mother and we went in to the office. She did not like being woken up with an exam! She was pretty upset so the doctor worked quickly to make sure things looked okay and see if I had any questions. Her foster mother carried her out and she calmed down right away and was now wide awake. I smiled and told her hello in Korean and she looked at me very suspiciously. Probably because my Korean is so bad! Her foster mom then handed her to me and after a few moments began to cry. So Mrs. Lee asked that she step out and allow me to calm her down. She didn't go far! All throughout that time I saw her peeking around the corner to see what was going on! Very cute. After just a few minutes and some bouncing up and down, she actually stopped crying! I distracted her with some nearby toys and tried to give her a snack. I finally figured out that the snack in the last updated pictures were NOT french fries like it looked, rather a crunchy Korean potatoe snack for babies! I knew no one would give a french fry to a baby! She still was uncomfortable, but warmed up to me somewhat at this visit. The foster mother had dressed her an outfit we had sent (size 6-9 months) and had brought some clothes to give to us and a hanbok. She's very sweet and cares very much for Seon-Mi. I was also surprised to see she had brought about 15 pictures of Seon-Mi when she was a bit younger, before and after her first haircut! I also have a picture of her and her foster father in the bunch. Mrs. Lee suggested that if she gets too upset once I have her tomorrow afternoon, to take her to the third floor of the Guesthouse where I am staying to play with the other babies who are being cared for here and to maybe get some help calming her down by the caregivers. I may just take them up on that offer! The one thing that the foster mother did say was that 2:30pm, which is the time I get to pick her up, is a happy mood for her. So we are all hoping she will be a little better. I'm just happy a little bit of progress was made and I cannot wait to have her by myself! I am of course dreading the goodbye with her foster mother who cares for her so much and who Seon-Mi will miss deeply. I pray we will all make it through that as best as we can.

I am still in shock that I get my baby girl tomorrow forever!

Food highlight of the day - Maryann and I did some last minute shopping at Insadong and stopped at McDonalds for dinner. That's right, McDonalds. Why you ask? Because a little birdie told me that it is not just any McDonalds. That's right, I had my self a bulgogi burger! Korea is awesome and has my sense of humor. Though I liked the idea better than the sandwhich, I could not leave Seoul till I tried it!

It was a short meeting as I had to get to Eastern by 5 pm. Mrs. Lee was kind enough to put me in a cab and tell him where I was headed. But after he pulled into an alley and basically said "Get out", I said desparetly, "No, I did not see it! It should be in English on the sign!" He just kept repeating over and over, "Oh my gosh, oh my gosh!" He finally got out of the cab (with the meter running of course!) to ask a guy on the street who pointed in the direction that we had come from. So I unwillingly got out of the cab and headed in the direction they were pointing. After five blocks, I started to panick when I didn't see it! But as I came up on the next block, there it was in English "Eastern Social Welfare Society". Whew! I almost had a freak out! I walked in and went to the Post Adoption Service center and the social worker saw me and asked if I was My Kyung. I told her yes and she led me into a meeting room. She told me she'd be right back and I was left in the room alone for a few minutes. I noticed that I was sitting at a table with many chairs and just a box of tissues in the middle. I said out loud, "Oh great!". Working off just four hours of sleep didn't help my emotions and I could feel the tears already starting to well up in my eyes. She came back in and started going through my records with me...I recognized my mother's handwriting on the original adoption application. She went through my story saying the day and time and place I had been left. Things that I had known for years. The very last page was a copy of a the note that had been left with me. While I knew this note has existed nearly all my life, I was not sure exactly what it looked like or if it held anything but my birthdate and name. She decided to translate it for me and as I heard her read off my birthdate, time of birth and name, the tears started to flow. I had never before knew the time of my birth, I had never bothered to ask if it was documented anywhere. I'm not sure why. She then translated the remainder of the note stating the reasons I was being given up and went on to say that the note is believed to have been handwritten by a member of my birth family.

Never before did I feel so close to them than I did at that moment.

Though there were no letters or information left from any birth family, I felt their love immensely and was saddened that they had to make the decision that they did. I understand it though, and know that I am in the right place, with the right family. We discussed the chances of any birth family locating where I had been transferred was not good, as they had left me at an all boys orphanage in Taegu and I was adopted shortly thereafter through Eastern. I would not say that is the end of my adoption story, rather an answer to a question I have wondered for years and years...if anyone was ever succesful in searching for me, that is, if they tried to search at all. As I walk down the street amongst the thousands and thousands of people in Seoul, I cannot help but wonder if there is a woman who looks likes me, with the same freckles, the same smile, the same hair, the same blood. Though I do not know her name or her face, I feel closer to my birth mother today than I ever had before. Returning to this wonderful country was the best decision I could have made and if I never find her, I will always be at peace with her decision. I hope she has found happiness, love and peace in her life as I have found in mine.


  1. So glad the second meeting went better. I love that her foster mom gave her a hanbok. Zoey has been so blessed to have such a loving woman to look after her. I can't wait for you to get home and have your entire family in one room.

    I for one am glad that your birth parents made the decision that they did.

  2. Oh Kim, Your post was so thoughtful and emotional. I am holding back the tears as i type this. How I hope and pray that my DS and future children find the peace that you have found...

    amanda (c's mom from the BB)

    PS- Can't wait to see official pictures of your official pick up of zoey!

  3. Kim, what an amazing and heartfelt post. It is amazing what life does and where life leads you and where you end up. That brought tears to my eyes...Please keep me posted!
    Kelly (kcbabyluv from the BB)

  4. Kim, what a wonderful and emotional journey you are on! I have goosebumps from reading all about it. ( and had a slight panic attack for you reading about the cab driver telling you to get out!!!) I don't think I could be as brave as you to make the trip alone. Enjoy the rest of your adventure!! :)

  5. What a precios sweet time you have had already holding your sweet litle one sleeping! We are so glad you are enjoying the trip. Give Zoey lots of love from us tomorrow! Can't wait to hear the next update. I check the site three times before I left for work today. I was so excited when I checked it at work. I have shared your journey log with my directors and pictures with everyone. All say how beautiful she is. Did you see the comment one of my FB friends made on the Zoey pic album. She told her husband to go to Korea and get her one just like Zoey. (She has 3 boys.) :) Love YOU!!!!

  6. Christopher says, "I cant wait to see Seon Mi!She is so cute! I hope you have a fun rest of your time in Korea. I love you very much!"

  7. OK I was just thinking, is Zoeys gotcha day going to be Braedans birthday or the day you get home? Just wondering! :)

  8. OK, I am crying...what a great post, Kim! Thank you so much for sharing that with us! I am so excited for you to get Zoey home, to be with the rest of her family! I am sure Danny & Breadan are going crazy awaiting your return! Prayers and blessings to you for the rest of your journey!

  9. I am immensely happy for you (so why am I crying)? ;) Thank you many times for sharing your story. Your daughter is a precious PEA!

    Oh...almost forgot...LB was eating what I thought were french fries when we met her. I thought it strange. Turned out, they were little shrimp snacks (disguised as french fries apparently). I found out when her FM sent some in her travel bag.

  10. 6:30 Am here = 8:30PM Korea You have your sweet daughter! Yeah! I will pray that your first night toghether goes very well! Love you!

  11. Congratulations!! She's GORGEOUS!! I love, love her hair! It surprised me b/c I've seen her bandana picture so much. We are going to have to get our babies together! Did I tell you that we have family in SA and go down there quite a bit?