Thank You for Helping Bring Jack Home!

Friday, August 29, 2014

Final Approval {Friday}

We woke up bright and early to get ready for our court appointment.  After getting all gussied up, we were off to impress the judge!!

Going in the court room was very emotional and overwhelming but once we sat down, most of the nerves backed off a bit.  He mostly addressed questions to me, which was perfect for Justin's shyer personality.  The judge was incredibly kind, complimented me on my Korean!!, got choked up a bit when we answered our motivations to adopt and shared about our Christian faith (which is normally discouraged to do, but he point blank asked us to share, which I was extremely happy to do!), and told me that he thought I would make a wonderful teacher and Mommy.  So sweet.  Justin made him laugh a few times too, so we deemed the appointment a smashing success!

After court, we headed to a local BBQ joint where we debriefed a bit. 

And then we headed to our apartment to change into comfy clothes and to rest for a bit.

After a while, we headed back out to grab a little snack and then head to the Seoul tower.  

Y'all.  Let's take a second to discuss mine and Justin's navigational capabilities...


Ok.  Done.  

We can do the underground subway all day long.  Put us on top of ground and in ten feet we are L-O-S-T.

What should have taken maybe thirty minutes to get to took us not one, not two, but THREE hours to get to!!! ARG.  Thankfully, for the most part, when J and I start getting super frustrated we also start getting super silly and since we were both totally failing miserably at the direction aspect of the problem, neither could blame the other so it turned into a challenge in our eyes. 


And we did.  And two seconds later the thunder storm that had been threatening this whole time's bottom dropped.  

And where was our umbrella you ask?  

The apartment.  

So we bought a new one and continued the Seoul Tower Saga. 

SO glad we can choose mercy and laugh about these things.  

{thankful for}
memories made
cheap umbrellas
a cable car
FaceTime with P at the top

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Home for Everyone {Thursday}

This is the first day we slept till a decent hour which means we were running just ahead of late for our first appointment of the day. 

After a quick breakfast at McDonald's, we loaded the bus to Ilsan, Holt's group home/community.  

It was really amazing to see how Holt creates a family when the traditional sense of the word isn't an option.  This sweet guy wanted a photo with J and I.  He assisted with physical therapy sessions and seemed very kind and gentle with the patients we saw him work with. 

(I have a lot more photos from today...and the other days for that matter, but I'm having a computer charger issue and I'm not sure I'll get 'big girl camera' pictures on the blog till after we're back home.  So for now, bare with the bad blog format and all my iPhone pics.  I want these memories down before jetlag erases them for me.)

One thing that was super special to me was that Bertha holts head stone reads about the proverbs 31 woman and has Ruby's life verse on it.  And for those that don't really know our back story, it's Miss Ruby that led us to her big brother first.  We can't wait to find her one day and tell her the way God has already used her to bless so many...maybe even before she was born.  I digress...

After Ilsan we hit up lunch. 

Played with the cutest puppy ever in this animal clinic...

And got an email from Dylan saying he had more pictures ready!!!

Can't wait for you to see his beauuoful face!

After resting and freshening up, we headed to a Doosan Bears baseball game where we were offered 'traditional game food'...

And took photos of the past Olympic Rings.

And then skidaddled out at 6th inning to make sure we had enough rest for COURT tomorrow!!!

Can't wait to tell that judge we will love Jack Cruz JiHwan FOREVER. 

{thankful for}
time in my son's birth country
friends here to share the experience with
fun in the stadium
mountains in the distance
a patient hubby 
a cool breeze
mastering the subway
recharge stations

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Most Wonderful {Wednesday}

My computer charger has blitzed...part of #murphreekdrama , so all I have currently is IPhone pics.  

Boarding subway to head to the Murry's to see their digs and eat some breakfast...

At the happiest place on earth.  This is what happened when we asked for salt! 

Justin can't pronounce this particular university and I love that he calls it Hogwarts. 

Best Daddy on earth right here, videos and photographs every big machine he sees for Mr P!

Changed and freshened for meeting number two.  

Right after we realized I've left my subway card at the apartment/and/or lost it and we have to purchase me another one.  Oops.

Before our meeting we were headed to meet a few other families for lunch.  Once we got to the outside mall, we turned a corner to head downstairs to the restaraunt and OUR BOY and Omma were playing at the top if the stairs!!!!! Crazy AMAZINGNESS.  So we chatted and played for several minutes and Omma gave us a few special things, including several of Jack Cruz's favorite rice cakes.  Such a precious woman.  Needlesstosay, we were late for lunch...

Two seconds after taking this picture and going in about fifteen minutes early, any guess to who comes running out that door straight into Appa's arms?! You guessed it!  Little Jack Cruz!!!! Running towards us for every meeting.  Melt.

My baby's tootsies as he's snuggling in my lap, holding my hand, and letting me sing Jesus Loves Me to him. 

And his favorite snack so far...he let us feed him and also enjoys feeding us. 

Some fun and amazing tidbits from our meeting:
Before we went to 'Gymboree' he played with us and his sunglasses for quite some time
He fell and hit his head on the way to Gymboree and let me console and comfort him
Loved having Appa lift him up to touch the light
Called us Omma and Appa and would grab our hands and lead us or pat to help us know what to do or where to go
Other children were kind of rough with him and he fell on the slide at one point and screamed and cried, again he let me hold and love on him- precious!
He would give us the sweetest opened mouth popos (kisses) PRECIOUS. 
He loves eating the little cookies and feeding them to us
He cojoled Justin into the tiniest jungle gym nook
During the entire almost two hours, he only got nervous maybe twice and needed Omma to come near.  Otherwise, he was fine with either Justin or I
Omma was able to tell me a lot about him today:
He loves soft pizza, loves riding in the car, and his foster father loves him so much (and is a cab driver) that every single morning he drives Jack Cruz around the block before going to work!, and that after saying the blessing Jack Cruz always says Amen.  
It's unreal how prepared for us he seems.  Omma has done a fantastic job preparing his heart to be opened to Mommy and Daddy.  Something we've prayed mightily for.

Went with the Murry's to Home Plus for a few things.  Mastered the Korean self checkout. 

This is right after realizing I/we have lost my SECOND subway card and my Hunny bunny has to buy me ANOTHER one.  Arg. 

Back to the apartment for more showers and some Subway for dinner.

I think Justin has since said 7,481 times, "Jack Cruz is AMAZING." Yes Hunny.  He sure is.  

We can't wait to have both our boys at home together, forever. 

{thankful for}
Omma & Appa and their selfless love for our son
Jack Cruz's willingness to open his heart to us and begin to trust us
Dr Peppers in Korea
Chance encounters in a city of millions 
Slobbery sweet popos

Tuesday, August 26, 2014

Jet Lag {Tuesday}

Sorry this post is late... We missed dinner with friends last night bc we fell asleep at 4:00!! :/ partied for about two hours late last night and then slept again until 3:19am.  Sheesh.  Jet lag is KICKING our booties!!! Prayer please?

Anyway, Wednesday was our city tour and these are all my iPhone shots.  I'll try to upload 'real camera pics' when it's not 4:42am...

Heading out

One of the smaller palace's throne rooms...where no pictures were allowed! :/ But some rules you have to quickly and discretly break to get some homeland history for your baby.  It is what it is. 

The ceiling in the trine room.  Every bit of that is intricately hand carved wood. It's absolutely awe inspiring.  The dragons represent that royalty is present.  

I loved this little celadon church in one of the shops.  I may have to go back and get this little guy. 

And this Seoul city painting as well.  We were SO exhausted by this point in the tour I didn't really know what I wanted to buy for Jack Cruz or just have as memories.  But I really think these two things need to come home with us.  

Some really cool street candy made from honey. And a funny worker who kept declaring his love for me.  Such a super fun hair and all!  

Bread in the shape of poop because...well, why not? I suppose.

The restaraunt we ate in: delicious!! A little funny though bc everything J kept trying to order they didn't have available. We both settled on standard bulgogi and it was so super yummy! 

One of my favorite Insadong shops.  They were so sweet and allowed me to take pics of their stuff.  

I thought these bracelets were really cute and 'me'.

{thankful for}
A sweet tour guide
Bulgogi, broccoli, and crystal noodles
Fake sprite
A bed- though hard as cement might it be
That Justin has now slept till 4:58 and counting!!

Monday, August 25, 2014

He. Is. AWESOME. {Monday}

Earlier this afternoon, we met up with our photographer, grabbed a sip to drink, and headed to Holt in the iSaNe humidity.  As we were going up the elevator, pouring sweat, D was telling us where the bathrooms were to freshen up a bit before we went in. 

However, when the elevators opened, there was our little boy running out in the hall with Foster Omma chasing him.  And we were smitten!!!!!

We got about ten minutes to play before the official meeting began, a quick orientation, and then the babies were brought back in.  When I say He is 90 to nothing, I’m exaggerating NONE.

All the other babies were in their little areas playing with their families and Justin and I were chasing him the E-N-T-I-R-E time.  Like we ran a marathon around him.  Everyone was giggling and smiling and man oh man is he FUN!!!!

He likes to throw toys at people :/ LOVES to push the doll in the stroller, play peek-a-boo behind the curtain, have Justin and I sit him on the window and help him jump off, but most of all, he likes to GO.  FAST.

When we had him on the window, he kept looking down at all the taxis and saying Oppa’s Car!  (because his foster father is a cab driver.)

I got a few kisses by using the “feed the baby birdie game”… I can’t thank you enough Lauren for telling me about this one!!!   I would put a little gerber puff (thank you Shaina!!!) in my mouth and he would basically swallow my lips to get it, and then would laugh and smile SO big.  He bit me a few times and it was awesome.  New Momma comment right there. 

He is full of laughter, joy, and energy.  Foster Omma said that he knew all of us and his big brother because every single morning she shows him our photo album.  There were maybe three times during our meeting that he got a little nervous and I would quickly take him to Foster Omma for comfort and then he was right back down to play. 

Omma said he loves the park (especially the tall slides and rock climbing wall), rice, will snuggle me all night to sleep!!!!! (when he’s sleeping he pulls your arm to the bed and then puts the blanket we sewed and sent him over his head to fall asleep), LOVES all water: ocean, swimming pool, bathtime, etc.

We told her we think he is absolutely perfect and she said she thought so too.

Smitten people.  Smitten. 

And seriously, I got ZERO photos or video because from the second those elevators opened till the second he left, we were on the run and soaking up OUR PRECIOUS SON. 

The Lord has done great things for us; we are glad. Psalm 126:3

{thankful for}
promises kept
the most precious foster omma who prepared our son so well
friends who share their kids gerber puffs
a fabulous photographer who has already done so much for our family

Sunday, August 24, 2014

First Part of Forever {Saturday and Sunday}

Exhausted and have a LOT to do before tomorrow when we meet our precious son, Jack Cruz!!! So, this post will be a bit choppy.

Started packing at 9pm Friday night.  Oiy. 

At the recommendation of my sweet friend Sandy, I left Mr P a little {happy} to open each day we were gone.  

Cried the whole way to the airport as my sweet baby recited scripture to me that I had taught him for the beginning of school nerves he had. <3

Gave him a billion kisses...

And boarded our first plane.

Arrived in Dallas to eat some lunch.

And then got our names called over the terminal intercom!! It ended up just being for new boarding passes due to our travel agent swapping our seats so we could sit together, but it gave my sweet hubby quite the scare for a bit!!

Then, we hopped aboard this bad boy. 

Talked about how incredibly surreal and exciting this all was...

Endured 14 1/2 hours of what another sweet friend lovingly referred to as 'labor'. 

And then FINALLY landed in the land of the morning calm.

Endured a few more labor pains in the form of nausea due to forever in a plane, excitement/nerves, Korean drivers...

And finally made it it our apartment, where no shoes are allowed! ;)

Turned what we *thought* was gonna be a quick bite of dinner into a palace glance, getting lost, and finding ourselves in the middle of a demonstration surrounded by *countless* policemen...yeah, that happened...

And finally saw a KFC in a corner alley, shining in all it's American glorious wonder.... Funny how things you hate from home suddenly become so comforting after being awake for over 28 hours and in unfamiliar territory. 

Boogied back to the hotel and Facetimed our little P where we gave lots of international smooches!! <3 Don't mind the drowned rat/ran from shower to answer the phone look...

And now it's time to gather up agency/foster family gifts and get all our ducks in a row because tomorrow, my friends, is MEET JACK CRUZ DAY!!!!


{thankful for}
The tourist station
Nice cops who tell you what's going on
Safe and mostly uneventful travels
A loving and super fun hubby/travel buddy
The hope of tomorrow
Ps kisses that are sweet enough to cross oceans


Our Adoption Timeline

  • June 19, 2011- We are officially "Paper Pregnant!" We have submitted our Waiting Child Application to Holt!
  • July 5, 2011- Submitted our formal Home Study Application to Villa Hope
  • September 6, 2011- Submitted all of our paperwork for our Home Study
  • October 8, 2011- Completed our First Home Visit
  • October 17, 2011- Completed our Second Home Visit
  • November 14, 2011- Home Study Approved
  • December 1, 2011- Filed our I600a
  • February 1, 2012- I600a Approval Letter
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