So, we pretty much think Jack Cruz rocks, and his birth city is certainly no exception. I can't wait to take him back here one day! He was born in Chuncheon (pronounced Choon-Chyon, very quickly) City, South Korea. One of the city's most famous landmarks/attractions is Namiseom Island which is actually a beautifully little island. Emphasis on little. Tiny more like it. But amazing. There were ostriches, squirrels, gorgeous trees, captivating folk art. Quaint and fabulous.
(Random trivia: His birth city is in the same province as the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympics)
*Don't forget that I've already blogged more info about all these sites previously... this is just a quick recap with 'real camera' photos*
An enormous statue that represents two rivers 'feeding' her people. I found the statue both thought-provoking and cleaver, to say the least. Of course, I have an art-minded brain and appreciate the oddities in life.
One thing that was very interesting to me about Nami Island was all the 'randoms' around the serene nature, like the giant stuffed teddy bears just hanging out in the trees.
The famous first kiss statue where we cheesily tried to recreate the scene. The sweet couple who took our photo couldn't stop giggling.
The gorgeous flowers of Namiseom. They were enourmous and very magical! 7-8 inches diameter each. I love the way this one looks like it was glowing!
Gorgeous walkways all over the island. I can only imagine how beautiful this is in fall. We actually traveled (according to Google) for custody on the most vibrant leaf day in Autumn, but there was no way we could make the 3 hour (one way) journey to Nami Island with both boys during our custody trip. Hopefully we can bring them back in a few years.
The fields all along the train ride were a glowing neon green.
Off in the distance is the Soyang Dam which is the largest dam in Asia. There are so many lakes and rivers in Chuncheon which make it a very foggy place to live in winter. And to me, its also just another small reminder that God is in the details. We are a water LOVING family through and through, so its very fitting that Jack Cruz was born in a land known for all its water activities. He also happens to L-O-V-E water and swimming!
The most amazing, fun, romantic, nostalgic meal I've ever eaten with my husband. Chuncheon is world famous for its spicy Dak Galbi! YUM. I can't wait to go back to this family restaurant.
The beautiful little family garden that supplied the produce for the restaurant. This is also where I picked the flowers I dried and brought home for Jack Cruz. I wanted him to have a tangible piece of his birth place in his new home.
The beautiful Soyanggang Maid on the lake. There was something about her that really resounded in me. I don't know her story, but her position, with the wind blowing through her... a peaceful surrender maybe. That's a lot of how I have felt about our adoption of Jack Cruz. I love him to pieces. I'm thankful for him beyond reason. He is my child through and through... but he should not be mine. The magnitude of the blessing I have been given in my child will never be lost on me. I do not believe that in God's perfect will for our lives he included adoption, because He would never want children separated from their parents or women to have fertility issues, etc. We believe adoption is an answer to brokeness. A beautiful way to redeem and build families. Please understand I'm FOREVER GRATEFUL that he is mine. I don't know how I lived life before him. If he had never entered my life, there would be a piece of my heart never made whole. And yet, it's hard for me to overcome a certain amount of guilt and sadness in knowing he won't grow up in his birth land. A land so beautiful and magical. The realities are he needed a loving family and our loving hearts needed him and we are thankful for the knitting together of our hearts that was done long before the dawn of time. But, we respect and acknowledge that there's still much that's lost in adoption, for all three parties of the triad. So, it's here that we will peacefully surrender our story to our God that can weave all ashes into beauty and all glory to Him. He can bless us with joys that far outweigh the sorrows. We are eternally thankful for the gift of our son and his birthmom/family.
WE ARE THE LUCKY ONES.
A little cafe with love letters left all around the walls.
I'm honestly not sure what this little shop was. I pretend its a story time place where a sweet librarian with glasses comes to read to little child and then they choose a book to take home with them.
...It's probably just an info booth or something much less exciting.
And Chuncheon is not without the Korean staple: STAIRS.
**I have read many blog and Facebook comments (on other families' posts) lately that have left me quite timid to share what's on my heart in regards to our own adoption story. So much so, that I've actually considered just turning our blog into a book and being done with the whole shabam. Please understand that I, like so many, share our stories quite openly and in a manner that we believe is both respectful and honorable to our children. Because although they are our stories as parents, so much more is their (our children's) story. Our motives to adopt and build our family might be different than yours and the way I/we view adoption (pre and post) may also not completely parallel. And that's ok. As long as we both are doing what we feel is in the best interest of our children. Justin and I are continuously educating ourselves on adoption and follow our hearts with what we share and how we parent both our sweet kiddos. We certainly don't do it perfectly (can I get an AMEN?!), but we do it to the very best of our abilities and in the manner and ways that we feel led. I have the best readers who have never offered anything but the kindest of words and I certainly pray that's always the case. Thank you for sharing in our moments and always building us up in love, prayers, and encouragement. Most sincerely-us**