Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Home Sweet Home

Ride to Airport - 1 hour - Sad & HappyTicketing and Immigration - 1 hour - Smooth
Flight - 13 hours - Brutal
Customs - 1 hour - Finally on US soil
Ride home - 1/2 hour - quick
Home - PRICELESS
Total time from start to finish of adoption - 3 1/2 years...TOTALLY WORTH IT!!!!!!





We are home and all is well.  We left Seoul at 5:20 on Tuesday and arrived home at 5:20 on Tuesday, now I know what it's like to go back in time!


  Look at my shirt...It's a helicopter (mom couldn't find an airplane one for my airplane day so a helicopter had to do...hey, they both fly!)

I know everyone wants to know how things are going now that we are home.  I will make this post about that, then I will be going back in time again to our final days in Seoul.  We had so many wonderful expereiences and memories I need to capture for Ty and this blog has become my means of doing that...It's Ty's so called baby book

Home has been wonderful.  Ty continues to be his happy go lucky self and Libby is of course a great big sister.  We played it safe with not having a big homecoming for Ty.  We wanted it to be calm and low-key to help him adjust to yet another strange place,  (poor kid was starting to think his home was the hotel)  Chris' mom picked us up from the airport and my mom and Libby were waiting at the house for us.  Libby was a little nervous when we first arrived and was glued to my mom.  She quickly loosened up and soon was all about Ty.  They took to each other immediately and it was so precious to watch.  Libby has waited so long for him to arrive, I think she was in shock he actually was here (I am a little too!)  Ty was in awe of all the toys and instantly started playing.  He loves anything that lights up, makes noise, and has buttons to push (lucky me)!  He loved Libby's keyboard and sat and played on it with Libby.  It was funny he chose that because we have always joked that he would be musically inclined. 

When it was time for bed we all peacefully found our resting places and fell asleep.  I know I've said it before but this kid is such a good sleeper.  His Foster Mother (FM) trained him well and he knows how to get himself to sleep and he can sleep anywhere (you will see evidenve of this in posts to come)  Due to the jet-lag Ty woke up at 1:30am.  We played for a few hours then went back to bed.  He and I slept in until 12:30pm. Libby had already gotten up and gone to Kindergarten and come home by the time we woke up:) 

My neighbors are an awesome Korean family of  5.  They have 1 daughter in High School, 2 in Elementary School, and a little boy who is almost 4.  Gina, the mother, came over to see Ty this afternoon.  She was so excited to see him and thought he was adorable.  It was so cool listening to her talk to him and seeing him respond.  He totally understood what she was saying and it made me a little sad that he is going to lose his native language.  Korean is not a hard language to learn and I truly wish we would have taken the time to learn it.  Chris and I are thinking about taking lessons...I only hope it's not too late and Ty doesn't lose too much of it. 

The coolest thing that happened while Gina was here was that he wanted ME.  She and I had discussed that with her being Korean he may take to her over me.  He didn't, he kept coming to me and putting his arms up for me to pick him up.  It made my day...I truly think he is attaching to me.  He even called me omma today for the first time without me prompting him.  It feels amazing to be his omma!

I had told Lib that we would take Ty to the park when she got home from school so she was super excited.  My mom and I put the kids in strollers (yes Lib insisted on going in a stroller)  and headed to this small park near our house.  Of course, Ty fell sound asleep on the ride there.  Lib insisted on waking him so she could show him the park and play with him.  Once he woke up he had a blast, he ran around and around, something he didn't get to do in Seoul because there is very little open space and nearly no grass at all.  He was amazed by the grass.  He would stare at it, pick it, and just stroll through it.  It was so fun seeing him enjoy the outdoors. 

Footloose and Fancy Free

Awe....


No longer has to wish for her brother to come home!





We ended the day with dinner and a bath.  What a great first day home....I know there are many more to come!  Tomorrow Libby is going to the Tiger's game with her Grandpa and Mimi so Ty , Chris and I will have the afternoon to bond . 

Monday, April 23, 2012

Many Firsts

Libby Lu is at home with Mimi and is dying to meet her little brother.  Every morning here, evening in Michigan, we Skype with her.  She is hiliarious.  She talks to Ty trying to get him to engage with her but lets face it, a 20 month old has other things on his mind.  All he wants to do it touch the computer buttons.  Lib will wrap her arms around the computer to hug him and loves sending kisses.  She is going to be a wonderful big sister!  We miss you Libby Lu and can't wait to get home to put our arms around you.  I promise you Ty will be ready to hug you...he one affectionate little guy!  Oh I must mention that Libby had a soccer game yesterday.  When we talked to her she had to give us her stats:  2 goals, 1 assist and 1 save.  That's our little athlete!

Yesterday we went to the 63 City Building.  It's one of the few places designated for kids in Seoul.  It was crazy packed, just like everywhere else here.   If you don't like crowds don't come to Seoul.  The population of Seoul is 12 million and it seems everywhere we go all 12 million people are there.  We actually asked at the Duty Free store (it was packed) about all the people and they said a lot of them were from Japan and China (everyone shopping in duty free has to be visiting).  Anyway, Ty had no interest in Sea World...he just wanted to run around and you surely couldn't let him do that with the crowds.  So, Chris and I enjoyed the sea life while and Ty was along for the ride.  Chris and I are thinking that he probably hasn't gone to many big places before being that his foster mother was 70 years old.  His life was probably pretty much confined to his neighborhood and their daily activities.  So, a lot of firsts for Ty and he is taking them in stride.

Ready for a BIG day on the town






Look at those birds!


Eating in Korea has not been a challenge in that we are fans of the food, but it has been a challenge in that not many places are kid friendly.  We buy fruit at the market and milk at the 7-eleven to give to Ty in the room.  We have found a food court in the basement of the Lotte Department Store with lots of great foods, it's just mad chaos.  They have one high chair and we have been lucky enough to snag it each time... but sanging a table is another thing.  You have to be fast and a bit pushy to get one.  Last night we decided to splurge and eat at a restaurant in the Westin.  We knew it was a risk eating here with Ty since this hotel is so business orientated.  Well, I asked for a high chair and the guy said, "oh yes baby chair", obstacle one averted.  Next we had to find something for Ty to eat.  It was a huge buffet so we felt confident we could find him something.  The funny thing about Ty is that if you feed him something he doesn't like he doesn't spit it out, he just stores it in this cheek.  He's a little chipmunk!  Anyway, we got him food and he wasn't having much of it.  He ate a few bits of fish and a little spaghetti.  So plan B, go for the sweets table.  BINGO, 2 cookies and 2 bowls of ice cream later he was happy!  Great parents we are! We have been trying since we got him to get him to drink water to no avail.  Chris was very presistent last night and finally got him to take small sips out of a cup, VICTORY!  Once he started he didn't want to stop so he was basically sopping wet by the
time we left the restaurant.  The kicker of the whole experience was that the bill was $186.00!!! 
Yup, $186.00 for two adults to eat at a buffet restaurant!  Needless to say we will not be going there
tonight for dinner. 

Ty loves his ice cream!

More rice please



After our big EXPENSIVE dinner it was bath time.  Just like our swimming experience, Ty wasn't sure about taking a bath.  We took it one very slow step at a time and soon he was sitting down splashing around.  Why are bath pics so darn cute?




Then off to bed.  Another day down in Seoul, with only 1 and a 1/2 days to go!  I think I may be behind a day on updating the blog so the dates don't acutally match up with the daily events, oh well I'm doing my best.  It's hard at times to get onthe computer with a toddler climbing on your lap tryingto push all the buttons.  I'm just glad he's comfortable enough to climb on my lap :)

 My next update will be about the fabulous day we just finished.  It was my favoirte dayin Seoul thus far...one of those days that wasn't planned but just evolved.  We saw so much and were again impressed with this amazing country.  I'll fill you in on my next post, which may be from home since we leave tomorrow. 

 A little video to brighten your day...

video






Saturday, April 21, 2012

Pictures of our Happy Boy

Here are the pictures I promised...

 Walking with daddy at Cheonggyecheon stream.  It runs 3 1/2 miles through
downtown Seoul - It is beautiful!

Ty and Mommy

 Ty praying that this new family works out! :)

He is enamored by the mirror...it's hilarious!
Check out his new kicks...MSU sneakers!


 Heading out on daddy's back for a day on the town

Hello everyone!

Chris is already determined Ty will be the next big Korean golfer!

 Ty's first swim ever, took a little while but then he loved it!

 What kids doesn't like TV...thanks Lib for packing him a few of your DVD's
 Check out my new toy, it speaks Korean! 

Ty running down the hall...his favorite thing to do in a boring hotel
Yes, his shirt says LEGEND!

All ready for bed...night night!

video

When Ty wakes up from his nap we are heading to 63 City Building, it houses Sea World.  We are hoping he will enjoy the penguin and seal shows. 

Update on Ty's adjustment:

Ty is way bigger than we anticipated.  We brought 12 month and 18 month clothes and the 18 month clothes are fitting him, but not for long.  His shoe size is about a 6 -7!  He's a big boy with a big heart!  We are still amazed with this little guy.  He sleeps like a champ (13 hours last night), smiles all day long and wants to hug and cuddle with both of us.  While we are so happy we also worry about his lack of grieving.  It is so like Chris and I to worry when things are going well, we did the same with Libby while she was in the NICU.  We decided we need to rejoice in the fact that he is one HAPPY kid who already loves us!  It is hard to put in words how much we adore him.  He has melted our hearts and we know he was mean't to be a part of our family.  Just wait, he will melt your hearts too!

A Rainy Saturday

It rained all day today and the temperature dropped from 75 to 50 degrees!  Thus, my big plans of going to the Children's Grand Park were nixed and instead we did some indoor shopping at the Lotte Department Store and took Ty swimming for the first time. 

We decided to us our Ergo carrier for this outting.  Good choice, by the time we entered the department store Ty was out cold on Chris' back.  He slept the whole time we shopped and woke up just in time to enjoy some Korean food at the market.  It is amazing how the kids in this culture have adapted to the busy lifestyle of the city.  They can sleep anywhere! 

Next, we decided to try swimming.  I had asked his foster mother if he had ever swan before...the answer was no.  When we first got to the pool, which felt like bath water, Ty was very hesitant and wouldn't go near it.  We let him do it in his own time and soon enough he was on my lap in the water.  After about 15 minutes, he was standing on his own in the water.  Give him a few more experiences with pools and he will be swimming like a pro this summer at the pool. 

The hotel we are staying in is not super kid friendly.  It's the Westin right in the center of the business district.  We chose it because we used Chris' hotel points and are staying for free!  Unfortunately, our room in small and our 20 month old wants to run up and down the halls.  This would not be a problem if we weren't on the executive floor and there wasn't a high class wedding taking place in the ballroom down the hall.  Ty went running down the hall in his pj's and Chris had to chase him.  He almost joined the wedding.  Hey, he could have been a wedding crasher if he wasn't the only white guy at an all Korean traditional wedding! 

Ty continues to be a super easy kid.  He smiles, plays, sleeps and pretty much makes life super easy.  Chris and I can't belive how well he has adapted...he has seriously never cried yet!  This kind of scares us, why isn't he grieving his Foster mother?  We know all kids are different and that we were told his temperment was so easy-going but we did not expect it to be this easy.  Oh well, we'll take it and hope he doesn't have any attachment issues.

I will post pictures tomorrow...too tired right now.  So, I'm off to bed to join sweet Ty and Chris.  Tomorrow it is suppose to be another rainy day... hope we can find something fun to do!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

A Beautiful Day

Okay, that couldn't have went better in my dreams...this kid is amazing! He was smiles from the minute we met him til the minute he left with us.  All his foster mother kept saying is he's easy going, happy and a sweet busy little guy.  All those things were evident during and since our meeting.  Ty took to both of us immediately.  Of all the toys we took the cell phone was the hit, go figure.  Also, as I tried to write answers to the questions we were asking his Foster Mother, he tried to steal my pen.  He successfully got it and drew us a picture.  Chris says he's going to be an artist.  On his first birthday he chose the pencil, which means he's going to be a scholar!  (I'll explain later about the Korean 1st birthday tradition)
DJ the social worker at Holt told us this was one of the easiest meeting she has had in awhile.  It made her happy to see Ty take to us so easily.  I know this is still new and things may change rapidly but I'm holding out hope that his laid back nature will help him through this transistion easily. 

As we drove home he played in the cab.  After awhile we gave him a bottle of milk and within 5 minutes he was sleeping and has been every since (over an hour now!)  How nice it is to be able to see him so peaceful.  Thanks for all the prayers, it appears they worked!
We still have a full day ahead of us once he wakes up.  We plan on heading to the park and shopping! He is bigger than we thought and the shoes and some of the clothes I brought are too small! 

Okay I know you want pictures so here you go...


 His Foster Mother

 Looking at his photo album
 DJ, the social worker...lovely lady!



Notice the pen in his hand...he had to have it!

Foster Mother saying goodbye to her last baby!



 Drinking a bottle in the cab

 Out cold in the cab on Daddy
Up to bed
 Taking a nap
Once he woke up his personality started to shine...

video

 video

Almost There

It is 5:30 in the morning and I just slept for 8 hours!(Chris is still sleeping)   I have so much to share about this amazing city.  The people of Seoul are like none we have ever met.  They are kind, compassionate, polite, and above all beautiful people inside and out.  Chris and I are constantly in awe of this city and its people.  I will be doing an extensive post on this later... it deserves way more time and concentration than I can dedicate to it now.

We met up with 3 other couples for dinner last night at a place called the Coex.  Its a hugh shopping mall, kind of reminds me of the Eaton Center in Toronto.  It was so nice sharing stories and learning about their experiences.  It's also nice knowing that we are not in this alone and that there are people here in Seoul to help us along on our journey.

So, in 5 hours our 3 1/2 year journey to get Ty will be over... He will be ours!  As I write this my heart is pounding.  It the craziest feeling knowing that our lives are about to change forever in the best way possible.  I envision this meeting going well (let's hope I'm right) and Ty being this happy go lucky little dude!  We have so many plans for this weekend in Seoul with him.  We want to take him to the zoo, some of the many parks, the river walk, and the markets.

So for now I say goodbye as a family of 3, my next post we will be a family of 4 and we will be complete!  We love you Libby Lu...we are off to get your baby brother!

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ty Ty Land...aka Seoul, South Korea

We are here in Ty Ty land!  It still seems so unreal that we just traveled halfway around the world, 14 hours and 20 minutes in flight to be exact.  We are comfortable in our very posh hotel room and Chris is already sound asleep in the Heavenly Bed. 

The flight was awesome, yes I said awesome!  Flying first class in the 777 planes is like laying in your bed all day watching movies getting room service.  I watched 3 movies (Footloose being my favorite!), read my nook, slept for 3 hours (on a perfectly flat bed), and chatted it up with the flight attendants for while.  Go figure, one of the attendants lives in Northville less than a mile from us! 

Before getting on the plane we met another couple in Detroit traveling to get their second Korean child.  Sweet people from Kentucky.  We may get a chance to meet up with them this week, it all depends on our schedules.

Tomorrow we go on a Seoul city Tour and then spend the evening doing whatever we want.  We better enjoy it, it's our last evening without a toddler!  From what I can tell from our hour ride from the airpot to the hotel, Seoul is a booming Metropolitian city.  I reminds me of a mini New York, so cultural and hip! We can't wait to get out and explore.    Friday morning, just a little over 24 hours from now, we get Tyler!  It's still hard to comprehend and I don't think we fully will until we are on our way to Holt.  So Thursday at 9:30 Eastern time we will be getting Ty.   So for all those Grey's Anatomy fans, while your watching say a little prayer that all goes well. 

Tomorrow I plan on taking lots of pictures during our tour and I promise I'll post some.  Unfortuntealy my phone doesn't work so my blog and facebook are my two means of communication! 

Off to bed!

Saturday, April 14, 2012

A Day of Wonderful Surprises

Today was my last day teaching kindegarten for awhile.  I plan on returning for the last week of school to send my little ones on their way to first grade.  Between now and then it's all about Ty and Libby.  I usually work a half day, from 12:00-4:00, but today I worked all day.  I now remember why I decided to do sharetime, it's way easier!  When I got to school this morning I was surprised by the thoughtfulness of my co-workers.  They are so excited about our adoption that they had a luncheon in Ty's honor.  It was great, they put Korean flags up, had fortune cookies and different kinds of pizza and salads, and sweetest of all an adoption poem posted for all to see. (see pics below)  It really touched my heart that they took the time to put this together...thank you!!!
This all made me realize yet again what a lucky little guy Ty is.  He is so adored and he hasn't even had the chance to charm anyone yet!  Just wait til he gets here...he will have everyone loving him up!

Korean Flag



 A few of the fortunes from our fortune cookies...
Some of my wonderful co-workers!
Today we got our Forever Family Day appointment.  Next Friday, April 20th at 10:30am we will meet Ty for the first time.  We will spend about 2 hours with him at Holt, along with his Foster Mother, and then he is ours forever!  It's had to believe that in 1 week Ty will be in our arms!
After school Chris, Libby and I went to one of our favorite restuarants, China Cafe, to enjoy a nice dinner. After we ate we each got a fortune cookie, seems to be a pattern for the day!  Our fortunes were awesome especially Chris':

Chris' was the middle one... he had to stop and think for a minute to make sure Korea was East.  It's confusing because we fly West to get there but it's definitly East.  Mine was the small packages.  Funny, I think an old post was titled exactly what my fortune said!  Lib's was about an opportunity...believe you me she is always ready for any opportunity that presents itself!

We have a lot to get done between now and Tuesday.  Pack, clean, soccer games, Red Wings games, etc.
Lib is on team Brazil...she got 2 goals! 

We worked together to make this sign... Hope our Wings can make a run at the cup!

And here are a few old pictures I have to post...
 Libby in the Easter dress she refused to wear on Easter Sunday.  It was just too fancy for her!  Didn't she look beautiful!?!
Silly Girl
Lib and I at the Ann Arbor Hands on Museum.  We had a girls day...Museum, Zingerman's Deli, and Shopping.  Love spending the day with my gal

Now I have to get packing and stop procastinating.  I think I'm still in denial that we are leaving in 3 days!