Wednesday, April 29, 2009

The flu.

Sorry I haven't posted in a while. Calvin has the flu...thankfully not THE flu. Annie has been under the weather as well.

Annie's transition is still going well. I feel like our bond gets stronger every day. :-)

I still need to edit and post more photos from the homecoming. The ones of Calvin holding his sister for the first time are going to melt your heart! Here are a couple Lisa took of me holding Annie for the first time and breathing her in. The tears started to come but I was able to hold it together. These both were from Monday, April 6th.

Sunday, April 19, 2009

Annie laughing!

We are having so much fun finding different ways to make Annie laugh. Nathan is throwing her stuffed animals together (violently, haha!) and I'm pulling and pushing her on a bean bag.

Saturday, April 18, 2009

My favorite photos from our first week home.

It's going to be hard to keep this short. I've taken a million photos. I also got my hands on the photos Lisa took in Korea and as soon as I have a chance to resize those I'll post them too.

Annie had her first well baby check up on Monday. She handled it pretty well. She's very healthy and at 9 months old is 19 pounds. That puts her right at the 50th percentile. It's also the weight I estimated that she would be when she arrived home since she's followed that growth curve since birth.

My poor baby has caught her first cold and is all stuffed up and miserable as of last night. Hope it passes quickly!

Tuesday, April 14, 2009

Exceeded my bandwidth, oops.

I'm going to upgrade to pro as soon as I have a chance and/or upload those photos to blogger instead of photobucket. Sorry about that...

Sunday, April 12, 2009

The homecoming.

These above were about 2 minutes after the tearful goodbye with Annie's foster mom. I sat her on the bed and I was sobbing. She must have thought I was a funny sight because she started smiling and laughing at me. That was the first time I ever saw her smile. Cheered me right up!

Not sure if this was the same night or the next morning but she was still smiling!

All dressed and ready to go home.

In the plane waiting for it to take off. We had the whole row (3 seats) to ourselves which was much better than a bulk head/bassinet seat with people on either side of me.

Daddy & Calvin's first time holding Annie

2 of the signs welcoming Annie home

Annie's first bottle with Daddy

Her first bath at home

Here she was after our first stroll around the neighborhood.

Easter photos coming soon...

Friday, April 10, 2009

We're home!

The flight was good and Annie slept about half way but I didn't sleep a wink. I got motion sickness too - yuck! We arrived at SFO at 4am Korea time (12 noon here) and Immigration took forever. Finally made our way out family. There were at least 12 waiting for us and it was a wonderful moment!

We got home about an hour ago and it's now 9am Korea time and still no sleep for me! I'm somewhat delirious. I think I'll wait a couple more hours to sleep so I can get back on schedule. Hopefully Annie will too. Our friends and neighbors surprised us with beautiful signs and balloons out front welcoming Annie home. Daddy is now feeding his girl a bottle. If she falls asleep I'm going to join her.

Hoping her adjustment home goes well. Thanks for keeping us in your thoughts.

Thursday, April 9, 2009

Checking in from the agency guest house

I received Annie today at 4pm. It was a very emotional goodbye with her foster mom...hugging and crying. She asked me to please send her photos of Annie with her brothers and growing up. I assured her that I would.

Annie cried for a couple minutes at first and then she shocked me by smiling and giggling! I couldn't believe it! I saw her smile for the first time ever while I was still sobbing from the goodbye. Especially when I got the camera out, she got this huge smile. I got some great photos and video but I can't share it now since I'm no longer on my laptop. They have a computer here that adoptive parents can use which is very thoughtful. So we played on the bed and walked around for about 3 hours before I could tell she was getting sleepy. I tried to lay down with her and soothe her to sleep but she wasn't having any of that. I put her in the Ergo carrier and we walked up and down the stairs and back and forth in the hallways. She cried off and on for about 10 minutes. A few times people came up to look at her and she got really upset. She finally gave up and now she is sound asleep on my chest.

I'm heading to bed too since I've been told she still gets up twice a night for bottles. I hope she's not too scared when she wakes up in a strange bed next to her strange American mommy. I may be in for a long night.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Short videos from yesterday

2nd meeting, a little tougher

**For some reason the photos aren't showing correctly for me in this post. If they look weird to you, click to see each photo.**

When Annie saw me today she became a little worried. I can only imagine what's going through her little mind.

They left us alone and she cried a lot. Not screaming or too hard, more like sobbing. The foster mom came in a handed me a bottle and once I fed her she was a little happier. Foster mom said she didn't have a nap yet and was very tired.

Some exciting news! The agency asked Lisa to escort a baby home to San Francisco on Friday. She accepted and is honored to do it. There is a shortage of escorts right now so the parents are very happy to get their baby a couple weeks sooner than they had thought. We met with that baby girl and foster mom today too. She kept trying to tackle Annie. LOL I took lots of photos to share with her parents but I won't post her face publicly.

Here are some photos from today -

She took her bottle on my lap but insisted on holding it herself.

I did get some finger squeezes.

We watched some babies leave today (the women from my agency were escorting them) and it was heart wrenching. The foster moms were devastated. Everyone was crying including us. I suppose it prepared me a little for what might happen Friday. On the other hand some adoptive parents we met here from Seattle got their baby yesterday and the foster mom wasn't emotional at all. It was her 33rd baby.

I spent a few hours in the nursery today holding, feeding and changing. That was a really special experience. I can't believe how tiny they were, most only a few days old. There were so many beautiful babies!

I get Annie for good tomorrow (Thursday) afternoon. We'll stay the night in the guest house alone and then leave for the airport Friday afternoon. I'm so excited but pretty nervous too.

Backing up a little to our day yesterday. Our new Korean friend Bella that we met on Sunday called our hotel yesterday to see if we wanted her company. Of course we did, she is wonderful! She met us at noon at Dongdaemun shopping complex which is the most unbelievable place to buy fabric! It was amazing, like nothing I could have ever imagined. Floor after floor with mazes of stalls selling fabric, thousands of them. I couldn't see it all if I spent several days there. On the top floor was the food court where we have a delicious traditional Korean lunch.

After that we went to a bath house. That was amazing! It was at least 4 stories tall. The pools/baths were neat with varying temperatures from freezing cold to burning hot. I couldn't go in either of the 2 extremes but stayed in the middle pools. After the pools we went into all these different saunas that were shaped like huts. They each had a different function. One had coal and clay and was said to be good for your lungs. Another had salt and was for your kidneys. One was literally an oven and we could only stay in there a few seconds it was so hot. We also went into a freezing ice room. I liked that one! We would have never figured any of this out without Bella translating. This wasn't a place for tourists so we were really grateful for the experience. After the saunas we went for massages. I had a traditional Korean massage and Bella asked her to go easy on me but I am still in pain. The woman gets up on the table and uses her whole body during the massage - ouch! Lisa had a massage and Cupping. The cupping is these hot ceramic cups that are heated and stuck to your back and legs. They pull toxins out of your body. Lisa has the big purple marks all over from them still! This bath house also served food, had exercise rooms, sleeping rooms and lots more. It's less than $6 to get in and you can stay all night. The hour massage was only around $35.

After the bath house Bella took us to dinner. We went to a barbecue place where you cook your own pork on a grill on your table. Of course like all Korean meals there were a bunch of side dishes. We grilled the pork, added toppings and wrapped them in sesame leaves. Delicious! We drank rice wine that is supposed to make us live 100 years. I love that about Korea, that everything has a fun purpose like that. The label on the bottle translated to "100 year wine" or something like that. I picked some up at the convenience store to bring home. The corn tea I drank earlier that day had a specific purpose too but I can't remember what it was.

When we were done with dinner Lisa and Bella were ready to go to Karaoke but it was 11pm and I was to meet Annie in the morning so I turned in. They had fun and I'm sorry I missed it. I would have loved to take video. Here are some more photos from our site seeing -

Bella, Lisa & I at Mister Doughnut

Lisa & I on the street

Bella and I at dinner last night

I haven't uploaded the photos of Dondaemun yet. I'm getting hungry and this post is getting long so I'll do it later. I have a couple more short videos of Annie to upload too. That's all for now, will post again in the morning and then I'll be offline until I get home since I can't use my laptop at the guesthouse.

Sunday, April 5, 2009


We met her!

It was magical. It could not have gone better. She and I got along so well. She played with me and let me hold her. She put her head on my chest and played with my hair. I'm going to get her for good Thursday rather than Friday since the social worker saw that she was so comfortable with me. The Foster Mother gave me a big album of photos of Annie from the time she was a newborn until now. That is an amazing gift for Annie to have. She gave us her Hanbok which is the traditional Korean outfit she will wear on her 1st birthday.

I get to visit with Annie again on Wednesday morning. The best photos of the moment we first met are on Lisa's camera so I won't be able to share those until next week. I had big tears in my eyes then but I pulled it together for the rest of the visit. More photos will be coming shortly...

Meeting Annie in less than 12 hours!

We've been in Korea 1 day now. I'm too tired to recap the trip so far but it has been really nice. Will post more after my meeting with Annie tomorrow. Now I need to get some sleep. I'll attach a couple photos from Seoul today.