Monday, September 3, 2007

One Year Ago Today....

Another trip down memory lane. Thinking back to being in Korea to pick up my son brings back so many emotions...what a blessing that God chose our family for this path...that God would entrust us with such an amazing gift...a precious little boy to call our own. Ben is such a miracle in so many ways and we are so thankful that his birthmother chose life for him. We wouldn't be the family we are today without Ben being a part of it.

One year a day. It's hard to describe it...words just don't do it justice. This whole trip to Korea was filled with wonderful things; getting to meet our son, being allowed to experience and learn about his birth culture, meeting the wonderful Korean people, learning about this country's history, etc. But all of that pales in comparison to today. What a day it was!

One year ago we woke up early as we had so much to do. We knew that we were meeting with our social worker as well as Ben's fosterparents at 11am...because today...Ben would be placed into our family forever. No more little one hour meetings to get to know him better, no more heavy heart because I would once again have to say good-bye, no more walking around Korea feeling like someone was missing. No more.

We were rushing around our room trying to get as much packed as we could. We were still working on getting all the clothes washed and put away. We knew that once we got home the last thing on our minds would be laundry. We were busy planning...what does one need for a 15 hour flight to the other side of the world with a 4 month old and a 22 month old? What if the plane is hot, what if it's cold, how many diapers do we need for two little bottoms? Do we have enough toys, how about bottles, and what about wipes and a change of clothes? Jason and I were running around crazy trying to finish all of the last minute things so that we could just spend time with our new son once he was placed in our arms.

We witnessed so many miracles straight from the hands of God during this adoption. God was so gracious to us and He hand-delivered a miracle right to us on this very day. Normally the adoption agency in Korea doesn't allow you to have your baby until the very minute you are ready to leave for home. Literally. You get in the van to leave for the airport and that's when they put your baby on your lap. Well, as I said, God had another miracle all lined up for us. We were able to get Ben the day before we left! This allowed us some bonding time before ever having to get on a noisy aircraft. Jason and I were so thankful for this.

Well, 11am came very quickly and we were so excited. All three of us, Ella, Jason, and I walked down to the 2nd floor. We met Ben and his fosterparents for the last time. It was so bittersweet. Bitter...or sad because we would be taking Ben away from his foster parents who love him dearly, sad because we were going to be moving him to the other side of the world away from Korea and all it has to offer, sad because we were taking him from the only family he has ever known. Of course sweet because we were adding this wonderful boy to our family, sweet because God knew how much we needed Ben, and sweet because he was the perfect addition we had prayed for. What an emotional rollercoaster.
I will have to fast-forward here and leave out some details and conversations that took place. There is so much more to this story and as much as I wish I could share ever detail with some of you, it's just not my story to tell. I will save the rest, safe and secure...guarded in the deepest part of my heart to tell my amazing son when he is older.

What I can share is how grateful we were that day to have Ben with us. How much each precious minute held for us! Ella was so sweet and took to him right away. Once we got back to our room after our goodbyes, the only thing Ella wanted to do was hold her knew baby brother. She gently hugged and kissed him. What an amazing gift as a parent to see a brother/sister bond forming in it's earliest days.

That evening we went out for our last meal in Korea. We went with our dear friends that we met while staying at the agency...Scott and Karne. They were there to pick up their son...who ironically was born only a day before Ben. We are sure that these two little boys were in the nursery together and had met many months before. Another miracle...they live right here in the Twin Cities too! We are forever grateful for the friendship that started on the other side of the world with them. So...Jason, Danyelle, Ella, and Ben met up with friends for a traditional Korean meal of bulgogi. We sat at a traditional table on the floor while enjoying being a family of 4 all while having delightful conversation with our new friends. What an amazing end to an amazing day! I am so thankful to God for allowing me to be Ben's mom. He knew I had a whole in my heart that only little Ben could fill. Adoption is nothing short of a miracle. Ben is a miracle!

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