The kitchen on the 6th floor where many a breakfast was made
Guest House entrance
Being so close to ESWS while visiting Hongik University made it impossible not to take the small walk over to go and see it. I am so glad that we were there...that we stopped by to take it all in. It was an experience that transported me to a different time.
I wasn't ready for the amount of emotions that would surface. I can't even explain the feeling I got as this particular building came into view. Jason and I walked up to it, stopped in front, and took a deep breath. Here, in front of us, was a structure that holds so many memories. My heart was pounding, my stomach jumping, and my emotions whirling. How could a building, a bunch of concrete mean so much? It's because of what it symbolizes, what occured in that building. What it brought to us.
Almost 3 years ago to the day, we landed in Korea to pick up our son. It was at this building that we arrived, spent 10 days, and met our baby boy.
We went around to the side door, the Guest House entrance. It was very surreal to walk in, see the elevator that we rode up and down on so many times, see the phone on which we called home to talk to family, saw the doorman's desk. I punched the elevator button and rode to the 6th floor...room 606. I stood there and stared at it, letting the memories flood in. It was in this room that we waited with anticipation for our first meeting with Ben and again in this room where we waited for the final meeting where he was officially ours. It was in this room that we spent our first 24 hours together as a family of 4. It was in this room where I fell in love with a little boy only four months old.
We walked down the steps, stopping on each floor, looking at all the pictures on the wall, recalling things we did, and the people we talked with. When we reached the 2nd floor, I had to fight back the tears. The amount of emotion that came rushing into my heart is unexplainable. This is the floor where we waiting with bated breath for Ben and his fostermother. It was where we spent our first hour getting to know our baby, holding him, feeding him, falling in love with him. I can remember it like it was yesterday...the colors on the wall, what I was wearing, the smell of the building. It's a memory that is burned into my heart and soul...and I will always remember it fondly. I remember the spot where Ben's fostermother handed him to me, where we cried and said our good-byes, where a new family was created.
I will forever hold Eastern in my heart. This building is indeed just a building...but, oh, the memories that were created inside it's walls. I am grateful to Dr. Kim and Korea for allowing us to come here for the sole purpose of adopting Ben...and now again for adopting Lily. Many people have said to me that it's so good for us to do this adoption thing...but the truth is this: It is Korea that is good for allowing us to parent these children...to have them in our lives everyday...to have them be a part of our family. We, Jason and I, are the blessed ones. We are the ones who reap all the rewards. What a priveldge it is to have the family we have.
Ben, you make me a better person. You make me a better mother. It is because of you, dear son, that I am who I am. You have taught me so much and challenged me in many ways. Ways that have caused me to grow and ways that have pushed me to succeed. You have taught me how to stay the course, how to work hard, how to keep pushing on even when it seems so much easier to quit. You have shown me how hard work can reap giant rewards. But most importantly, you have shown me a miracle. You have shown me how God can take a mommy and a daddy from the other side of the world and bring them together with an amazing little boy and make a family. Oh, I know a family isn't just "made"...it's not that simple. But it is through you, with God's amazing grace, that I have seen the miracle of love grow. It started off as a simple falling in love with you while in Korea and has grown to so much more. I love you more with each passing day. I love you more than I could have ever thought possible. You are my boy. You are my son. I have a love for you that is undeniably fierce and that will never change. We are forever a family and I will love you always!
Ben, you have given so much to me. I have had the priviledge of watching you grown. You are no longer my "baby", but instead you are turning into such a handsome boy. I can't get enough of those cheeks and I love the way your hair smells after a bath. I love holding you on my lap and taking it all in. But more handsome on the outside is how amazing you are on the inside. You can be so gentle, so caring, and so incredibly sweet. I will never tire of all times you say "I love you, Mommy", how you want to sit on my lap and snuggle, or how you love to make peanut butter and jelly sandwiches only the way and mommy and a son can. You are my life, little boy. I am so blessed that God gave you to me, that I am allowed to be your mommy. It is me that is the "lucky" one...although we both know that luck had nothing to do with it. We have a heavenly Father who brought us together...that knew we would be perfect for each other.
I love you Ben...more that you will ever know. You'll always be my little JaeMinAh.