I know because I've gotten lot of emails telling me so. :)
Without further ado...
Introducing Miss Cora Jihee...
Jihee is 9 months old now and is definitely all still baby. A gorgeous, chunky baby. With lots of attitude and expression.
Yesterday morning was an odd morning. This trip for that matter has felt somewhat the same. I know it's gonna sound weird, but it's all felt very surreal. It truly wasn't that long ago that I was here on korean soil picking up Lily. And to be here again...well, I haven't been sure what to make of it. It's as if the idea of picking up Cora is still settling into my mind. Sort of like a really great, unbelievable gift that just doesn't seem like reality yet. Oh, I know I've talked plenty about her....but it has felt somewhat like a dream, like a thought that's just too awesome that it might not come true.
So although I got up plenty early in the morning to get ready, it just somehow didn't feel like I was really going to see her. Like it's all just a dream...not reality. Jason and I got in our nice dress clothes, grabbed our presents, and set out for the agency.
We rode the elevator up to floor 7...Intercountry adoptions....walked in the door and were greeted by the social workers. Our social worker, Ms. Lee, had a few things to do quick, so we sat down and snapped a few pictures. Here is what the office looks like:
(And all of our presents waiting to be handed out)
We were told that the van and driver were waiting downstairs to take us to Jihee's home. I know, you would think that that would make things seem real to me...but, sorry, nope it did not. I just went with the motions....all while feeling hardly any emotion. So what was going through my head?
"Go see a baby at someone's home?...Sure, I'll go. Sounds like fun."
"By the way...who's baby are we gonna see? "
Mine? Um...I don't have a baby...that's just a dream I have had...a wonderful, fantastic, amazing dream....but a dream none-the-less...that's not seriously happening..."
We were told the drive would take about an hour, so we hopped in and got settled. Traffic was terrible but the views of the city were amazing. We always take the subway to places within Seoul and you end up missing out on seeing so many things. Getting to ride in the van provided a feast for the eyes. It didn't take long before the big buildings started spreading out and the apartments started being in clusters further and further away from each other. We were leaving Seoul and heading out of the city. It ended up taking about an hour and 15 minutes to get to our destination.
The van dropped us off and we went inside, got in the elevator and rode it to the top floor. 17th floor to be exact.
The doors opened...
and there, riding on her fostermother's back...
was the most beautiful baby in the world.
well then, my friends....it hit me.
And it hit me hard!
Like a ton of bricks...like a bulldozer moving at warp speed...I was blown away.
And I was in L.O.V.E.
My face crumpled, I felt the rush of air inside my body as I gasped, and the emotions rolled over me like a giant wave tossing me about. I was overcome. Overcome that this moment had indeed arrived, overcome that this wasn't just a dream, but I was living my reality, overcome at the sheer beauty of the child before me. Overcome because when I looked at that face...I could see a face I have looked at many times before. The tears came and they rocked me. I couldn't control it and I stood sobbing.
I was looking at my daughter...looking her in the eyes, and aching to hold her. Aching to tell her how much I love her and how much I want to get to know her.
Everyone went into the apartment, but I was stuck. Stuck like a statue, the emotions controlling all my movements. My body crippled by the tears falling. The social worker took me by the arm and led me into the entryway. I fumbled with my socks as I tried to stop my body from shaking. As I stood in that entryway... all alone...I willed myself to get even an ounce of control.
I sat on her couch and watched as she took Cora out of her podaegi. She walked right over to me...and handed me my daughter.
Oh the feeling of holding your daughter for the first time...it's one of the greatest gifts God gives to parents and words could never capture or even begin to capture it. But you parents out there know what I am talking about. Suddenly your heart has swelled ten times it's normal size with the most fiercest of loves, you want to do anything and everything for your baby, and you know that you would give your very life for the precious little one who is in yours arms.
Sigh. I was indeed in L.O.V.E.
It was such a wonderful hour. She sat on my lap and played, looked at Jason quite a bit (she was a little curious about that guy) and I asked question after question trying to learn as much as I could about my new daugther. How does she sleep? can you show me how you feed her? how warm does she like her bottles? does she like baths? how do you comfort her? what makes her unhappy? does she eat in her highchair or do you hold her? does she self-feed? what's her favorite food? when does she nap? etc, etc, etc. I wanted to glean every grain of information that I could...knowing that soon I will be bringing her home to be a Hubler.
Oh, I should have forewarned you...that cutie-pie headband on her head is called a "hair band"...it comes with little tufts of hair on them. So, no, Cora does not have curly little piggies in her hair. But isn't she just one of the sweetest babies ya ever did saw??
The foster mother was so gracious, she brought out a beautiful array of snacks. We all sat on the floor at a small table and enjoyed fresh fruit and korean rice cakes. And she served coffee, with cream and lots of sugar, which was the first one I've had in Korea and it was delicious.
By the way...check out these cheeks!!
Once the meeting was over, she walked us down and outside to the waiting van. We were told that we will be able to receive Jihee on Thursday morning at 1pm. Close to 48 hours later, I will be holding my child!! The thought is so grand I can hardle wrap my head around it. I cried as I had to say good-bye, but smiled with joy just knowing that soon she will be in my arms again.
And now onto a mini pic parade....
She smelled so good, I couldn't help but just breathe her in.
Just took her hat off...had to see that hair.
Getting ready to have a snack...
Me asking 1,000,000 questions
And I don't think I'm the only smitten-kitten around here...