Monday, December 14, 2009
On our last couple of days in Korea, we took in the Aquarium at Building 63 (tallest building in Seoul) and took the gondola ride up to Seoul Tower.
The girls enjoyed the "domed fish tank" that they could crawl inside.
The Teddy Bears from the Teddy Bear Museum were also a big hit.
Sunday, December 13, 2009
On Friday, Dec 11, 2009 - Joel and Shauna picked up their son, Keller, forever to have him as a member of their family. Their "Gotcha Day" was amazing and here are just a few shots of us celebrating together.
Now, Cooper is not the only "Little Brother" around.
Cooper enjoyed the day, even if he didn't know what was going on...
The kids having a Tickle Fest.
The Oswald Family of Four!!
Saturday, December 12, 2009
We took the opportunity to see a little of the city and sights while we were in South Korea. Seoul is a fascinating place; there is so much to do and see.
Of course, we will not have enough time to do and see everything that we would like.
To be totally honest, we came prepared for that. We did not want to plan to do too many things and then have the time change, jet lag, and kids' adjustment to create disappointment. It was a good plan because the kids have not adjusted quite the way I expected and so each thing that we have gotten to do or see has been a total blessing (including and most importantly sharing the memories, pictures, and stories of Joel and Shauna's first interactions with their son).
Today we went to the Gyeongbokgung Palace, the Blue House (their White House) & walked through and were overwhelmed by Namdaemun Market----I NEVER thought that shopping would overwhelm me, but you'd have to see this place to understand.
We also had a fabulous authentic Korean lunch at this tiny easily overlooked restaurant. The food was delicious (bulgogi & kimchi) & service was amazing. They found a wonderful man named Chester to translate for us & help us order. The ladies held and loved on baby Cooper while we ate our meal. We all enjoyed the food and the experience.
We still hope to see a few more things before we head home. We hope to do a little shopping tomorrow afternoon and between Saturday & Sunday we plan to go on a DMZ (Demilitarized Zone, between N & S Korea) Tour and go up in Seoul Tower.
Friday, December 11, 2009
After arriving in Korea on Monday night, our first trip out of the hotel on Tuesday was met with a little surprise, SNOW. Not much, just a dusting, but still it invigorated all of us and made it feel like Christmas. The weather was mild and pleasant compared to the forecasts (we overpacked when we brought the long underwear). We had a chance to wander around in the area outside the hotel and the Joel and Shauna also got to meet their son, Keller, for the first time-- Amazing!
**Don't forget, you can click on any picture or mosaic in our blog for a better/larger view.
Thursday, December 10, 2009
On Thursday, Dec 3rd, we were excited to get the "call" from our friends, Joel and Shauna Oswald that they had been authorized to travel to Seoul, South Korea to pick up their son. Needless to say we were all excited. Joel and Shauna have been on the adoption journey for this, their second child, for a long time.
We have prayed and rejoiced with them through the process and were happy to volunteer to help when the opportunity arose. Neither Joel or Shauna have ever been to Korea and would be traveling alone this time (their China trip to get Kylee was done with many other families at the same time) and also, they wanted to take Kylee with them on the trip but would need someone to assist with Kylee on several days because she would not go along to the visits/meetings or to pick up Keller. Since David has many times traveled to Seoul for business, he is comfortable in the city and with the transportation. And since Sybella and Kylee are best friends, we were happy to volunteer to join them on the journey.
On Thursday when the call came, Shauna and I got out our computers and started looking for some flights that wouldn't be outrageous and would get us to Korea in a timely manner; of course they wanted to get their son as soon as possible. Sunday (72 hours later) was the best option---we booked the flights and started the whirlwind process to get last minute preparations done for both the trip and stuff that needed to get done at home.
David and I had decided that we would take Sybella and Cooper but leave Colin and Connor at home to attend school and stay with Granda (my mom).
On Sunday, we went to the airport excited and sure that we were in for an adventure- small children and 14 hours on a plane is certainly never boring. We had a snaffu in the airport, long story short, we left our diaper bag (embroidered with Cooper's name) at the counter and instead of paging us to come back and get it, Delta, who we purchased the tickets thru, called the airport police and turned it in as an unattended bag. Really?! Needless to say, by the time we figured out we didn't have it, we had already come thru security and were almost ready to board the plane. No diapers for 14 hours???!!! Korean Airlines is amazing. They went above and beyond all our expectations. They went & retrieved our bag from the police promising to send it to us the next day and gave us diapers for the trip. Then when the flight was delayed by 30 minutes, they re-opened the plane door to go ahead and give us our diaper bag. Amazing!
The flight attendants were wonderful and the whole flight was kid-friendly. So, despite our anxieties, the flight was awesome!
The Oswalds on the plane as a Family of 3