Sunday, August 31, 2014

{Sunday} in the Sanctuary

We slept in a bit and then joined some friends to worship at Onnuri English Ministries.  

It was great contemporary worship and a beautiful message about living character traits of our new adopted family in Christ.  It was very fitting and an emotional service for me.  Ironically, Pastor Eddie also concluded the service with a version of Jack Cruz's life verse.  So fitting. 

We headed to the Gangnam district and did it Gangnam style with a little banana milk that Justin and the guys thought was scrumptious!! I don't like milk so I just trusted them. 

Then, we ate at The Butterfinger Pancake and OH MY GOSH.  For this American seriously missing the comfort food of home it was top notch!!!!!

As soon as the plate hit the table, we devoured it so I don't have any food pictures but J and I shared a plate which is saying something about their portion size bc we both love to eat and it was soooooo good!!!  They had all time if day food but we chose a plate that offered...get ready...
eggs, hash browns, little potatoe wedges, ham, sausage links, white sausage, the best pancakes I've ever eaten, and crIspy BACON!!!

Back to the hotel to freshen up.

Then out to the biggest bookstore I've ever seen!! We bought Jack Cruz a beautiful bilingual Bible and a photo book all about Korea.  Both were priced very reasonably and I am absolutely thrilled with these two purchases!! 

Then we went down to the stream that runs through the heart if the city.  There was a really cool laser show and then also this 'digital garden' that showed against the side walls.  

Night capped with McDonald's and some Krispie Kreme.  Because that's how we roll.  And we're seriously missing American junk food. 

{thankful for}
God's truth and faithfulness
a Godly husband
The Word in Jack Cruz's native tongue
good new friends
romantic streams
junk food
my big girl camera

Supposed to be Simple {Saturday}

But who can guess why it wasn't?

Because we got lost of course.

Google maps can have it.  They know nothing.  There.  I said it.

We have joked that there's no doubt in our minds we have gone past Jack Cruz's home...probably six times.

And we're certain we've seen every inch of his birth city.  By foot, of course.  

It is what it is and we're having fun and that's all that matters I suppose.  

We slept in, which was blissful and then scouted out some pizza.  From Pizza Hut, no less.  Thank you God.  That even without ordering it, turned out to be STUFFED CRUST.  No really!! THANK YOU GOD!!!! :D

After PH, we toured the main palace, Gyeongbukgung, where J took the role of official tour guide.  

Seriously, he has to be the cutest ever.

The throne rooms are amazing to me.  Intricately hand carved and painted features everywhere, and always dragons in the ceiling where the king sits.  

Gorgeous palace grounds.  I was particularly excited to see this feature, as I've done a watercolor of it at home using only internet photos as a guide.  Really exciting to finally see it in person. 

Dinner at the made-famous-by-adoptive-families MEXICAN restaraunt!!!!! Yumz.  It was like gourmet Taco Bell.  

And then a billion mile scavenger hunt to find Banpo Bridge.  I almost hate to reunion the first 'ahhhhhh' moment of seeing some fab pics on my big camera but putting an iPhone pic up, but this is gonna have to do for now.  

I should be able to borrow a friend's charger tomorrow and I'm very anxious to see all the pics on my SD card.  There are lots of Jack Cruz goodies on that thing that I'm super excited to see!!!

And then back through the concrete jungle towards our apartment for some rest. 

Where we received this photo of P enjoying his goodie bag contents!  Love. 

{thankful for}
Pizza Hut
cheese dip 
green grapes
blondies with pretend mustaches

Friday, August 29, 2014

Final Approval {Friday}

We woke up bright and early to get ready for our court appointment.  After getting all gussied up, we were off to impress the judge!!

Going in the court room was very emotional and overwhelming but once we sat down, most of the nerves backed off a bit.  He mostly addressed questions to me, which was perfect for Justin's shyer personality.  The judge was incredibly kind, complimented me on my Korean!!, got choked up a bit when we answered our motivations to adopt and shared about our Christian faith (which is normally discouraged to do, but he point blank asked us to share, which I was extremely happy to do!), and told me that he thought I would make a wonderful teacher and Mommy.  So sweet.  Justin made him laugh a few times too, so we deemed the appointment a smashing success!

After court, we headed to a local BBQ joint where we debriefed a bit. 

And then we headed to our apartment to change into comfy clothes and to rest for a bit.

After a while, we headed back out to grab a little snack and then head to the Seoul tower.  

Y'all.  Let's take a second to discuss mine and Justin's navigational capabilities...


Ok.  Done.  

We can do the underground subway all day long.  Put us on top of ground and in ten feet we are L-O-S-T.

What should have taken maybe thirty minutes to get to took us not one, not two, but THREE hours to get to!!! ARG.  Thankfully, for the most part, when J and I start getting super frustrated we also start getting super silly and since we were both totally failing miserably at the direction aspect of the problem, neither could blame the other so it turned into a challenge in our eyes. 


And we did.  And two seconds later the thunder storm that had been threatening this whole time's bottom dropped.  

And where was our umbrella you ask?  

The apartment.  

So we bought a new one and continued the Seoul Tower Saga. 

SO glad we can choose mercy and laugh about these things.  

{thankful for}
memories made
cheap umbrellas
a cable car
FaceTime with P at the top

Thursday, August 28, 2014

A Home for Everyone {Thursday}

This is the first day we slept till a decent hour which means we were running just ahead of late for our first appointment of the day. 

After a quick breakfast at McDonald's, we loaded the bus to Ilsan, Holt's group home/community.  

It was really amazing to see how Holt creates a family when the traditional sense of the word isn't an option.  This sweet guy wanted a photo with J and I.  He assisted with physical therapy sessions and seemed very kind and gentle with the patients we saw him work with. 

(I have a lot more photos from today...and the other days for that matter, but I'm having a computer charger issue and I'm not sure I'll get 'big girl camera' pictures on the blog till after we're back home.  So for now, bare with the bad blog format and all my iPhone pics.  I want these memories down before jetlag erases them for me.)

One thing that was super special to me was that Bertha holts head stone reads about the proverbs 31 woman and has Ruby's life verse on it.  And for those that don't really know our back story, it's Miss Ruby that led us to her big brother first.  We can't wait to find her one day and tell her the way God has already used her to bless so many...maybe even before she was born.  I digress...

After Ilsan we hit up lunch. 

Played with the cutest puppy ever in this animal clinic...

And got an email from Dylan saying he had more pictures ready!!!

Can't wait for you to see his beauuoful face!

After resting and freshening up, we headed to a Doosan Bears baseball game where we were offered 'traditional game food'...

And took photos of the past Olympic Rings.

And then skidaddled out at 6th inning to make sure we had enough rest for COURT tomorrow!!!

Can't wait to tell that judge we will love Jack Cruz JiHwan FOREVER. 

{thankful for}
time in my son's birth country
friends here to share the experience with
fun in the stadium
mountains in the distance
a patient hubby 
a cool breeze
mastering the subway
recharge stations

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Most Wonderful {Wednesday}

My computer charger has blitzed...part of #murphreekdrama , so all I have currently is IPhone pics.  

Boarding subway to head to the Murry's to see their digs and eat some breakfast...

At the happiest place on earth.  This is what happened when we asked for salt! 

Justin can't pronounce this particular university and I love that he calls it Hogwarts. 

Best Daddy on earth right here, videos and photographs every big machine he sees for Mr P!

Changed and freshened for meeting number two.  

Right after we realized I've left my subway card at the apartment/and/or lost it and we have to purchase me another one.  Oops.

Before our meeting we were headed to meet a few other families for lunch.  Once we got to the outside mall, we turned a corner to head downstairs to the restaraunt and OUR BOY and Omma were playing at the top if the stairs!!!!! Crazy AMAZINGNESS.  So we chatted and played for several minutes and Omma gave us a few special things, including several of Jack Cruz's favorite rice cakes.  Such a precious woman.  Needlesstosay, we were late for lunch...

Two seconds after taking this picture and going in about fifteen minutes early, any guess to who comes running out that door straight into Appa's arms?! You guessed it!  Little Jack Cruz!!!! Running towards us for every meeting.  Melt.

My baby's tootsies as he's snuggling in my lap, holding my hand, and letting me sing Jesus Loves Me to him. 

And his favorite snack so far...he let us feed him and also enjoys feeding us. 

Some fun and amazing tidbits from our meeting:
Before we went to 'Gymboree' he played with us and his sunglasses for quite some time
He fell and hit his head on the way to Gymboree and let me console and comfort him
Loved having Appa lift him up to touch the light
Called us Omma and Appa and would grab our hands and lead us or pat to help us know what to do or where to go
Other children were kind of rough with him and he fell on the slide at one point and screamed and cried, again he let me hold and love on him- precious!
He would give us the sweetest opened mouth popos (kisses) PRECIOUS. 
He loves eating the little cookies and feeding them to us
He cojoled Justin into the tiniest jungle gym nook
During the entire almost two hours, he only got nervous maybe twice and needed Omma to come near.  Otherwise, he was fine with either Justin or I
Omma was able to tell me a lot about him today:
He loves soft pizza, loves riding in the car, and his foster father loves him so much (and is a cab driver) that every single morning he drives Jack Cruz around the block before going to work!, and that after saying the blessing Jack Cruz always says Amen.  
It's unreal how prepared for us he seems.  Omma has done a fantastic job preparing his heart to be opened to Mommy and Daddy.  Something we've prayed mightily for.

Went with the Murry's to Home Plus for a few things.  Mastered the Korean self checkout. 

This is right after realizing I/we have lost my SECOND subway card and my Hunny bunny has to buy me ANOTHER one.  Arg. 

Back to the apartment for more showers and some Subway for dinner.

I think Justin has since said 7,481 times, "Jack Cruz is AMAZING." Yes Hunny.  He sure is.  

We can't wait to have both our boys at home together, forever. 

{thankful for}
Omma & Appa and their selfless love for our son
Jack Cruz's willingness to open his heart to us and begin to trust us
Dr Peppers in Korea
Chance encounters in a city of millions 
Slobbery sweet popos

Our Adoption Timeline

  • June 19, 2011- We are officially "Paper Pregnant!" We have submitted our Waiting Child Application to Holt!
  • July 5, 2011- Submitted our formal Home Study Application to Villa Hope
  • September 6, 2011- Submitted all of our paperwork for our Home Study
  • October 8, 2011- Completed our First Home Visit
  • October 17, 2011- Completed our Second Home Visit
  • November 14, 2011- Home Study Approved
  • December 1, 2011- Filed our I600a
  • February 1, 2012- I600a Approval Letter
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