Sunday, November 23, 2014

Sunday in Seoul

Our day began very early this morning. I think I woke up right around 5 and couldn't get back to sleep. We had a snack and started getting ready, while waiting for the coffee shop downstairs to open. After we had our coffee and finished getting ready for the day, we skyped with Lukas. Boy, do I miss that sweet little guy. I can hardly stand to think how much longer it is before I can get my hands on him. He's having fun with Gramma & Granddaddy but continues to ask us when we are getting Owen. He is so ready to see him and I can't wait to see his reaction when we are able to skype with Owen. We are planning to get their first glimpses of each other on video.

Since this was our first ever Sunday in Seoul we decided to attend a church service. We know of several adoptive families that have visited Onnuri English Ministry while here and so we were excited to visit and attend their service. On the way we stopped and had brunch at Paris Baguette, which was so yummy. We hadn't eaten at one since our very first trip in 2011 and it was even better than we remembered!

The cases were filled with beautiful cakes that I just had to get a picture of but I really should have taken a picture of everything else they have. Sandwiches, pastries, donuts, breads, coffee, juices...actually I could go on and on. It's amazing how many different items they have that are just laid out in kind of a buffet style. You grab a tray with a pair of tongs and walk around and choose whatever you want. Its actually a very good thing that we don't have one close to where we live!

After PB, we set out to find Onnuri. We left a little early just to make sure we didn't get lost. It was very easy to find based on the directions from their website. When we arrived their musicians were practicing so we just sat down and listened.

Our daily selfie!

The service began at 11:30 and I am so glad we came. It was such a blessing. The songs were ones we knew: Sovereign by Chris Tomlin, Never Let Go by Matt Redman, and Lord I Need You by Matt Maher. They were the most perfect songs for my heart today. I needed to hear them and needed to sing them. After the praise and worship time, Pastor Eddie Byun spoke from I Peter 4:12-19 on remaining faithful through trials.

After the service we were able to meet him and introduce ourselves. We told him why we were in Seoul and his face just lit up. He asked us several questions and then asked to pray for us and our family. It was a very special time and we were so appreciative of him taking the time to pray for us.

After church, we hopped back on the subway and went to Dongdaemun Market to "toy alley" once again. We went last month but there were a couple of Pororo things I wanted to find for the boys and that is the best place to find toys. We would never get Lukas out of toy alley. Never. It is a kids paradise and there were kids everywhere today. 

We went back to Lotte World Mall again after that and had a very early supper at On The Border. Just picture an American and Canadian having Mexican in Korea. Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

Since our morning began so early we decided to make it an early night and were back to the hotel by 6:00. It is now 7:30 and Mitchell is snoring. I think that means we will have another early morning tomorrow.

I'm so tired but have so much swirling in my head on this last night before we take custody of Owen. I can't help but think of his foster mother who is spending this last night with him. I know tomorrow must be heavy on her heart. She has been loving and caring for him for a year now. Last month it was obvious that they love each other very much and my heart breaks when I think about the goodbye that is coming tomorrow.

We've done this before. We know how heart-wrenching it is to take a child away from his foster mother. There will be many, many happy moments that will follow in our life with Owen Hyeonsu but sadly tomorrow is not one of them. His world will break into a million pieces tomorrow and he will leave all of his comfort and security behind. 

When I think back to the day we took custody of Lukas I could still just sit and cry. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done. Adoption is a beautiful thing but it is born out of much pain and loss and tomorrow we will be reminded of all our boys have lost in becoming our sons. I never ever want to get over or forget that. They have both lost so much, and, yes, I know what they are gaining, but there is still a trail of pain and loss that is a part of who they are. So tonight I sit with my eyes filled with tears and my heart filled with a prayer that our Sovereign God, who chose me to be the mommy to both of these precious boys, will begin tomorrow to weave a tapestry of beauty from the ashes. 

Saturday, November 22, 2014


We slept in until 7 this morning! That doesn't even happen at home so it was a surprise. We ate some of the food we bought last night for breakfast, skyped with Lukas, and then got ready for the day. It was a rainy morning so we took our time getting ready, really not sure what we were going to do for the day. I had read online about this new mall that had opened just a couple of months ago and it was supposed to be huge so we decided to try it. Our walk to the subway stop in the rain included me busting my behind on the slick sidewalk. A nice way to the start the day. I didn't get hurt thankfully but did scrape my hand a little and of course my pride was a bit wounded.

We found the Lotte World Mall and it was amazing. 8 floors of stores and restaurants and even included a theater and aquarium.

You could spend the day in there and we did spend a while just walking around looking in the stores. Many stores were familiar: Banana Republic, Gap, H & M, Krispy Kreme; but there were alot we had never heard of. After eating lunch we walked up to the theater and decided since it was raining we would see a movie. It's not something we get to do very often at home and I don't see it happening much in the near future so we decided it was a good time. We saw Mockingjay, which I was hoping to see while it was in the theater but didn't think we would get a chance. Now I'll never forget watching it in a theater in Seoul!

After the movie, we walked around outside the mall then decided to visit Olympic Park, since it was nearby. I am so glad we did. It was one of the coolest things we've done here. We love the Olympics and being able to walk around where the 1988 games took place was something I'll always remember. The '88 Games were the very first ones I remember watching and my love for the Olympics began watching the winter and summer games that year. I loved looking back at some of the athletes and moments from the summer games.

The museum was really neat because it not only showcased the 1988 Games but also memorabilia and information from the Olympics in general.

Posing with the mascots from the '88 Games

These next few pictures are of mascots from different games.

1994 Lillehammer

2008 Beijing

1988 Calgary

1996 Atlanta

1988 Seoul

The Olympic Flame

By the time we finished the museum it was dark and cold. We saw an Outback across the street and that sounded perfect for supper. After eating, we headed back to the hotel and it was quite a long ways that included 4 subway line transfers. By the time we arrived back to the hotel we were exhausted. It was a fun day but I'm now to the point that I am ready to get my baby and head home. I'm missing Lukas but there are still so many days until we head home. I'm ready to see Owen but also nervous about how these first few days will go. Tomorrow is our last day before we see him and take custody. He has no idea it is his last day with his foster mother. We are already praying for the Lord to prepare his little heart for all that is about to happen.