Tuesday, October 11, 2011

seoul - take one.

It feels wrong to rewind so far and go back to all the emotions and events from mid-august but, I don't want to forget it and i'm sure you want to know about it too - right?

After my post about our decision to move forward with traveling to Seoul, even though we didn't get the travel call, things got so nuts and honestly haven't stopped!  I find myself having random thoughts and details I want to share with you all while I'm laying in bed or getting ready for my day - it's so silly but I've been too overwhelmed to actually sit down and get started.  Sorry, I just had to get that off my chest :)

Here's how it went and what I'll cover in this post...

August 19th - David leaves Germany
21st - Diane arrives in Spokane
22nd - Kelly flies to Seattle
23rd - D&K fly to S.Korea
24th - we skip this day since Seoul is ahead of us, so weird.
25th - visit Holt (the rest of the day will be in another post)

David got on the standby flight from Germany to Seattle. This was not easy but God came through (AGAIN). David was told twice that he didn't make it on the flight and then they reconfigured some of the cargo and were all the sudden able to fit more bodies on. The people on the list in-front of him (he was 32nd on the list and there were only 5 seats available) left too soon - he got on!  It was a miracle.  While he was on his way to Seattle, my mom few from MN on two standby flights to Spokane - she arrived very late on Sunday night. I left on Monday before Norah's nap to meet up with David in Seattle!

Leaving Norah (and my mom) was so hard. I don't know why, it's not like I hadn't been waiting and eager to get this Seoul trip going but... I had never spent a night away from Norah (or 8) and I rarely see my mom. So, it was sad but - we knew the next reunion would be a joyful one!

I arrived in Seattle and reunited with my husband, after 6 and a half weeks apart it was sooooo wonderful to be able to cry and not be alone! I know, that sounds so sad but life has just been emotional for us. David was very jet lagged and we ate dinner and he went to sleep around 8pm!

The following day we got up around 4am and proceeded to another standby line!  This flight was looking promising but we just didn't know how it would all turn out. We found out about 30 min after waiting that we made it on the flight!  Praise the Lord. Our tickets to Korea cost us $16.50 a piece - not bad!
Waiting to see if we made on standby - way too early to be awake!
Since it was a military contracted flight we stopped in Japan and had a layover for a bit at Yokota AFB. 
We landed at Osan AFB, about an hour outside of Seoul it was around 5pm. We bought bus tickets and got to downtown Seoul (to an Yongsan Army post) around 7pm. We were so tired! We checked into the hotel on post, showered, ate and then went to sleep.
Our drive from Osan to Yongsan gave us a totally different view of S. Korea than when we were in the city. We saw hundreds of apartments and quite a bit of poverty along the drive.
We woke up around 2am, anxious and wondering if our agency had heard any news about Evelyn's progress to get her visa.  The news we got was the opposite of what we had hoped... they said that the visa medical report hadn't been turned back into our agency from the doctor. The appointment was over two weeks ago. That's when I had a minor breakdown. I cried and we talked about whether we chose the right thing - to come to Korea before things were solid. We landed on the answer that we were trusting in God to iron out the details, as he has through this whole process, and prayed - took tylenol PM and went back to sleep.

The following morning we grabbed a bit to eat, took our luggage and headed to Holt in a taxi. It was neat to see some of the city in the daylight. Our taxi driver had a hard time finding the Holt guesthouse but after asking about 5 pedestrians we found it!  The taxi's in Seoul are very reasonably priced, not what you think you'd spend in a large city - so that was a nice surprise.  Once we checked into our room at the guesthouse (more on that later) we walked a few blocks to the Holt offices.  We were so excited to see where all the action takes place and meet Evelyn's social worker!
We waited outside her office in the hallway and said a prayer for whatever news we might receive - we took a short video (hopefully we can load that later) and met the social worker.  She came out of the office and said hi and then went right into telling us that the medical report was turned in and Evelyn was scheduled for her visa interview the following morning!  What?! Shocked and so so excited - we hugged and I shed a tear and tried to act casual :)

She showed us around the offices - where she and the other social worker have their desks, where they coordinate all the foster families, where the doctor's offices are and assessment area and finally - the room where we would meet our daughter!! I liked that one the best!
This is part of the medical area where they can asses babies - behind me is where the doctor's offices are located. I wish I took more pictures already! It's hard to know what's appropriate at the time.
This is the famous spot where all the Holt children get their updated pictures taken. I had to grab a picture myself :)
This is the room!  I don't have one of it without anyone in the picture. I blurred out this person's face to keep her privacy.
There is a lot more to this first day but this is a good breaking point. Thanks for hanging in there with this long post! I am loving reliving these exciting days back in Seoul with you.


stef said...

Yay! I love all the little details! Can't wait to here more :)

Carey said...

Loved reading about this process, thank you for posting!

Melissa said...

I can't wait to read more of the story! I'm so thrilled for you guys!

Mattie said...

I loved reading this! And I can't wait to hear about the rest of the trip!


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