Wow! Where has the last 6 months gone?
It's hard to believe that this time last year, we were desperately trying to get our "tasks" completed so we could go back to the WC committee showing that we were ready for a child would could potentially have Cerebral Palsy and other possible delays. 1 year ago, I was an emotional wreck at the question of whether or not we should get Rai something for his first birthday when we weren't sure if the committee would approve us. LUCKILY, my gut instinct was correct and we were matched only a few days after his first birthday. (The gift is still wrapped and in his closet.)
In April of this year, we met the most incredible woman - Rai's Omma (Foster Mother). She is certainly a kindred spirit with collections of pictures and albums just like I imagined I would collect during Rai's earlier months. She opened her heart to us and did everything she could to promote a smooth transition. She even had our week (Kim's, too - http://seonmikyung.blogspot.com/) planned out with a dinner & a Korea House show (yes, she stayed in the lobby with Rai as Aaron, Kim, and I went in) and a full morning at a gorgeous flower exhibit the day we received Rai. She packed Rai every possible thing that might comfort him during this rough change in his life and was in the lobby (hiding as to not confuse him) the morning we left for the airport to make sure he was ok. (Now, I'm in tears just remembering...)
Our receival meeting was very emotional. We met Appa and saw the love he had for Rai in his eyes as well as the silent pain in his face as he hugged Rai for the last time. His Omma cried as the social worker read the letter Aaron and I wrote for her thanking her for everything they have done in the last 17 months and of course in the last few days. We cried, everyone cried except Rai. :-) After our final good-byes, Aaron and I each held one of Rai's hands as we lifted him up and down (a game Omma taught us) across the street and then carried him back to the hotel. Rai laughed and played the whole way back to the hotel, during the entire night and the next morning, and on the plane. The only time he cried was a stretch, maybe 2 hours at most, of the plane ride when he wanted to get up and play but the seatbelt sign was on.
6 months ago TODAY, we arrived home from a 17 hour flight with one hyper and exhausted 17 month old. (We were all exhausted, but luckily, we didn't have the additional connection Kim and her daughter, Zoey, had.) As first time parents, we quickly caught up to diaper changes (in 30 seconds or less), bottles (with shrimp rice cereal), bedtimes, and the eventful baths! We certainly learned some things the hard way (i.e. how NOT to wake up a child in the middle of the night regardless of the pre-flight directions you were given by Holt) but had the help of our social worker, family, and friends (the Holt BB included)!
Rai's adjustment hasn't always been as smooth, but we have been fortunate to have such a sweet boy who has been such a trouper! He sleeps through the night (and has since we received him), eats well (especially when there's rice, pizza, or cake), talks A LOT (with some Japanese and Korean words, too), and plays hard! As a side note, Rai hasn't been suspected of having CP since October of 2008, and amazes his doctors with his physical and mental development. (This was a 2 pound, 6 week premature baby who was born in a living room!) We've had so many first this year that I don't know how I'll fit everything into our Holiday Newsletter this year!
In less than 1 month, we will hopefully finalize Rai's adoption (court date pending) and Rai will celebrate his second birthday.
So without further delay, here are the pictures!
Rai's Waiting Child Match Post on the Holt Website (One of the most memorable moments of our lives!)
Rai born as Yun-Taek and weighing only 2 pounds
The photolisted picture we stared at from August/September to December of 2008 as we waited anxiously for an updated picture!
Rai at 1 year
The updated picture we received right before we traveled in April 2009
Our first meeting!
Picture with Rai's Omma (morning of receiving Rai)
Rai and his Omma (a mother's love...)
Picture with Rai, his Omma & Appa, and us!
Rai back at the hotel
Keeping Daddy on his toes!
And now for classic Rai photos!
(My first Mother's Day)
(This picture reminds me so much of his baby picture)
The cutest Korean cowboy I've ever seen!
Rai's cute "Thing of the Month" is tickling himself on the belly. :-)
Rai's Hanbok (Traditional Korean Clothing) Picture for This Year (Omma is getting a copy in the mail soon!)
Thank you for letting us share!