Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ
2 Peter 3:18

Monday, May 30, 2011

Seoul Day 2

So, on day two we decided to brave the subway and make our way to the town of Bucheon where we believe Eliza Grace was born.  Our goal was to find the hospital where she was delivered and see this "little" town where she began her life.
Question:  How many Koreans does it take to get Phil & Maggie going in the right direction on the subway?
Answer: Apparently there aren't enough in Seoul!!

The man pictured above with Phil is Lim.  He is a 76 year evangelist who spends his days on the subway spreading the good news and inviting people to his church.  Today his mission was to get us to our destination.  He ran all over the subway asking what lines we should take to get to Bucheon.  In the picture on the top right everyone you see is arguing over the best way for us to get there.  Not two seconds before they were all huddled around the map pointing in different directions- kind of like Sunday at home...

Lim was not convinced that we understood him so he got on the subway with us and made sure we got to the train station and onto the right train.  He then decided "what the heck" and got on the train with us!  He said he goes wherever people are.  He taught us how to buy our tickets and that when you get where you're going you deposit the card back into a machine and "catch the money" (you get a refund if you don't use the entire fair).  He repeated no less than 15 times "you understand me, card in, and catch the money!"  always cupping his hands so that we'd understand to get our money back.

Thank you, Lim.  You'd be so proud to know that we made it back in one piece and got on the right subway back to Seoul! (It was going the wrong direction, but I digress)

So we exit the train station in Bucheon to see this-

Our Baby Girl's quaint little town.  It was a little overwhelming at first, but we got going towards the hospital and soon things began to look a little more small town (think any major US metropolis smaller than NYC).
As we walked toward the hospital a poster caught my eye.  I did a double take and it was a Holt office.  We had no idea that there was an office in Bucheon, but this is likely where Eliza Grace's birth mom came for counceling.  We went in and went up to the sixth floor where the office is located.  I took a picture of the door of the office.  I didn't want to appear intrusive or like we were trying to find her birth mom, so we didn't go in.  What a neat surprise- I love that we're getting these little puzzle pieces for EG.  The first picture above is the hospital sign and the bottom right is the hospital.  After I took that one a security guard came and told me "no pictures" so I put the camera up.  We walked into the hospital.  It's waiting room looked about as organized as any University Hospital and we decided to leave before we were admitted.

Above are a few more shots of the town.  Phil geocaching in a park near the hospital and one of the streets.  Once you got away from the train station, the streets really were beautiful.  Tree lined with flower baskets hanging from swan shaped lamp posts.  We saw school children playing on their playgrounds and walking home from school.

We stopped for lunch at a local restaurant.  Absolutely no English spoke here.  LOL.  We finally recognized "japje" (I know it's misspelled, but we'll let it slide this time).  This was a traditional Korean place where you sit on the floor and food is cooked on your table.  I think it's supposed to be self cooked, but I think they were pretty sure we'd mess it up, so they did it for us.  It was fabulous (except that soup with the whole egg in it- that was cold and strange and even Phil didn't eat it).  But everything else was the best. Phil spilled his and they brought him a bib. That still makes me laugh!  Maybe I should keep one in my purse!

We navigated our way home and decided to take a look at Namdaemun Market.  It was absolutely insane.  We were so tired that we bought one souvenir, took one picture, and headed back to the hotel.

The picture very much does not do it justice.  We aren't even really in the market yet.  Imagine the French Market in New Orleans (but 50x bigger) during Mardis Gras and add rickshaws and motor cycles buzzing in and out.

We got to our room and freshened up a little.  I sat down and read a little while Phil showered.  I must have fallen asleep and he left me sleeping.  I woke up at about 11:00pm and now my days and nights are all goofy! He woke up 2:00am and we watched a Netflix.  Now Phil's back to sleep and I'm blogging.

At least we don't have anything important to do to day, right?  In nine hours we'll meet Eliza Grace and all our lives will be changed forever.  Stay tuned...

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Sunday, May 29, 2011

We Are Here, We Are Here, We Are Here...

baggage claim at Incheon Airport

And feel about as big as those Who's who first screamed "we are here" from their spec in Horton's trunk.  This place is HUGE.  And BUSY.  And it's CRAZY great!!  I'm blogging at the end of day one in Seoul for us.  We flew from Jackson to Chicago where Phil's sweet Aunt Sherry picked us up from Midway airport, took us to breakfast, then dropped us off at O'Hare for our non-stop to Seoul. 

the drop off at O'hare
checking in at Asiana in Chicago
The trip over was uneventful but very long.  The Koreans do not appreciate my LOVE of air conditioning being on about 68 in any moving vehicle and I was HOT the entire 14 hours over.  Yuck!  But, Asiana is a wonderful airline, beautiful stewardesses, fun movies, good food, water and juice coming out your ears (a must for long flights!).  We landed in Seoul, changed currency, and met our driver, Mr. Lee.  And, yes, I sang Mr. Lee for the rest of the day!  I was about ready to kiss Mr. Lee because he did like his car cold and I finally had chill bumps at the end of the hour drive to our hotel!  Thank you, thank you, thank you, Mr. Lee.

We checked into our hotel, the Westin Chosun.  It is beautiful.  They just had their grand reopening this month- what a great time to be here!  We unpacked, had a sandwich in one of the hotel restaraunts, and went to bed.  We'd been up about 26 hours at that point.
(control panel for the TOILETS in our hotel lobby- way too much!)
(We're all ready for our baby girl!)

(view out our window)
This morning we met our Holt issued tour guide , Hye Won.  She was very sweet and stayed with us most of the day.  We toured a couple of museums, Gyeonbok Palace, and Insadong Market. 

Changing of the Guards

(emperor's Cadillac- 1914)

Musical instruments

Throne Room

Korea's Blue House- like our White House
Concerned citizen in Insadong Market.  "Dogs are Friends, Not Food"!  There were several people staging a protest.

(Green Tea/Pistachio & Hello Kitty donuts from underground Krispy Kreme)

After our tour we came back to the room for a quick nap and then did a little exploring of the underground shopping areas.  We had Krispy Kreme's for dinner- I was ready for some good sugar!!  We got a few necessities at the 7-11 and discovered a couple restaraunts we want to try.  We then walked around our hotel grounds where the Temple of Heaven is located.  We also discovered that the Guiness Book of World Records has certified the Westin  as The Oldest Hotel in the Republic of Korea!  Cool, huh?

ceremonial drums
Guinness Book Plaque at our hotel

The "R" in room is right under our window.

Now it's off to bed.  Tomorrow we're going to try and find the hospital where Eliza Grace was born.

sorry the post is so all over the place layout wise- blogger's being a little weird! And spellcheck isn't working either :(

Thursday, May 19, 2011

The Wait Just Got a Little Longer

How can we possibly wait TWELVE DAYS to hug and tickle this silly little goose!!
We just got these new pictures tonight.  We're on cloud 9!

PS- this is one of the outfits we sent her.  What in the world size is she going to be?  The jacket fits perfectly and the pants are about 5" too short.  I can TOTALLY relate- my pants are ALWAYS just way too short! :)

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Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Hopping on the Seoul Train...

Well, I guess that should be the Seoul plane. But either way- WE'RE GOING TO GET OUR BABY GIRL!! We got the green light at about 1:30 this afternoon. We'll be nailing down flights soon, but we do know that we'll meet her on May 31st. I can't wait. As I went to look at the calendar, I was struck with how intimate a God we serve. One that is interested in minute details like our family's schedule. The last date that I have anything written on my calendar is the 25th. Then there is NOTHING until June 3rd. Not that we're normally such socialites, but we do have a ton going on in the next few weeks between birthday parties, baseball games, and the end of the school year. Our hotel reservations are from May 26th to June 2nd. It's like He KNEW when we'd be going!! LOL. What a blessing that our kids can just "be" while we're gone and not have anywhere that they need to be taken.

At the exact moment that the phone rang with "THE CALL" Eliza Grace's Pat Pat was walking in the door to bring her a little happy. Her very own Meon. What a great memory this little lion will always hold- the other two have been such a presence in our lives and now this one already is!!

So now we pack & pray. Pray for EG and her foster family and that they would have a very sweet and blessed last week together. Pray that we are able to quickly figure her out and how to comfort her as we get to know each other. Pray for her brother and sister as they also adjust to our new normal. They are so excited!

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Tuesday, May 17, 2011


Lately, we've acquired a few new housemates.  Meet Puzzle and Russel . . .

Two turtle hatchlings- different species from each other and really funny to watch.  If you look closely in this picture you can one of the funnier poses they strike- stretching their heads all the way out of their shells and resting them on their rock.  Pathetic!

Lately, Miller got another set of tubes and her adenoids removed . . .

Third times the charm, right?  In the bottom picture, she's recovering, watching cartoons with her get well balloon clipped to her blanket.  She never looses the sense of humor.

Lately, Wilson got upgraded to new bunk beds.  This could possibly be the biggest delivery I've ever gotten from FedEx . . .

I'll post the finished project the next time he cleans his room :)

Lately, I had a great Mother's day with two of my awesome kiddos and their daddy . . .

Lately, we've had some great visits with our cousins (in Kentucky & Tennessee). . .

Sorry to Pete- he moved on from the swing before I got my camera out, but you can see him here.

Lately, we've been partying. . .

 Our friend Bradley turned three.
 Our friend Morgan turned three and had a princess party.

 Miller had her last day of preschool and celebrated with her friends at Jump Zone.

Wilson still has a few more days of school, but they did have field day last week.  How fun.

Lately, we've been counting down the days until we go get our Baby Sister.  We've heard from DC that Eliza Grace's Visa has been issued.  We're waiting for the social worker in Korea to officially inform our agency in Oregon so that they can call to tell us we have a green light.  We are anticipating leaving towards the end of next week!  I wish I had a picture to follow this statement, but we didn't get any with the last Well Baby Checkup report that we received yesterday :(  She is doing well, though.  She's 23 pounds, 32 inches, has eight teeth, is drinking from a cup, walking, running, saying a few (Korean) words, stacking blocks, and doing other great 16 month old things.

So that's what we've been up to, lately.