The last 72 hours have been filled with so much that I'm not sure where to begin this post. We arrived home Saturday evening to a yard full of neighbors and friends. I felt a bit like a celebrity! (We have had so much support and encouragement along this journey.)
I think I'll start with where I left off...we arrived at SWS around 1:00 to receive custody. I was so excited for this day--the culmination of a 2 year emotional roller coaster. I knew that this was going to be a highly emotional time for Carson and his foster mom. I wasn't so expectant of the emotional side for my family. While Carson had his final physical, our case worker allowed us to visit the baby reception center. We saw some of the smallest newborns I had ever seen!
I can't begin to explain the emotions I felt as we stood at that window. My heart literally felt like it was breaking. So. many. babies. Their bottles were propped up by blankets because they had no mommy to hold and rock them while they ate. There is simply too many of them. One orphan is too many. I honestly think for the first time my sons were really understanding the magnitude of this crisis. The look on their faces showed that clearly.
We then moved over to the older baby room. This was the room where Carson lived from about 3 to 5 months of age. In the far crib was the most angelic little face that just stared at us through the glass. Heart breaking. These sweet, chubby babies are no ones' son or daughter.
Please understand that I am not talking negatively about the Korean adoption system. I think it is phenomenal . Carson's care was outstanding. It is just the plain, sad truth that there are orphans. Children are not expensive; lifestyle choices, abundant wants and comforts are. We toss around the big, 163 million orphan number, but here we stood in the presence of 30 or more orphans and my heart hurt.
We then returned to the SWS office where Carson's foster mom was saying good bye. I immediately started to cry. This woman has poured love into my sweet son for the past 8 months. She knows everything about him. As she held Carson and cried, I hugged her. I told her thank you over and over. Here is the second brave women giving away my son. The first, his birth mom, I won't likely be able to thank. But this one, I hugged and cried. With fumbling hands, we were able to strap Carson to my chest, only to look up and see many more crying faces. My family and many strangers all crying together. The only one not crying was Carson--which was a good thing. Maybe he knew that would do me in! We began our walk back to the hotel:
Once at the hotel, Carson did great. He was wild and happy.
He slept and ate well. He certainly favored Tim but when Tim wasn't in the room he was fine with me. He loved the attention from Ethan and Ben. It was great to have them there!
Apparently Looney Tunes can bridge the gap between cultures and brothers. :)
The next morning we set out on our 24 hr. amazing race to home. One hour bus ride to the airport, 14hr. flight, 4 hr. drive home with check-ins, shuttles, immigration and customs mixed in. All three boys were troopers.
Carson did relatively well on the flight. Thankfully, for us, there were several real screamers that took most of the heat from the other passengers and made Carson look good. :) After a long wait in immigration our newest American was ready to head home!
An all-American McDonald's french fry to celebrate!
I know there are so many details and thoughts that I have left out...I am racing against Carson's nap time. I'm sure he is to wake any minute and will need much attention. My next post will be our arrival home--meeting the sisters!! Who I think after the fun first half hour, pushed our already fragile boy over the edge. We ended Sat. night with a huge meltdown but have gotten progressively better.
I am so happy to be off the adoption process roller coaster and on to building our life as a family of 7. And, Carson, you are a champ and loved more than you'll ever know!