Thursday, February 17, 2011

Day 6 and Second meeting with Olivia

Today we got up to head back and see Olivia for the second time. They told me to bring my parents so we did, but when we got there, they said, "you will wait here." So, mom and dad ended up waiting in another room and we went into a different room. This room was just as small as the other day, but had toys. This is the make shift playroom until the renovations are done. Olivia was already in the room and went on in to see her. She didn't seem as tired today, but we never heard a peep out of her. She is very quiet and shy, but in time, we know she will warm up to us!
I know God must have heard all of your prayers as well as mine. I fell in love today! Yes, I have loved her the whole time, but today I felt a stronger love. We had a different social worker again today, but this one was able to speak english and translate our everything! I don't know if it was the room or the language help, but the whole room felt relaxed today! This social worker was extremely attentive to us and made us feel a part of the conversation. She only talked about Olivia for the hour we were there and translated everything the foster mom said! Wow! What a difference!!!!
After talking for a bit, we asked the foster mom what Olivia's favorite bed time song was. She said that she usually just sings to her a "Christian song" so I asked if she would for us to record for Olivia. She was very hesitant, but ultimately agreed for Olivia's sake! :) This is when the knot in my stomach joined me! I realized how horrific tomorrow will be! I realized (yes, I already knew this) that we are the bad guys tomorrow. I felt for Olivia and I felt for the foster mom as she sat there and rocked Olivia and sang to her. She is going to go back home to a house where at every turn she sees Olivia. This truly breaks my heart! Yes, she has two other foster children, but every child is different. She made the statement at one point during our visit that Olivia is a miracle child. We have said that many times, but it was interesting to hear from her. She has had many foster children over the years. I do believe that Olivia is a miracle!
Today we learned things such as:
1. She hates her stroller.
2. She hates having her teeth brushed.
3. She like being carried on the back.
4. She loves to shop and likes new things. (my kinda girl!!)
5. She is very curious. (we saw this just from watching her today)
6. She is jealous of other babies getting attention from her foster mother.
7. She does not smile easliy. (we kinda already figured this one out)
8. She chose the pencil at her Dol.
9. She has a favorite towel she likes to sleep with.
10. She thinks it is funny to turn her bottle upside down to let the milk spill out and then smears it with her hands.

I asked after a while of visiting to hold her. I said, "I know she is going to cry, but can I try holding her?" Reluctantly, she handed her to me.
The holding lasted for um.....about 30 seconds!

Look at that face....poor baby!

We continued our visit and we did get some good eye contact and maybe a 1/2 of a smile. We were giving each other high five (her foster mom says she likes to do this) and Olivia kinda warmed up, but then realized it and went back to her stone face. I could tell today that she was taking everything in. She was looking at who was talking whereas the other day she just was turned to her foster mom.
I did get a kick out of her rolling her eyes twice at John! That was very clear. Some of the pictures she looks like, "seriously?" others say, "get away" or "ugh, you again!" So, yes, it is going to be a slow transition and a hard transition, but we will all get through. I couldn't help but look at the teenagers differently today while we were out. I was constantly thinking, "she will miss out on this." "She doesn't get to experience Seoul....this is her birth country." I know we are doing the right thing, but I feel so bad. I have felt bad before about taking her away from EVERYTHING she has ever known, but today really has my heart aching for her. I hate that I am going to rip her world apart tomorrow. I hate that she will hate me for a while, but we all know that is part of this process. Face it, adoption is NOT for wimps!
Here are some pics. from our visit with Olivia!

She is listening to the social worker translate something.

I have no clue what this face was for, but I think it is really cute.

She is looking at me talk to her!

My personal favorite from today!

She sees her favorite night time towel. Her foster mom was going to give it to us today, but I suggested her bringing it tomorrow so Olivia could get a good night sleep with it.

This picture cracks me up. She took the pictures that her foster mom gave me out of the box and then tried to fit her face in the box. I did it next and then she looked at the box like it was contaminated!

Yep, that is a lollipop that she is licking....with the wrapper still on. :)

She emptied out two bags that her foster mom had brought. She was trying to reach for something in one of the bags and you literally could not see her. That is how tiny she is!

Well, as you can see from all the pictures that today was 100% better!!!!! I think there are many factors that helped to make this visit better, but most of all I feel it was all the prayers and love from everyone!!! Keep praying. In less than 24 hours I will turn this child's world upside down. We will be a forever family, which, in the end is a wonderful thing. However, right now it is hard and painful for her, for us, and for her foster mom. I fully expect for her to scream and cry until she puts up the shield of no emotion (essentially her way of survival). Who knows how long that will last, but we will continue to love her and encourage her daily. I don't expect miracles over night or even over weeks. This will take time.

To continue with day 6 we went upstairs in the agency and met Dr. Kim. She is the President of our agency. She talked with us about how Korea has changed over time and explained things about traditional Korean beliefs and customs. After this, she invited us lunch. We had another traditional meal.

It was Bibimbap. We have also had this dish before, so we knew what it was. :) We enjoyed the food and the company. There were three other American families there. Two were adopting and one had come back to check thier child's file. They adopted her 25 years ago!

After lunch we were invited to watch a short film about the history of our agency. We left from there and came back to our hotel to drop off the gifts that the foster mom gave us.
We immediately turned around to head back out to do some shopping. The afternoon agenda was to go to the soccer stadium, but because it is so cold, we figured it would be closed. We will hopefully see that next time we are here! We went back to the bakery and enjoyed some more pastries and then John headed to talk to a man who is a local artist. He found this guy yesterday because he knew I wanted some scroll work done. We couldn't find him for a short time and when we did he said, "oh, I just went up to the 3rd floor with some man. I think he can do what you are wanting." Holy cow! No one knew where he went and he just went to someone's studio. Obviously, when I read Olivia the book, Never Talk to Strangers, I should have daddy in attendance, too! :) He took John up to his studio and did some wonderful work for us!

Mom and I went ahead leaving dad to wait for John. We weren't sure exactly where he went, so we just thought we would leave dad in the central location to wait for him. Once they caught up, dad was frozen from waiting outside in the wind. We decided to head back to our room and just do sandwiches from the restaurant down stairs. We are all tired and we know tomorrow will be hard. I am going to try to pack some tonight so I can focus on my girl tomorrow night! I will try to blog tomorrow night, but I am not promising. If I don't, then I will do a long catch up once we land in Atlanta! we come!!! This has been a wonderful trip, but I am ready to be home.


  1. I am so glad that visit #2 went so amazingly well, that she warmed up - at least somewhat - that you got the answers you wanted! Just know that the depth of her love and attachment to foster mom will one day transfer to you and John. Hold on to that on that when it's rough - it's a blessing that she loves her that deeply. And most of all remember that God brought you this far, and He's not going to leave you now!!

  2. amazing...we are all continuing to pray for all of you. I can only imagine how you are feeling and will be feeling today as you take your sweet baby home. Yes, it will be hard for a while but I believe with all my heart that it will be okay and that little girl will be bouncing around in her awesome room she has back in TN with all her toys and smiling and laughing. Safe travels back to the US and can't wait to see you all!!

  3. I am so very happy for you all. Just think of the day that she comes running with open arms to you and John... I can only imagine the whirl wind of feelings that you guys are having right about now, BUT just remember that one day soon she will look at you and smile. You will then know that it is you and John that her heart centers around! Have a safe trip home!! Can't wait to read that y'all are back in the US!!

  4. WOW!!! This visit sounded AMAZING!!! We continue to pray for all of you. In fact, I had to leave Rebecca's room Tuesday night when she prayed for "Mrs. Parker and her Olivia". Can't wait for you all to be home!

  5. This blog brought tears to my eyes. God is amazing and I can't believe your family is coming home tomorrow. We are continuing to pray for all of you as we know tomorrow is going to be very difficult for EVERYONE. Love you!

  6. the staring you straight in the eyes or touching your hand....can't decide which one i love more. thank god for small blessings. love you and praying for tomorrow.

  7. LOVE LOVE LOVE the pictures! So awesome to see her staring at YOU!!!!!! Ah, so precious. Just know you will be GREATLY missed tonight at Bible study, but you can be ASSURED we will be praying for you all and for tomorrow especially. Love you, sweet friend!

  8. I totally cried when I read this post. I'm so glad that this visit when so much better! I'm with Stephanie....God won't leave you now sister! I L.O.V.E. the picture where Olivia is staring at you! and the one with the 1/2 smile/get away from me face! Ha!! I can't believe you will get her today and be home Saturday!! I hope Friday night goes ok for you and I will be praying for you all! Love you!!!

  9. Much better visit! Great to see her doing a little bit better---and you making progress with her--enjoy those baby steps! I'm here if you ever need me to listen---wasn't that long ago that I went through exactly the same thing you are headed into---and just keep reminding yourself that you WILL get to the other side and it WILL be amazing with Olivia! She's adorable!

  10. I pray that God sends a peace for all of you like none you've ever known before......a peace that surpases all understanding. Rejoice in the miracles that seem so small and know that our God is a BIG GOD & no job is too big or small. Meeting #2 was huge and very much a success.....the connection strengthened today and you could see it in everyone's eyes. We love you and can't wait for you all to get home!

  11. I've been checking in every day, sometimes more than once to see how everything is going!! It's morning over there now and I know you only have a matter of hours before getting Olivia...i'm am so excited for you, she is so beautiful. I know FM said she doesn't smile too often, but just think- that just means you and your hubby will be the first recipients of those smiles someday!!

  12. Laura, you have been on my mind all week long. I will be praying for all of you as you travel home. I knew you would fall in love with that baby and she is going to fall in love with you and John also. I want to share something with you that we learned when we were expecting Carter. I will share it with you when I see you. Take care, be safe, and stay encouraged. This IS the best thing for Olivia. Try to remind yourself of that. I also think it's good your expectations aren't too high. It will take time, but it will all come together. She is going to be a happy, well adjusted little girl. You're all lucky to have each other. Know that our family is praying for yours.
    With love, Cindy and Carter Brown

  13. She's such a darling little girl! No wonder you fell in love! I'm glad today's visit was so much better.
    You're right that the transition will be tough; and I'm sure at times your love and patience will be tested to the limit. We had a rough transition with our second daughter, and I'm always happy to listen if you need to vent, or offer any help I am able.
    Enjoy your day tomorrow, becoming Olivia's mama, and everything else will fall into place :)