Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Hey Jude!

For some odd reason, whenever I'm idle and humming a song, I've always sung this song without knowing the lyrics. All I had by memory like most people was, "Hey Jude...dah dah dah dah..." Then I decided I would learn this song and sing it to my Jude and while listening to it, I cried. It's like this song was made for us.

Hey Jude, don't make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

Hey Jude, don't be afraid
You were made to go out and get her
The minute you let her under your skin
Then you begin to make it better

And anytime you feel the pain, hey Jude, refrain
Don't carry the world upon your shoulders
For well you know that it's a fool who plays it cool
By making his world a little colder

Hey Jude, don't let me down
You have found her, now go and get her
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

So let it out and let it in, hey Jude, begin
You're waiting for someone to perform with
And don't you know that it's just you? Hey Jude, you'll do
The movement you need is on your shoulder

Hey Jude, don't make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her under your skin
Then you begin to make it better
Better, better, better, better, better, oh!

When you have a baby

When you have a baby and you have run out of body wash, you use the baby wash and shampoo.
When you have a baby, you're awake at 6 in the morning playing toy the xylophone and the maracas.
When you have a baby, it's possible that you spend your whole day in your PJ's.
When you have a baby, you automatically begin drawing a bath instead of starting the shower, even when it's for yourself.
When you have a baby, you eat their apple rice puff snacks and enjoy it.
When you have a baby, random people wave hello to the baby on the street, at the grocery store, at the mall, at  Starbucks...
When you have a baby, you understand the book "Go The F*ck The Sleep" much much better.
When you have a baby, you wash ALL your clothes with one wear. Even pants. Especially pants.
When you have an adopted baby, your husband says, "come to Uncle Hans" by accidentally instead of "come to daddy."
When you have an internationally adopted baby, you yourself end up in bed by 8:30 pm because you stayed up all night with Him. 

When you have a baby, you get use to a lot of repetition. Open. close. up. down. again. again. again.
When you have a baby, you need to vacuum more, because....
When you have a baby, Cheerios are found in random places
When you have a baby, you need to sweep more, because...
When you have a baby, he might find a random Cheerio and eat along with it a dust bunny.
When you have a baby, you'll have 3 or more sippy cups in your fridge with different liquids in them.

When you have a baby, you appreciate your mom so much more.
When you have a baby, you wonder how anyone has more than one kid.
When you have a baby, you can stare at one face all day long and can't get enough.  Especially if you're staring at a face so cute!
When you have a baby, you want to be a better person.
When you have a baby, you forget all your own worries and petty conflicts because it's not that important.
When you have a baby, you forgive and forget.
When you have a baby, you have more love in your heart to give, not just for him, but for everyone else.
When you have a baby, you understand the love the Heavenly Father has on us.

Monday, May 28, 2012

Birds of a feather

I love trees and what they stand for. The rings in the trunks that show how many winters they've endured and how many summers they thrived. The generations upon generations that took the tree to grow upon years to see it's way to abundance of leaves...every spring new, but each some leaves generations older than others. The roots that grow deep into the ground, stabilizing itself further into the soil each year securing it's family presence upon the earth. Family history is represented in it's growth and it's leaves, representing each person that made a difference once upon their time. Today, I see birds that fly upon this tree, making each mate and each growth possible upon their flight.

When we returned from Korea after picking up our baby Jude, we found a big white blob of waste on the trunk of our car and a dead bird under it. I don't know how the bird got into our garage while we were away, nor do we know why the bird chose our car in particular to choose. Maybe it was random coincidence of the universe or maybe our car was the only one left abandoned for ten days in the garage. While taking Jude out for a frolic outside I found another dead bird in the grass where we were playing. I never saw so many dead birds in my life and I found it a curse and a darkening in my heart and imagination. In old Korean folklore, when you find a birds nest outside your window or in one of your trees, it is believed to be good fortune and blessing. So, when I saw two dead birds in two days within very close proximity of our home, it concerned me.

Perhaps it's bad luck or a bad misfortune foretold in their death upon our arena, but I hate to think that way, for today I saw too bird of a feather flying across the sky after I successfully fed, bathe and put Jude to bed in his own crib for the first time. I want to think that the birds have to die to their freedom in their own selfish independence to belong to one another and become a bird of a feather. Unlike the trees that come from one root, one birth, a bird finds another to mate for life. It's to adopt and adapt to one another and become one.

Tuesday, May 22, 2012

6 o'clock in the morning

Every morning here in Korea, whether I had gotten some good shut eye or not (more days not), I wake exactly at 6 am on the dot. I drag my feet on the wood floor, down the hall to the rest room then after I'm emptied out, I sit here...checking email, checking facebook, reading blogs and writing them. I have this strange feeling that this will be my morning routine back in the States with Jude and this is the training ground for it. Who knows...I don't feel especially tired when wake up, but I am pretty tuckered out mid-morning-ish until I get some food in me. Then that afternoon is a killer. Doesn't this sound awfully similar to a mom/kid day? Yeah, it sounds like that to me too.

The good Korea list

This is so I won't forget how good Korea is and to show off to others the place of my birth and a place I would have grown up. I sometimes fantasize about where and what I would be if I never left this place. Would I feel more grounded and less ethereal and less like an alien? Maybe I wouldn't feel so detached and out of place so much.

1. I love how there are play grounds in every town and every apartment complex. Not the with sheet metal slides that grow hot enough to melt off the under side of your thy on your way down, but the plastic kind and with elaborate themes with every complex.

2. Public transportation is efficient, timely, frequent, clean and cheap. You will pay about 10 dollars for a 30 minute ride in a cab to another part of the city. That would never happen in Chicago. It costs nearly 10 dollars traveling from Michigan Ave to Union Station. That is a 10 minute ride. The subway system in Korea is easy to understand and any tourist would catch on in a day, whereas living about 15 years in Chicago did nothing for me in learning the L.

3. Korean food is so good in Korea. Just makes sense but ... can't get over it.

4. Just like in the States, Starbucks and Dunkin' Donuts have infiltrated every corner of every block of Seoul. Which is a welcome oasis when the above said Korea food loses it's luster after the 6th Korean meal in 2 days. I understand most people in Korea do have Korean food every meal of their days, but it seems a little much after so long.

5. Every little part of town is different and has it's own personality, specialty and people.

6. No one in Korea sleeps. The city never sleeps.

7. People in Korea still regard one another as extended family because it's still pretty homogeneous.

8. Koreans love coffee so much, they have beautiful cafes everywhere and they actually have some of the best coffee I have ever sipped on.

9. Art and details are important to them. There is a strong affinity and importance put on aesthtics, whether it be  of people, clothing, puppy clothing or a phone cover, Koreans make the cutest little things.If I ever have a little girl in the future, I'm coming back here to shop.

10. You can get anything delivered and it's expected.

11. You don't have to tip ANYONE, not even your server at an eatery. ahhh...feels good and free that you aren't pressured to award people more than deserve just for doing what they're already paid to do.

Still a working be continued.

Second meeting

Today we had our second meeting. I haven't been sleeping very well for the last 6 days and I look and feel like a zombie. Bags under my eyes, not processing information as quickly as I need, crabby, and losing my sense of humor very quickly. I'm also picking fights with H and I want him to fight back so I can really give him a piece of my mind. I don't know what I'd say at that exact moment...but he's gonna get an ear full. At one o'clock this afternoon we had our second meeting with Jude and I was already tired from climbing the hills of Korean streets, I waited in the SWS nursery. When he appeared, he looked like he recognized me, but when I tried to cajole him to come to me, he was hesitant. We had one hour with him and played in the nursery, just the three of us without the social worker and the foster mom. He didn't cry or fuss, he actually laughed, played, smiled and asked me for snacks that the agency provided. It was suppose to be grape flavor, but when Jude inserted the snacks through my tight reluctant lips, I immediately cringed and had no idea why he asked for them over and over. yuck! I will give you better snacks when we get home Jude, apple puffs, cheddar bunnies and veggie snacks from Gerber. mmm..those are my favorites. You don't know what you're missin'.

Although Jude didn't cry with us, I could tell that he wasn't ecstatic about being with us as he would with his foster mom. I also don't feel as though he's my child yet. H and I both agree that we still feel like the Uncle Hans and Auntie Susie who play hard all hour long and work hard to make kids laugh. We are exhausted after we spend just one hour with him and we are relieved when his rightful guardian walks in the door to reconvene their role and we stroll out the door to take a little nap. H's cousin who is a new mom says she doesn't or she can't play with her 8 month old like we play with her and that soon we will accept our new role as parents and not fun Uncle and Auntie or playmate for that matter.

When our hour was up with him, the social worker opened the door and Jude brightened up significantly as he spied his foster mom through the door frame. He ran toward her with open arms and after that, while saying good bye to him, I could tell that he was more excited and active than he was when he was with us. I know that he still needs to get to know us and we need to do some bonding, but it still made me kind of sad because this time, I wasn't auntie, but I was his mom. For other little boys I love to prefer their moms over me doesn't hurt me but almost a release because now I can go back to being childless and free, maybe even a child myself. It made me sad to see the contrast this time because he still thinks me as auntie. 

Monday, May 21, 2012

First meeting

It wasn't love at first sight...or what I thought would happen when I saw him. In my reveries, I walk in, take one look at him and I am reduced to tears, overcome by love and affection for this boy. Nope. That didn't happen, but he did run out to see who was at the door like all little boys his age would do. As he appeared, we all erupted in laughter because he was so darn cute, but I didn't recognize him as my baby, it was our first meeting after all. We ran into a couple who had also just come back from their first meeting with their baby and we both agreed that when we said good bye to our little ones at the end of our meeting, we didn't feel as though we were leaving our babies. Although another couple with us cried from being overwhelmed by love and affection, apparently feeling as though she was in fact in love already. Love at first sight.

Sure, I thought he was adorable and I genuinely liked him and as he sat on my lap contently, I think he liked me too. We still need to get to know one another and let bonding happen in the next days of our lives. For now, we are smitten and we like each other's company. He came to me and sat on my lap with a little cajoling, but while playing, kissing and cooing with him, I still felt as though I was his auntie and he was someone else's kid. I feel okay with that and maybe feel a bit healthy because I do. No one falls deeply in love at first moment and maybe or most likely Jude would have already forgotten me by tomorrow. I'll just have to remind him again when I see him.I still can't stop talking about him, make notes and commentary on the little things he did during our first hour and his little duck lips still come into my mind's eye every now and again.

See you tomorrow boy, we'll be friends for now and you can wait to call me mommy, because we have the rest of our lives to get to know each other. :) 

Sunday, May 20, 2012

Today is the first day

Today is the first day that I will actually know Jude in person. I've been awake since about 6 am and despite the fact that I haven't been able to sleep that well this trip, I am especially eager today. In about a half hour, we'll leave our cousin's house and take the train to Gangman, where we will visit with SWS and the nursery where all the "new arrivals" are kept. We are completely in the dark about all that is a about to happen there except, someone from the agency will take us to the foster home where Jude is right now and we are able to visit with them for one measly hour. I have to remember that I will have him for the rest of our lives and it doesn't help to just go along with what they require of us. You don't want to slap the hand that feeds you. Hans has also been up since 6 am and since then, he's been folding his clothes, laying out his "good" clothes, shaving, showering and even applying a Biore nose strip on for clean and clear complexion. Hans is a little worried that Jude won't take to him because he looks intimidating and he's almost always stopped at the airport security for his shady face. If you know Hans at all as a friend, it takes cajoling even for him to shower after playing basketball, but today, he wants Jude to like him, I can tell.

I've been having such weird dreams and although my mom friends have been telling me that it's normal to dream out from the left field dreams when you're expecting, my dreams have not only been so crazy, they've also been a little bit dark. I can't explain or recount most the of the dreams I've been having since I have multiples each night. Each dream though, would incorporate an inside joke, a small detail from a friendship or a relationship I've had. People from my past that I haven't seen in years or thought about in years for that matter would appear also, and subsequently , even when not sleeping this happens because I ran into an old friend from junior high while walking along the streets of Itewon last night after having dinner with my family. It's strange, like I'm saying good bye to everything about me that ever happened or have known before Jude, but I don't like that idea. I don't like it when moms lose their sense of identity separate from their children, like they've just become a eunuch that serves a small self centered monster until they leave the nest. Then what? What happens to you when you are no longer 'mom' in a functional sense?

Maybe all of these dreams of supressed feelings, memories and people are a reminder of who I am and what makes up my life. I'd like to think that instead and today is the first day that I will know Jude, who will only be an addition to what makes me, me.

Friday, May 11, 2012

Cancel everything!!!

I can't believe today! This morning I am deeply consumed in slumber and I am startled awake by a phone call and because I think every phone call is from Spence-Chapin, I jump a wake and answer the call. After all of those failed phone calls, this was the one. This time, it WAS Spence and they tell me I can go pick up Jude, it's a travel call! I can't believe my ears first because I'm still a little groggy from sleep, but shaking the fog out of my head, I am amazed at God's timing. Just in time for Mother's day, I receive news to go pick up my first baby. Just the day before, I had phone meeting with my agency prepping me for travel in late May or early June, or even God-forbid-July! Just a few days rewound, I called DC asking if there was any news on the radar of his file arriving at the U.S. Embassy in Seoul. Nothing. No file, no picture, no emigration permit, no visa interview scheduled. HOW did I even get a travel call today? It takes about a week and a half for anyone to receive a T.C. after the V.I is even scheduled! This hardly feels real and I'm in a dream.

I can't focus on anything and all I can do is skip around in my living room, go for a walk down the street to get some coffee and a cheese danish. CHEESE DANISH! I don't eat cheese danishes...but that was the most yummiest cheese danish I have ever consumed and I don't know if I feel guilty for it. He's coming and there's nothing that matters more than this. Yesterday my social worker asked me what my biggest fear was about having him home, and I didn't think twice. I know the answer...It's the bonding. He's 15 months old and by the time I see him he's going to be 16 months, so he will be fully aware that I am a stranger. I'm afraid of the first few months of regressing, the sleepless nights, the rejection, the crying for 4 hour stretches and the trauma he feels once I snatch him away from the only mother he's known. That's my biggest fear...but that all seems like nothing when I think about how we will finally be together. Oh yes, I know that all of the chaos will ensue from day one of our possession of him, but I know that it's growing pains of a family.

Happy Mother's day to me.

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Swirls and swirls

If I was ever a ethereal ghost, I am one now. As the process of adoption comes down to the wire, my nerves have followed suit and worn down to it's very last follicle. I haven't been able to write or focus on anything besides following adoption forums and watching everyone else receive travel calls while I sit here swirling with dark thoughts. What if Jude's foster mother actually falls so deeply in love with my son that she wants to adopt him at the eleventh hour? I had a dream about this the other night, and the pottery barn chair with JUDE embroidered on to it with thread had to be undone and only a faint outline of his name remained. I wouldn't blame her I guess, I would want him too even if I knew that he belonged to someone else, but as long as she is in a far off land and I am here with him, he could and should be mine! That's what I would believe if I were her.

The only serenity I find these days is to fall deeply into books that I have not read in my library. Anna Karenina, Food For Millionaires, The American Adulterer, The Hunger Games (one and two - does anyone have the third one?), the list goes on and on trying to forget that I'm me and that Jude is out there without the slightest clue anything or anyone is missing in his life. Sometimes I feel like a teenage girl with an impossible crush, looking at his pictures, wishing, daydreaming the day he will be mine and on days when I am especially frustrated, I think to myself, "I was fine before I knew you ever existed! Why do I know you if  I can't even have you?!" Of course, he will be mine some day, I just know it but this wait is making me concoct cocktails of thoughts that swirl together in a cup and every day take swigs of it, poisoning my body, my sleep, my concentration.

I mustn't hope in you Jude, or Korea or the agency. I must hope and wait on the Lord, so I am not disappointed or frustrated. His timing is perfect and it has been all along. I am slowly coming to terms with why I had KCC for such a shrt time and I was made to let go so soon. I now know why I wasn't introduced to KCC years ago even when my own sister in law and several of my childhood friends have known about it. He has a plan for me, not a cosmic general plan for all who participate in this world history, but specific to me and my pains. He knows my name and my frustrations. I need to remember this and not be double minded, or half in my made up world with Jude in it and half in the present time. I may never be this free again, with my time, energy, to sleep, to write, to read and to just be. I need to enjoy this time!