Meeting SaRang

I'm not even going to type anything until after the pictures - that's what you're really here for anyway! So look your fill, and then see my post below the pics. I'm warning you - it's long!







So, I dare anyone to tell me she is not the sweetest girl ever! We met the case worker at SWS at 1:30, and she was so sweet! Her name is Miss Lee. We were also able to meet several other staff members including the director of SWS and had our picture taken with him (I'll post that later). We then took a taxi to the foster family's house. It was about a 20 minute drive, and honestly we were both so calm. I have no idea how to explain it, but no nerves whatsoever. And, seriously, we should have been nervous. Not only were we driving to meet our daughter for the first time, but the traffic is so unreal here and we narrowly avoided who knows how many wrecks. We arrived at the apartment complex (more like blocks and blocks of high rises) and were all getting out of the car, maneuvering our gift bags, cameras, etc. and Miss Lee said, "oh, there she is!" SaRang and Mrs. Park (the foster mother) were outside waiting for us. Thank goodness Brian already had the video camera on. She was standing there in her little pink coat and pigtails - so surreal. We went inside to the apartment, and SaRang sat down and took off her own shoes and socks. On the wide screen TV in the living room was a slide show of dozens and dozens of pictures of her and the foster family from the past 5 months. Mrs. Park brought out her favorite blanket, pillow, and stuffed animal, and SaRang immediately sat down and started playing with the baby doll and picture book we had brought. As soon as we brought out our camera, she started cheesing it up. It was hilarious. She is clearly used to having her picture taken and really likes it. She smiled and smiled and loved it when we played peek-a-boo with her. She also enjoyed having her feet tickled and liked imitating us. We taught her how to give fives. She seems to have such a lovely personality - very sweet and full of smiles.

I had brought little fruit snacks with me, and when we asked if she could have them, Mrs. Park said she doesn't like snacks, but real food and brought out some yogurt for her to eat. She sat on the floor and ate (a.k.a. shoveled it in getting most of it her clothes - good thing she had a bib on). Mrs. Park also brought out some food for us to eat. There were things that we have no idea, but they included seafood with noodles as well as some kind of drink that was made from rice (and for those of you wondering, I drank the rice juice and ate one of the roll things, but did not try the spaghetti seafood). Mrs. Park went over the gifts she was sending home with us - a CD full of pictures, a hanbok, the clothes she was wearing when they received her from the orphanage, the outfits, and toys that we had sent to her, as well as her favorite picture book and CD (with her favorites highlighted), a framed cross stitched picture for us, and a different one for SaRang. We spent about 45 minutes at the house, and then it was time to go. She allowed me to hold her hand as they walked us out to the elevator and out to the street. I was even able to carry her down the stairs (she felt very light, although she looks bigger than I was expecting). She gave a big smile and hug to Mrs. Park when I handed her over, though. Oh, and the entire time Miss Lee and Mrs. Park both kept pointing to us and saying oppa and omma, which is father and mother in Korean. They also pointed to Camden's picture many times to tell her that was her brother.

We are not going to see her again until Friday at 2:00 and then she will be ours for good. While I wish it were sooner, I am fine with waiting until Friday. Mrs. Park clearly loves her to pieces and the interaction between the two of them was so sweet, and I want Mrs. Park to have as much time as she is able. I know that SaRang will be happy with her for the next two days.

By the way, I'm calling her SaRang for several reasons. First, this is her Korean name and what everyone is calling her right now, and honestly, it just doesn't seem right to call her Rory yet. There is plenty of time for that. And, second, I wish you could hear the way the Koreans say SaRang. It is absolutely beautiful.

So before all the excitement of meeting Rory/SaRang, we actually were adventuresome today. First, we went to Starbucks (which can be found EVERYWHERE) and had coffee and muffins for breakfast. We then decided that we had time before our meeting to try to find Insadong and to try to conquer the subway system. About 9:00, we left for the subway. Oh, my goodness! This must be their rush hour because we literally saw thousands of people coming out of the subway. It was a bit daunting - I felt like we were going to be run over, and we were a couple of times. It was confusing at first, but we got it figured out and changed lines a couple of times and made it to Insadong in about 35 minutes. Unfortunately, we had no idea that the shops don't open until 10:00, so we just walked around for a bit. However, once the shops opened, we had so much fun looking around. I wanted to call one of my fellow Korean adoptive parents so badly to ask them what to buy.

We did find someone to paint name scrolls for us (Melissa, I got one for you as well) and we plan to have it matted and framed for the living room. We also were able to get name stamps for Rory and Camden with their Korean names. Really the scrolls and the name stamps were the two main items that I knew we wanted for sure. Oh, we sampled meat on a stick as well as some kind of crab roll on a stick. But we hit the jackpot when we found a bakery that was AMAZING. We each bought something to lunch and then also bought some kind of dessert thingy that we brought back to the guesthouse to eat later.

I can't explain to you the odd feeling it is to be the only Caucasians around. I have only seen two other Caucasian men in the time we've been here, and we have seen literally thousands of people so far. Most people don't even give us a second look even though we are CLEARLY in the minority, but we have seen children staring pretty hard at us. While I know that Camden will not notice being the minority nearly as much because he is growing up in the states and will be used to mostly Caucasians in his world, it does give me a little taste of what it will be like for him as he grows older and has the realization that he does not look like the others around him. And, I have to tell you, that I find myself looking at the young men around me and wonder which one of them Camden would have been. Would it have been the hip guy with the longer hair and denim jacket who just seemed cool or would he have been one of the younger, suave business men we've seen. Would he have wanted to go to a local university or would he have chosen his education in America. I just don't know. It was hard to imagine what his life would have been like even before we'd visited Seoul, but now that we are here I have visual pictures in my mind.

Okay, I think that is about all for now. I had no tears when we met Rory, but I'm feeling pretty emotional now. Of course, it doesn't help that Brian is already working on the video so we're reliving it. I think that we should be able to go back to Starbucks and use their wireless connection to upload the video later tonight.

Comments

X said…
oooh Melissa, I am just so happy for you and your family! SaRang is absolutely beautiful!!!! Safe travels to you all. I didn't even know you got your TC.. YAY!! sweet girl you have there :D
Anonymous said…
I won't challenge you at all on how adorable she is! (Now that I have wiped the tears from my eyes:)
She looks so sweet and what a smile. Repeat after me "wrapped around your finger!" Mom visited Camden and the goat on Monday and she said Camden was having a blast playing with the dog, so he seems happy. You guys take care and I look forward to seeing more pictures. We love you all.
Anonymous said…
Melissa, I'm so glad that everything is going well. We have been praying for you both. SaRang is beautiful and looks so sweet. Still praying that the rest of your trip goes smoothly.
Amy Crain
Karen said…
She's just BEAUTIFUL. Words can't describe it, I'm sure! It's so fun to read about your adventures as you go!! Thanks for sharing the journey!!
Anonymous said…
I am so excited for you all! She is adorable. I love that you are blogging it all. I feel like I am there with you. I love you all!
Marvetta
Wendy said…
Melissa, I hung on every word of your post!! SaRang is absolutely gorgeous!! We called Gracie by her Chinese name (ZhaiYan) for quite a while. It was a very natural, gradual change over to Gracie. I often think about what you were describing about Camden...who would the kids grow up to be if they had stayed in their birth countries. The thoughts can be overwhelming to fathom at times. Enjoy the rest of your time in Korea!! So exciting! Looking forward to the video! CONGRATULATIONS!!
Amanda said…
She is sooo gorgeous. What a beautiful little smile on that sweet face. I can't even imagine what it must have been like meeting her for the first time. I am so glad to hear you will get her for good Friday. I will be praying the remainder of your time there is good and safe! I am loving reading all the updates. Can't wait to see video.
Anonymous said…
Melissa, we are so thrilled for your family!!!! What a great meeting. And you're right. Rory is just stunning!
M :-) said…
She is BEAUTIFUL!!!! We called Molly YoonJeong for quite awhile, before switching over to Molly. Like you said, it just didn't feel right calling her Molly.

So happy that you found Insadong, and had such a good time there. (thanks for getting that for me!) Oh, how I wish I could be back there!

So happy for you!!!
BurnsFamily said…
OHHHHH Melissa! She is ADORABLE, but you know that already! I am literally loving reading every minute of your trip and can't wait to be in your shoes. I'll be relying on you for your info on your trip, since we too will be traveling for the first time! (our boys were both escorted) Can't wait to hear more! Enjoy every single second!
Anonymous said…
She is a doll:) So glad that everything is going so well! Have a wonderful next few days, touring Seoul! Safe Travels.

Michelle(A&BMommy)
M said…
Melissa, she is adorable! The photos are fab (can't wait to see them scrapped) and I am so excited for your family.
Anonymous said…
She is so beautiful! Sounds like you are having a great time. This makes me want to go to Korea so bad.
Matt Millard said…
I am thrilled for you guys and getting to meet your sweet SaRang. She is absolutely beautiful! The pigtails-oh my :) Have safe travels and I can't wait to follow more of your journey!

Sarah
Anonymous said…
She's such a sweet and beautiful little girl! I loved hearing her laugh in the video. I got a kick out of reading about you and Brian not being nervous on the way to meet her. Perhaps that was the "peace that passes all understanding", the peace we feel when we are in the center of God's will! God has blessed you with this beautiful child. May His blessings continue! Marci
Kaitlynsmama said…
Melissa,
Congratulations! She will make an awesome sister (dongsang-little sister/brother) to her Oppa (big brother for girls) and I am sure he will adore her. Sounds like the foster family loves her tremendously and also is aiding her in knowing she will have a forever Appa and Omma (daddy and mommy).
I need to show your blog/video to my husband- it will remind him of our adoption of Jeongah and may get the R our of RDH!!!
you are so correct- the way the Koreans say "SaRang" is beautiful-and as it means "love" it seems to be so fitting for your little Rory!
Blessings,
Tamm and Jeongah
Anonymous said…
congrats!! I am so excited for you...Rory is just gorgeous :) Have a great time!
bodegalee said…
OHHHHH Melissa
she's an absolute doll baby! And sounds like quite the little character too :)Gotta love that she loves the camera! You're gonna have sooo much fun..Will keep checking in :)
Leigh
Anonymous said…
good grief she's beautiful. thanks for making me weep. no more watching videoes with people around. this is jon by the way. can't remember my google name

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