Monday, April 09, 2007

I'm Going To Korea

I was thrilled and honored when FAC (Family Adoption Consultants) called and asked me to be an escort. I will be leaving on April 21th along with a three social workers from the agency. Together we will be traveling from Cleveland to Seoul, Korea via Tokyo. Once there we will check into our hotel for some rest before heading off to work. We will travel to KSS (Korean Social Services) which is the orphanage Andrew lived in before being placed in foster care. There we will perform update reports on many of the centers babies. These updates & photographs will be sent back to their adoptive parents in the US. When we were waiting for Andrew we received 2 of these updates. I will never forget how exciting it was to open the mailbox and see that little face and report telling of all his progress, milestones and bad habits.

They have also arranged a meeting for me with Andrew’s foster mom. I don’t even know how to begin to thank her for caring for Andrew. I have printed up several pictures and a copy of Andrew’s photo slideshow to give to her.

I am really looking forward to exploring Seoul. Bill (another escort) gave me all the scoop on eating & shopping in the area around our hotel. We are staying at the Hamilton Hotel, which I am told is a very nice hotel. I found their website and read the list of room amenities; hairdryer, cable television, gas mask, internet access. Gas Mask ??? I don’t know if I find that comforting? I guess they are prepared uncase their unfriendly neighbors to the north come calling.

I will miss one big event while I am away. Andrew’s Gotcha Day is April 22nd, the one year anniversary of his arrival in America. I will miss spending that special day with him. Matt has a fun weekend planned for the kids. He is taking them up to Kalahari Indoor Waterpark.

The last part of our trip will be the most exhilarating and difficult. We will be escorting four babies back to US, one for each of us, 3 boys & 1 girl ranging in age from 10 to 15 months old. It’s roughly 24 hours of travel time when you add in the security checkpoints, layovers and customs & immigrations. But, I’m sure the exhaustion disappears when you get those babies all ready for their big appearance. The customs doors slide open and there are the adoptive parents waiting to meet the little ones for the very first time. Then each of us will hand over our baby to it’s forever family. Just like a stork!

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