Well, this trip has started off a bit crazy and we aren't even 12 hours into the great adventure!
It started last night about 12:30 am as I was packing. Because, who packs earlier than that, right? Well, have things fairly wrapped up when we notice that one of our suitcases that we bought last March had a huge rip/hole in the corner of the bag. Bad news. We didn't have another that size so we grumbled and then had to wait for the stores to open to find another. The Man hunted at a few stores til he found one that work work.
In the meanwhile, Little Man was going nuts because the paper chain links he had been excitedly ripping off each day to count down the days to our trip told him that TODAY WAS THE DAY and he was very annoyed that we weren't leaving immediately. He had his coat and shoes on most of the morning and was shouting I WANT TO GO TO KOREA.
Damn the paper chain. But very cool that he was excited to go. So repacking was tough because he just kept getting in the bags and/or having major meltdowns. Fun. Especially when Mommy only had 5 hours of sleep. (No more midnight packing for me.)
But we finally got it together and got out the door. We returned 10 minutes later because I always forget at least one thing. I had got almost everything crossed off my to-do list. Except to clean the house. But that's always on the list. :)
On the road we had to keep making pit stops. And Little Man ran over the agenda repeatedly. Go to Chicago. Stay in hotel. Shuttle bus to airport. Get on plane to Korea. Take bus to hotel. Sleep.
He ran through it over and over to confirm things. And I could tell he was really working things out in his head about what was going on. Where was Gus (our dog) at? Who would be at our house? Would Gus be sad? Would we come back to our house?
The last question stuck with me. For the past few weeks we've talked a lot about this trip and I wondered if it would bring up any feelings for him. One hint that he's really processing something came the other night when we were looking at the photo album of his few months with a foster family that they gave us when we brought him home. We hadn't looked through it in a long time and he laughed to see the funny things he did as a baby. He crawled I my lap as we looked and then said "I don't like foster mommy. I don't want to go to her house." Why not, I asked? And he said, because I missed mommy and daddy when I was there.
He's also asked questions about us returning to our house after the trip. Will we come back? Will we all be together? And he seems to get very concerned when we aren't all together. I can't help but wonder if his little heart worries that the last time he was in Korea we weren't there and he had to leave someone he loved (although he doesn't remember it). And now we are returning to that same place, so what could happen there this time?
One thing I definitely didn't consider before was how emotional it would be for me to bring him back to Korea. I remember so well, riding in a cab to the airport with a sleeping baby on my lap. I cried big fat tears as we watched the beautiful city of Seoul slide behind us and the countryside opened up. The weight of taking someone from their culture and birthright is heavy. Were we doing the right thing?
I held him then and vowed that we'd return one day. I had no idea that it would be three years later! But already he's a stranger in that land. Unable to really communicate to others. He loves the food but it's not comfort food for him. Just three years away and this Korean child is all-American. I'm not saying that's good or bad. A bit if both I guess depending how you look at it. But there's something so powerful in bringing him here and saying this is a part of you. To share this learning experience with him and let hi know we are proud of who he is and where he's from.
Goodness. Crying already. Perhaps the lack of sleep is really the culprit. Right?
Anyhow. We dropped into ikea before checking into a hotel in Chicago. Picked up stuff for Little Bro's room (which is why there are rugs in the photo and the car is packed!) and now at the hotel. Little Man Is the worlds best sleeper so he's sacked out and I'm about to call it quits too.
Tomorrow is going to be a long long day. Send us all the best traveling vibes you got. We need 'em!