Rest of Day 2

So yesterday before we went to meet Alex we went to the EMart – something like a Walmart.  It was pretty cool – lots of interesting foods – a whole counter devoted to styles of kimchi, and lots of fish!  The really interesting thing was the walk there however. Here are a couple of neat pics.

After we got home from EMart, we got ready to go meet Alex! We went over to the SWS hospital and met our case worker.  She then packed us all in a van and we were driven about 30 minutes east of the city to the foster mom’s home.  It was on the 5th floor of a building – lots of stairs!

When she opened the door, we were ushered in and it took me a few seconds to realize that Alex was strapped to her back in a baby carrier!  We all sat on the floor, and Alex was put in front of us and he just looked at us with a “Robinson” look – he had just woken up, so he was kinda grouchy.  That didn’t last long.  Within a minute he was holding Matt’s finger and smiling.  He is so freaking cute!  Of course, earlier that day he had been trying to stand up and he fell, and banged his head, so he has a couple of bruises on his face.  Soon enough we were holding him – it was awesome.  He has very chunky feet and hands, and he is a very big boy.  I really don’t think the clothing we brought is going to fit him!  I packed 6-12 months (he turns 9 months this coming Monday), but he is already over 20lbs!!  Very sturdy little boy.  I am going to have massive muscles very shortly!

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The foster mom served us a homemade rice juice (very good!) and some fruit and rice cakes (tasty – but chewy).  While we ate, I asked the questions about Alex and we found out he is quite the social baby.   He likes to stay up until midnight and wake up at 6 – he wants to be where the people are.  We will be changing his sleeping habits as soon as we can 😉

Alex was intrigued by me – he kept staring at me – perhaps the blue eyes.  He also loved my necklace and it quickly found its way into his mouth.  I think the Who Loves Baby album we had sent over helped in some brief recognition of us.  We have much more video footage of him than pictures, so when we get home we will break it down into photos and post them and some video.

Krista & Alex

 

It was hard to leave, but knowing that in just a few days we will have him forever made it somewhat easier.

One more pic of Alex… sorry – dont’ have my cropping software here.

 

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After we got back we celebrated with a bottle of wine and talked about meeting Alex and how amazing it was.  Around 6:30 we went out to dinner at Yeoksam subway station.  There are a lot of great places to eat down there!  We went to a Korean /  Chinese restaurant and had rice bowls.  I made the bad move of ordering Kung Pow Chicken… VERY HOT!  Matt ended up eating most of it for us. The kimchi there was very tasty.  At the end of the meal, a bowl of grape frozen yogurt was served – AWESOME!  We keep trying to eat with the chopsticks, but usually within a few minutes, forks are being delivered.  We stick out so much! 

Anyhow, in bed by 9.

Today we will be going to Changdeokgun Place and Insadon Market to look for mementos to bring home.

Morning of Day 2

Matt and I got a solid 8 hours of sleep last night.. thank goodness!  I feel really refreshed.  Pat got a few hours, but still feels better than yesterday.  Matt and I woke up around 4:30am, and by 6:30am we were out looking for Starbucks.  Unfortunately it does not open until 7am!! So we found the next best thing – McDonalds!  Yep – hotcakes and Sausage McMuffins before 7am… comfort food.  We have had problems ordering coffee – so for those planning on travelling soon be sure you learn kopi  (koh-pee) … thanks Christine! 

We have just been hanging out in the room this morning, preparing the gifts for the foster family, and we might venture out to the Emart to get some more supplies.  We don’t want to venture too far… because at 1:30 we get to go meet Alex!  Pat, Matt’s mom will be videotaping it so we can have our hands free 🙂  Lots of pictures to come soon….

I can’t believe this day is finally here.

Getting Here and Day 1

So we left Stratford at 2pm on Tuesday January 27 and hung out at the Pearson International Airport in Toronto until our flight at 7:50pm.  We were on a small Air Eagle plane – and there was turbulence.  Not fun – but luckily the flight was only 1 hour.  We got to JFK just before 9, and had to go from terminal 8 to 1 which consisted of lots of walking to find the shuttle.  When we got to terminal 1, all of the restaurants, bars and stores were CLOSED!  And we had just had a snack in Toronto, so waiting until our flight to Seoul at 12:50am was tough – especially for Matt.   To further our problem we were told that our luggage might not make it – but it did!  Phew.

The Korean Air plane was HUGE!   Just under 400 passengers.  Unfortunately we did not get upgraded to first class…  Barb & Andy – you were very lucky!  The stewardesses are amazing!  They gave us headphones, toothbrushes, socks, blankets, facial wipes, hot wash cloths – and BABY FOOD!  Turns out somehow the airlines thought Alex was travelling with us both ways (even though we only have a ticket for him coming home) so they gave us the formula and baby food they had on the flight for him – they were wonderful.

The airline food…  Well the stewardesses were pretty shocked that we wanted the traditional Korean offerings.  The main meal was Bibimbab, seaweed soup, and pickles.   We even received instructions on how to eat the bibimbab.

Dinner

For breakfast, Matt and Pat chose the American dish – I again went Korean – Green Tea Porridge… won’t do that again.  That wasn’t for me.

Breakfast

The flight was very long.  We flew over northern Canada, Russia, China, and around North Korea (guess we couldn’t use their air space).  I didn’t sleep very much.  It was really cool being able to see the stars…

The Incheon airport was really easy to navigate and we hung out for a while waiting for the KAL bus.  Pat and I drank hot tea and coffee from cans and bottles – very cool!

Just before 8am, we found the SWS very easily thanks to Belinda & Steve’s directions (Thanks!).  Our room is nice – nothing too fancy.  We tried to sleep a bit, but couldn’t… so around noon we ventured out looking for lunch.  We discovered how much we depend on the English language!  Very few signs in English.  We ended up just getting pizza (I know – we chickened out!), but it was very good.  I went back to the SWS to rest while Matt and Pat went touring.  They met a very nice man who insisted that they went up to his apartment to visit.  Turns out he has a son in Toronto.  He was very kind. 

We hung out until about 6 and then the door man took us to Neul Bo Ree, a Korean Restaurant around the corner.  We had to sit on the ground which was a new experience.  We ordered Bulgogi – tasty – and there was lots of food!  We did not eat it all.

 Dinner in Korea

Gosh – that is a bad picture of me.

There is another family on our floor who got their baby boy today!  I hope we get to see him.

So now we are going to try to sleep.  Tomorrow at 1:30 we go to meet Alex!

Made it!

Well, after 15 hours in the air, 27 hours of travel total we have made it!  We made it here at 7:30am, Thursday January 28 Seoul time, it is 6:08pm your time on Wednesday I think… My brain isn’t working too straight right now.  Will post pictures later today of the plane ride.   I did eat the Korean plane food… some food was better than others.
Something kinda funny is that we are staying in the same room as Barb & Andy (your e-mail was still in the hotmail webpage!)
Anyhow, I need to relax, get cleaned up and have a nap. We will be exploring the area that the Guest House is in later today.

Leaving on a jet plane…

The red string is really short now!

Tonight at 7:50pm we will begin our long journey to Seoul.  We don’t arrive until 5am on Thursday January 29 (Korean time – which is really 3pm on Wednesday our time.  Very confusing.  I think jet lag is really just mass confusion.  We have been taking melatonin to help with the jet lag – will let you know shortly if that works!

It has taken us 9 months, 3 weeks and 2 days to get to this point.  At times is seems that the process has taken forever… but at other times, it seems like it has gone by in the blink of an eye.  

We are so thankful for all of our friends, family members, new e-buddy friends, and the staff at the Children’s Bridge for helping us get through the happy times and the rough times.  It has meant the world to both of us – but especially me, to have met so many new friends through this blog – and knowing that you all are experiencing or have experienced similar pains, waits, and joys  has been a real comfort.  And the advise has been very helpful!

Be sure to check back often – we will try to post every night (with lots of pictures!). 

Now our real journey begins!!  Alex here we come!

Weather Update!

The weather has changed, except for the Thursday we arrive, every day is “supposed” to be sunny and warm! Well between 6 and 8 Celsius! Shorts weather?
Check it out at Accu Weather.

Apologies for my obsession with the weather – but I always wanted to be a weather girl 😉

oh oh…

I’m sick.  I have a fever, headache, sore throat, stuffy nose… 

I’m getting myself medicated so cross your fingers that I will be better by Tuesday!

On a good note – I think we have pretty much everything we need for the trip.  Today we got a power adapter for the plugs, some more gifts – Team Canada tees and hats for the foster family children and husband, and a battery operated alarm clock (thanks for the tip Karen & Kevin!)  Oh, and I got my hair cut and coloured yesterday – a real boost!  And I’m done work!  Woo Hoo!  Ouch that hurt.  I need to go to bed.

Gifts

We almost have all of the gifts to take bought.

For the Social Worker a pewter pin of a Canadian Goose and a “mint smoothie”
For the doormen a small box of chocolates each
For the nursers / SWS staff a larger box of chocolates
For the Foster Mom a silk scarf with a native Canadian print on it of 3 chickadees – one of which is flying away and a box of chocolates.

We also plan to get Habs tees today for the rest of the foster family and I want to get some tea for the foster mom too.   I’m also considering a book of photography of Stratford – but I just have to find it…  So depends on the time we have left.

The chocolates are from a company called Rheo Thompson’s Chocolates that is located in Stratford.  The chocolates are made here – and are AMAZING!  If you ever come to Stratford be sure to get some.

It is hard to decide what exactly to take.  There is nothing that can compare to the gift we are getting.

I cannot believe we leave in just 2.5 days!