Thursday, March 18, 2010

Korea II - Pins and Needles and the Truth

First, thank you all for your encouragement and your prayers. Just as I have the habit of always carrying a ponytail band in my pocket like a very small, very strange security blanket, I also rather like carrying you, especially when I up and travel half-way around the world. Except you certainly aren't strange and the comfort you lend makes far more sense than my ponytail band. At any rate, I'm honored that you hopped inside. Your kindness and your prayers have helped fuel this experience.

It is 6:30 a.m. here. The sky just transformed from grey to a hazy, peach-washed blue before my eyes. I'm missing Calvey-Patalvie and the Rubester.

I have put off writing about yesterday, because there's just so much inside and it's still trying to settle in. It's rearranging my internal furniture a bit. We're making room.

One thing I know for sure about adoption is to expect the unexpected. Each of our babies arrived in a way that we had not planned. For example, I was sunning myself on Pismo Beach in California with my sister, post-week-long business trip, when they called to say that Calvin would be arriving in Detroit in 3 days, the day after my return. The last leg of my flight home to IN from CA was canceled in Cincinnati, due to a severe thunderstorm, and I was left to cry my eyes out, rent a car, and hoof it, so to speak, back home. I arrived at 2 a.m. and we left for Detroit at 6. It was not, to say the least, how I expected things to go.

We spent yesterday morning on a fruitless search for a Korean sports jersey for one sports-obsessed little dude. In the process, we saw the Olympic Village and stadiums and ate another lunch in a restaurant where no one spoke our language. We must have walked at least 700 miles.

Post-lunch found me a ball of nerves. We made it back to our room and began getting ready for The Visit, which, come to find out, would take place in the Foster Mother's home. I was sure that she was not going to approve of my outfit, sure that she would hold my bad hair against me, sure that we would say/do/the exact wrong thing.

Our taxi pulled up to her apartment building and it really hit home that Silas has lived life so far as a little city slicker. It made me excited to think of the wide open spaces that await him and will become the home that he knows best. At the same time, I like seeing first-hand that my boys lived their early days in such sharp contrast to the life God ultimately chose for them. They will have experienced so much variety and it is up to us to make sure they know about it all. Who knows, maybe their concrete-roots will take hold more firmly than we can imagine and adulthood will find them on the congested streets of NYC, or even...Seoul.

Our social worker warned us on the drive over, in broken English, that Silas is very shy. He does not like new places or strangers. I appreciated the honesty, but my nerves were growing increasingly frazzled.

We walked up to the 5th floor and into the tiny apartment and there he was. He smiled at us and ran right back to his foster mama, where she scooped him up and he felt safe again.

Within minutes, he was showing off, babbling Korean gibberish, clowning around.

He danced and tottered around us, lifting his t-shirt to show his belly and all of the other tricks of the toddler trade. Then, he looked at me and held my gaze an extra beat, walked over to me, and plopped down on my lap.

The social worker audibly gasped, as did the foster mother. He sat on my lap off and on throughout the rest of the hour. He fed strawberries to Cory. We took some pictures, which I will be able to share when we return home, but we didn't take as many as we would have liked, because he was Obsessed - capital O - with Cory's camera. Oh, and it seems he's used to getting exactly what he wants, and will voice his protest at not getting what he wants with gusto. :)

Somewhere over the course of that hour, the social worker told us that the foster mother was worried that Silas would not sleep at all on Friday night. She thought he might cry all night long. I was confused by this, since we would not have him with us until Saturday, right?

Wrong. We will be picking Silas up today, around 3 pm. He will stay with us in our room tonight, where it is very likely that he will not sleep. He will be confused and scared and will desperately miss the only Mama he's ever really known.

I am not going to lie. I am nervous.

I had to fight major nerves and doubts yesterday evening. This is not going to be easy, not that we ever expected or hoped that it might be. We are adding a brand new little person into our family - one who still drinks bottles around the clock, does not like "eating", except for fermented soybean paste soup, and appears to have a stubborn streak to match his sister's.

If I let myself, I can get a little stomach-knotty over it all: the food stuff, the sleep stuff, the bonding stuff, the personality stuff.

But the truth remains - This is the child that God created for us. We are the parents God planned for him. There are no two ways about that. And what I know for sure is that God will not lead us where His grace will not carry us. Will there be difficult days (and nights) ahead? Absolutely. But Silas, for the first time in his little life, is about to have a family. And what a grace-filled miracle that his family is us.

63 comments:

  1. Oh my! I would be nervous too. That's alot to take in. You are so brave, and God will give you the grace to handle this day and all the ones to come.

    How cool is it that he plopped right down in your lap? I will be thinking of you a lot... and praying alot! That little guy is so in for a treat. He is getting one very special family:)

    ReplyDelete
  2. i am SO excited for you!!!
    You are right where you are supposed to be. i will be praying for smooth transitions...supernatural bonding to occur in this first night for all of you.
    so excited!!!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Shannan,
    You are such an awesome person. I feel like I am there with you when I read your posts. I am excited for you, and I will be praying that everything goes smoothly for you guys and your son!
    Take Care,
    Maria

    ReplyDelete
  4. I have tears in my eyes as read this. tears of Joy really for Silas but tears of compassion for you and what you are feeling. God will direct your path every step of the way as you continue on the journey of the unknown. May He keep you in His perfect peace !!

    ReplyDelete
  5. I just read your post aloud to my mama as she was getting ready to head out the door. We are going into Seattle today...but I had to stop and see how you are doing. What my mom said is this..."tell her that it is as if we were sitting in the room with them." We are so happy and exited for you..and proud of you. We will continue to pray for you in these first moments with your new little one. God is able to do increasingly and abundantly above and beyond all we can ask or think...and there your are...wow....the Lord is so cool!

    God bless you!

    : )

    Julie M.

    ReplyDelete
  6. You've already said it, you just give your worries to God and He will hold them for you! Yes there will be 'moments', but remember that life is made up of moments such as these, good and bad, but you and your family, with the grace of God, will love him through until he understands. My prayers are with you, God Bless! Becky

    ReplyDelete
  7. You said it so well, you are where you are supposed to be. Hang on to that and I hope you will feel all our prayers lifting you up. Hope all goes well tonight. (never know if you're a day behind or ahead!)

    ReplyDelete
  8. I also felt like I was right there watching it unfold. Shannan you really have a way with words I love it and cheering you on! That little is sooooooo blessed to have you and Cory! See you guys when you get home. Be safe! ~ Cousin Lez

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thank you for sharing your journey to bring Silas home, with us. Growing up, my parents fostered children and this reminded me of when a social worker brought our parents a Korean brother and sister, aged one and two, in the middle of the night. They didn't understand our language, eat our food, or know where their mother went, but one of the beauties of little ones is that with love and attention they adapt quickly. God bless you all.

    ReplyDelete
  10. Shannan, You have such a way with kids - it is all going to be fine. It was meant to be. If he only knew what was in store for him, I know there wouldn't be any tears (he is one lucky little boy). Maybe he won't cry at all. Maybe him sitting on your lap was a sign of good things to come...
    Jenny L.

    ReplyDelete
  11. Ok, I'm crying now. I thought I was crying after part 1, but part 11 really did me in. I am beginning the process to adopt a baby, and I am so grateful to have your words to read first. Gotta love a blogger who cracks me up in one post and makes me cry in the next. Bless you. I'm hoping for a surprisingly restful night for you.

    ReplyDelete
  12. I haven't commented before, but I just feel compelled to write today. Your story just touched something in me. Your heart comes through in your writing and it is clear that it is filled with love and compassion. I'm sure there will be ups and downs ahead, as there always are when you add a child to your family through whatever route, but your boundless heart will see you through. I can feel the connection you already have to Silas which just goes to show that this was meant to be. Wishing you much happiness in this journey.

    ReplyDelete
  13. He just knew who you were, he was waiting all along for you to come and get him.
    Cherish the memories your making right now. When he is getting married you'll be saying oh remember when we came to get you?

    ReplyDelete
  14. Thank you for allowing me to envision you holding our grandson for the first time. I love him so much already. I am so grateful for the young woman who chose life for him and then made the difficult but wise choice to allow us to be his family. I also pray for the wonderful foster mommy God chose for our little guy. God is awesome and His love continues to amaze me. He is the conductor of everything and has taken a beautiful variety of people and orchestrated them together to make our family...how neat is that??!! I love you, and cannot wait to get my arms around Silas.

    ReplyDelete
  15. this is so beautiful, so amazing. What a beautiful, yet hard experience. Yes, you may lose sleep tonight but your starting your life with your newest member. What a God moment when he climbed up into your lap. This was so beautifully written- like the analogy of the pony tail holder- God is with you! You are an amazing woman! stay safe.

    ReplyDelete
  16. I run to check my computer for a sec in between work, just to see what is happening..Seriously this is so amazing that your are bringing us along..thank you for sharing the God given moment! ~lulu

    ReplyDelete
  17. What a wonderful beginning for your lives as a family! Hope tonight goes well...

    ReplyDelete
  18. Shannan: I enjoyed your update and will be praying for you and Corey and little Silas. This would be overwhelming...and a little intimidating, too....Take care, both of you!
    *Ü*
    Joni

    ReplyDelete
  19. OMG you have "our" little man in your arms, once and for all. The arms he will trust, the arms he will jump into with exciting stories, the arms that will protect him, and swoop him up after a skinned up knee or elbow, the arms that belong to his "mama and papa".

    This is too hard to read on a computer screen. I want to be there. I want to study him with my own eyes, kiss all over him, and sing songs to him. I can hardly wait to meet this little man, but I do not have easy access to Korea - so I'll have to wait ;)

    Sis, I'll be praying, for a miracle that Silas can and will sleep, as well as you and Cory. I'll be lifting my voice to God on your behalf, knowing that HE is the very God who orchestrated this entire moment, long before the foundations of the earth were formed, therefore He will give peace and harmony between two cultures and three people. AND, if all else fails, put Cory's camera in bed with him and that should surface him.

    I love you, all three of you and I'm eager to hear the next stage of this story.

    Lil Sis
    Keisha

    ReplyDelete
  20. My thoughts and prayers are with you. What an exciting (and scary!) journey you have ahead of you. God bless you ALL.

    ReplyDelete
  21. What an amazing journey. Every detail touched by God. The beautiful story of Silas.

    Praying for you all during this time of transition. Thank you for taking us along!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I have security "items" too. If I was in your shoes I'd have them all :)
    Silas sounds like a lovely little guy and Im sure you all will have a wonderful transition.
    Have a safe trip home!

    ReplyDelete
  23. I know what it's like to grow up without parents. You are giving this little guy a miracle. I'll be checking back on you guys.
    Brenda

    ReplyDelete
  24. I have been thinking about you and your family alot. And I just know that this new addition is perfect. I can't imagine how hard it is going to be, but I also can't imagine how rewarding it is to take 3 children from different places and bring them together in your heart. Have a safe rest of your trip. Can't wait to see photos.

    Michelle

    ReplyDelete
  25. oh shannan! i am so excited, nervious, happy, anxious, ecstatic for you guys! you are all in my prayers. this is just awesome! praying for you tonight.

    ReplyDelete
  26. I could practically burst out into tears, it's all so wonderful and exciting...not the you being nervous part of course...but the beauty of how you write and what you have written...that this little boy indeed was chosen by God to be your son. I couldn't be more happy for you and your husband!!! Many blessings to all of you!!!

    Hugs ~

    :) T

    ReplyDelete
  27. Oh Shannan, I tried to post yesterday but it deleted me! Anyways I know you will remember every second of this trip forever and so will we! Thanks for taking us with you. That little guy already knows who you are-his mommy. And mom's take it all, the good, the bad and the ugly. You'll all be fine in the long run. He's one lucky little guy.
    Love,
    Char

    ReplyDelete
  28. I can only imagine all that you are feeling! I have tears of nervousness and excitement for you!!! I LOVE that he sat on your lap!

    ReplyDelete
  29. Oh Shannan! I am on pins and needles for you right now. I love your honesty through this whole process. Life is not the fairy tale we sometimes wish it to be. It's messy and real and hard sometimes. I just love, love, love that he saw in you a safe place to rest himself. I think that's a sign. I just googled to see what time it is there right now and see that it is 10am. I can't wait to hear what happens next. I'm praying for all of you and thinking of you often. Go forth and claim your new son.

    ReplyDelete
  30. OH MY I can barely take it for you. You are awesome and it sounds like Silas ( I love that name ) already knows that. Not to many children would take to you so quickly and sit in your lap like that! He sounds great and full of spunk. Can't wait to see a pic. I hope you get rest but can you really sleep anyway? I'd be to busy examining every inch of him. Take care...<3

    ReplyDelete
  31. I have goosebumps! This is so exciting. I will pray for things to go smoothly for you all. He sounds so cute, I can't wait to see pics.

    ReplyDelete
  32. Shannan, I too am on pins and needles for you. It sounds like it's going well so far. I will be thinking about you and praying for you tonight. It's such a beautiful thing.

    ReplyDelete
  33. So happy for you. So amazing that little Silas new he could trust you. What a good good God to give that little boy assurance. Praying your night goes great.
    Debbie

    ReplyDelete
  34. Shannan, thank you so much for letting us share this roller coaster journey with you. I so enjoyed reading the comments from your mom and sister as well, and hearing how excited they are to meet little Silas. I'll be praying that the first night with your precious little boy goes well, and that you truly feel God's grace as you start this new journey with him.

    ReplyDelete
  35. Thank you so much for sharing this so important time with you.....My mom's favorite little words of advice for us growing up was, "God never gives you more than you can handle"......He will lead you through this scary, uncertain, nerve racking, wonderful event....you and your family are in my thoughts and prayers. Congrats on your new baby boy!

    ReplyDelete
  36. amazing. so excited, just told dh 'Flower patch is in Korea, picking up newest son'. he's choked up too. He cried more than I did back when.
    So, so excited for the flower patch family.
    praying for you as you enjoy your first, possibly sleepless night *together*. :)

    ReplyDelete
  37. You just made me cry! Thanks for sharing your journey. Silas is one lucky little guy to get you as his momma!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Your words have painted to most beautiful and true-to-life picture.

    My heart is across the world with you. In just a few hours Silas will be with you in your room for you to comfort his grief as he starts the heart-journey of saying goodbye to everything comfortable and familiar. His loss is hard and real, but what gifts of love and family await him. I am praying for you tonight (today your time!) as you get to know your little boy and he gets to know the two of you. I pray that he will trust you more than you had hoped and that you will all get as much rest as you need.

    He sounds absolutely precious.

    You said it all: God will not lead you where his grace will not carry you. (I needed to hear that today, btw!)

    Love,
    Jody

    ReplyDelete
  39. I don't know if it's the pregnancy hormones or your way with words but I am crying as I read this. I am praying for little Silas...that he doesn't feel afraid and lost, that he knows you are his mama and that he feels safe and loved in your arms. Praying for you and Cory...for wisdom in this transition; for Calvin and Ruby...that they will be just what Silas needs. Your children are so blessed to have you for their mommy! Love to you!

    ReplyDelete
  40. He sat on your lap!! Awesome, God!! I cried when I read that! The journey ahead will be a little rocky but you know the rewards will be life changing! Prayers for all you!! Thank you for sharing your story with us... I feel like family. xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  41. I am so excited for you. I feel blessed to be able to follow along on this journey. It is so beautiful to see God working!

    ReplyDelete
  42. Oh, Shannan. I can imagine it all so clearly. Your words have painted a perfect picture for all of us here on the other side of the world.... all praying for you and your beautiful family!

    God's Blessings to you!

    xo,
    Melanie

    ReplyDelete
  43. I stand in awe of an awesome God who has put your family together in the most incredible way. You are all so blessed! Congratulations!

    I do hope he sleeps well tonight. Sweet sleep...

    ReplyDelete
  44. I love love that he plopped into your lap! =) Blessing! You are a courageous woman! Full of love! Your children are blessed! I pray your first days are full of love and wonder for him!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Oh, sweet friend---you are definitely in the right place. This child will be so happy in your loving arms. You are brave beyond words and he will sit completely enthralled in a few years as you tell him the story of how he became your little boy.

    Praying for you tonight!
    ox
    Lara

    ReplyDelete
  46. Tears in my eyes as soon as you said he sat in your lap. You are his mama now & isn't it amazing to think that maybe he knows that. Congratulations!!!

    ReplyDelete
  47. Praying that your first night together will be a restful one...and a peaceful & sweet trip home.

    ReplyDelete
  48. WOW! Sorry to be out of touch. Am definitely thinking of you. xo

    ReplyDelete
  49. I was just recently introduced to your blog and I am hooked! You have such a wonderful way of phrasing everything. It's like reading a novel, but in this novel, we KNOW that the God-ordained happenings are not designed to make a happy ending. They are truly of God and we are allowed to see His mighty work fulfilled in everyday lives. Thank you for the inspiration you and your family are to others. Thank you for sharing .... this is a wonderful form of ministry.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Wow- what an amazing time in your lives! And a miracle that he came and sat on your lap- a good sign!

    ReplyDelete
  51. I am happy for you guys! Have an awesome night, even if a sleepless one ;-)

    ReplyDelete
  52. I'll keep praying for your family as everyone adjusts and travels hom. I about bawled at my desk reading this - God is great!

    ReplyDelete
  53. Every one of your posts about this journey has confirmed in my heart that my husband and I are called to adopt a child. The child that HE has planned for us. Thank you for sharing and blessing my heart.

    ReplyDelete
  54. What a beautiful post...wishing you all the best!

    ReplyDelete
  55. Chills, chills, chills. When you stated that he plopped into your lap, tears came to my eyes, the love of a child the innocent ideals they have make me smile. This wee one who was so shy looked at you and saw saftey, he saw kindness and love, and that is all you need to get through this, his love and your ability to be the most awesome parent you are! enjoy every minute....you are sooooo brave and amazing, never forget that!

    ReplyDelete
  56. My thoughts and prayers are with you as you labor and deliver this new child into your family! God is Good!

    My thoughts and prayers are also with this Silas. That his adjustment maybe seamless and that his new sibling have a easy time.

    Warmest Blessings,
    Georgiann

    ReplyDelete
  57. I can hardly work today. It was so good to talk with you guys last night. I am praying that you guys and Silas are bonding, sleeping, adjusting to one another! I love that you are holding on to one of my favorite quotes "The will of God will never take you where the Grace of God will not protect you." You two are so blessed to be given this opportunity to live out God's plan for Silas' life bringing him up in such a loving, caring, and supportive family. He will truly be loved. Can't wait to hold and love on him myself (if Ruby ever gives him up). She has plans of her own to hold him, rock him and read him books! Ha, how do you think he will adjust to that???

    Love you,
    Mom

    ReplyDelete
  58. It was a sign from Him...Silas sitting in your lap when no one thought he would. I think He gave that to you to put in your pocket (with your hair band and us) so you can pull it out on the hard days that are to come. I'm thinking of you all and praying for you!!

    ReplyDelete
  59. Shannan, Thank you for letting us all in on your story... it is truly an amazing one. Becoming a parent, whether for the first or sixteenth--I imagine-- time, brings its own sets of trials, complications, joy and utterly heart melting experiences... God is good and He is in control. He has blessed you with this new little man and this new little man with you. Congratulations on this exciting adventure!!

    ReplyDelete
  60. I'm so glad God chose you for this precious little boy. You are an awesome Momma and all of you are so very blessed.

    I so remember the feelings that you describe and you make me want to do it all over again.
    Although it is very stressful, there is that after the fact memory of it all that is most precious.

    ReplyDelete