[We become a family forever at 2pm on Tuesday!] The whole story...
As per our instructions, we met over at SWS at 9:20am. We were really good though, and only got there at 9:15am, instead of pacing the street in front of the agency from 8:45am on, which is our usual "nervous energy" approach. Around 9:30, we all got in a van to go over to the apartment complex which was half an hour away (yet still in Seoul). We went over with another couple (from NJ!) who was also meeting their baby who happened to be in the same complex. That was nice to have another couple to travel with... it helped make the ride seem not so long, and to distract us from the nerves.The whole meeting was a blur, but I'll record what I can remember. I think we spent the whole time being in awe of this little guy. In fact, it took us a while to realize he was in the outfit we had sent over! Here goes...
We got to the complex and went into the apartment, where Spencer was sitting in the middle of the floor looking at the door, watching us come in. We all sat down around the table in the living room. I believe our social worker picked him up first (cause we were too nervous about appearing too "grabby" and startling him) and then went and handed him off to Doug. The foster mom immediately told him that Doug was his appa and I was his omma - two words we've been told he knows. Doug held him for a little while and then passed him over to me. You can see by the two photos I'm including in the post, that he wasn't yet sure what was going on. (Add to that the fact that he was very curious about the camera) But very quickly, he opened up and relaxed and was pretty comfortable. Towards the end of the meeting, he took a bottle in Doug's lap even.
It was nice to see him smile since none of our referral photos had a smile. He smiles a lot. His mom calls him "Sunflower" in Korean cause he's always smiling. You can ask him "who are you?!" and he breaks into a big smile. It was even better to hear him laugh. (I'm going to upload a video of that - or try to at least) He was fascinated with slapping our faces. More so mine. He came right over to me and just started hitting me. We *hope* that it's his way of playing, and not a sign of aggression/hatred. (Don't worry, we'll be working on that behavior once we get settled) He likes when we make clicking noises, and he loves to make them as well. He loves blowing raspberries and panting (like an excited dog). He loves to throw things, but what little boy doesn't - right?! He loves when you bounce him, that's when you really get the laughs.
He has four teeth - two on top, two on the bottom. (And we think he's working on another with the amount of time his hand spent in his mouth) He has lots of curly hair! (As you all saw.) The foster mom was telling us that everyone kept asking her if it was a perm! (More on that in another post) We absolutely adore those curls, and can't believe how much curlier his hair has gotten since our referral pics. He's been sitting up on his own since six months and was crawling soon after. He was pulling himself up at seven months and can now take a few steps with assistance. He loves being outside and loves going in the car. (Let's hope he loves the car seat as well!) We were also told (it will be interesting to see the proof in the pudding on this one) that he goes to sleep on his own, in his own room. She gives him a blanket and a bottle and he goes to sleep, tossing the bottle aside when he is done. He sleeps from 8:00pm until 4:00 am when he wakes for another bottle and then goes back to sleep until 6:00am or so. He wakes her up by kicking on the door of his room. That sounds almost too good to be true, no?! He doesn't really take any naps though. A half hour in the morning, and another one in the afternoon. Something tells me we'll be re-jiggering things a little.
Speaking of food... he's matched to Roxy in that respect. He knows his bottle and he knows when it's being made. And he stares it down. We were playing, he was on Doug's lap, and his foster mom got up to make the bottle. He stopped everything, hung over the side of Doug's lap in order to get a better view, and stared at that bottle. It was pretty funny.
Now, about his size. I guess I should have made it clear we weren't upset about his size, just surprised. There's a couple of reasons why. One, there's been some confusion over his size throughout this process, so we never really had clear insight into "where he was at." Two, I think that we were both fearing that we'd be picking up this little toddler who was walking around, doing his thing... a big boy. I think that every adoptive parent is a little afraid there "baby" isn't really going to be a baby at all. While we had never discussed it with each other, it turns out that we were both wondering about that. And, I think we were expecting a bigger baby since a lot of my blog buddies as of late seem to have bigger babies that have been coming home. Not us. And not a problem at all. Luckily we've got some hand-me-down clothes in his closet in the 6-12 month size since I've been buying 12 months on up. And I'm very happy to hear that baby*Gap runs big. (That makes me feel better about the rolled up, cinched up, yet still crawling out of them clothes he had on yesterday) I've heard Old*Navy runs smaller so we'll see how that fits him... and something tells me my mom will have a bunch of clothes for us to try when we arrive home.
Lastly, we asked his mom what she'd most remember about him. She said:
"I'll remember how fast he was, and how he was so smart and so curious. That he was so outgoing and happy - always smiling - and loved to get into things. And the curls!"
She also told us a story about how he always tried to touch her cactus that she has in the apartment, how he'd go over and she'd stop him, and he'd get all frustrated with her. Then she'd put him back down, distract him, but that he didn't forget and would try again... too funny.
[And for all of you who commented on my hair... I'm a blonde in the summer, a redhead in the fall, and a brunette in the winter... looks like the brunette might be staying for a while, but the length has got to go!]