Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Korea Trip Rewind: Days 1 & 2

Exactly 7 months ago, Josh and I were in Korea. Meeting our son. Taking in everything his birth country is. Loving every second.

I never thought it would take me this long to journal our stay in Korea, but it did and that's ok. I honestly remember the details so vividly that it's like it was yesterday....and I'm thankful for the time I've spent reliving that incredible week.

Of course, Josiah is the most important reason behind writing these
Rewind Korea posts. He won't remember his 10 months of life there so it's my privilege and responsibility to share with him what his dad and I saw and experienced while we were there. Because, for him, I never want to forget. Not a single detail.

I truly hope you enjoy this look back, too!

*****

Our Travel Call came on 9/9/09 letting us know that everything was ready for us to meet our Josiah YeJoon!! Which was
very sweet news after the excruciating 28 day wait we had between his Visa Interview and The Call!

On
Sunday, September 13th we woke just after 6:00am.

My parents, Dean and Julie, arrived around 8:00am to take us to Chicago. When we pulled away from our street, it was so surreal to know we were leaving as two and coming back as a family of three!

Korea day one 2

We arrived at O'Hare with plenty of time to spare, so we had quite a bit of free time to complete a money exchange, get a bite to eat, *relax* before our flight, and take photos of the Korean flag...

Korea day one 1

and the prettiest blue plane my eyes had ever seen...

Travel call/Korean air

...as well as the lovely, gorgeous, kind airline stewardess of Korean*Air...

Korea 011

Just after 12:30 PM we were in the air on our way to Korea! The 14 hour flight was long, but went well. Korean*Air truly does an excellent job of keeping folks fed and comfortable. We ate some yummy Korean (airplane) food, watched 3-4 movies, and tried to sleep a bit.

I'll never forget the rush of emotions I had as the plane descended and I got my first peek at Korea. This was it.

Korea 020

We touched down at Incheon airport just after 4:00pm on Monday, September 14th in Korea (so, around 2:00am Monday morning back at home). We took about an hour bus ride to our hotel, The Ramada Seoul. On the way, it was thrilling to see the quiet, gorgeous countryside...

Korea day one 3

...before entering into the bustling, amazing city of Seoul!

traffic light

After checking into our beautiful hotel room around 6:00pm, we crashed soon after. We didn't realize how exhausted we were until our heads hit the pillow!

On Tuesday, September 15th we were up before the sun, got ready, and headed out for an early morning stroll on the streets of Seoul. I was already starting to fall in love with this amazing country!

Our 1st meeting with Josiah wasn't until 10am, so we spent a lot of time just doing a bit of this...

Korea 046

josh looking over korea 1

right before 1st meeting

Before we even came to Korea, we were in contact with the pastor one of our church body's "sister" churches in Seoul. We were very blessed since this new relationship meant that we had our own personal tour guides during our visit. Pastor Kim had our new friend from the church "Jay" meet us at our hotel and then take us via subway to ESWS for our visit with Josiah.

Before we knew it, we were holding our beautiful son...

Meeting Josiah 12

Meeting Josiah 1

Meeting Josiah 3

Most certainly some of the very best moments of our life. I won't go into detail right now because you can read the entire story in length right here. I'll just say it was perfect.

After our hour with Josiah YeJoon, Jay took us exploring through the city...

josh and jay

flowers

Korea Flags

One of our first stops was the amazing Gyeongbok Palace! Unfortunately, it is closed on Tuesdays, but we were still able to wander and take in the beauty of the grounds.

palace 1

Palace

palace 2

Then the 3 of us made our way to Insadong to do some shopping!

Insadong 6

One of the first shops we came to was Myung Sin Dang, which is an art shop. We got Josiah a stamp of his Korean name, which was crafted right in front of us as we waited...

Insadong 4

We bought a number of fun items in Insadong (including the green scarf I wore to Si's Tol birthday bash), people watched and window shopped as well...

Insadong 1

Insadong 3

Insadong 7

Once we had our fill of shopping, we headed across town to meet Jay's lovely sister "Ellen" for coffee and then dinner at "The Black Pig House". It was wonderful to have folks to teach us about Korean food...and our first official meal in Seoul was delicious!

Korean dinner

The conversation and laughs with our new friends was wonderful. We couldn't get enough of their insight and they loved hearing about our life in the US.

"Ellen" and "Jay"

It was late when we got back to our hotel, but Josh and I chatted about our sweet boy and looked at all the photos and videos of our first moments with him. We couldn't wait for another day of adventure in Korea!



19 comments:

  1. Oh Rachel, I LOVE this post. It brings back memories of our time in Korea.

    These posts will be so special for Josiah when he's older. I can't wait to read more.

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  2. Isn't it fun to reminisce? And how awesome that you had your own personal Seoul-guide!!!

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  3. This is such a beautiful post and such a gift to Josiah. I love it.

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  4. Awesome! That reminds me so much of our trip to Seoul two months ago! So many memories! The trip of a lifetime!

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  5. This is SO fun! The food thing scares me. I don't know why but I am so "americanized" Tasting fish like tilapia is adventureous for me. SO I'm curious about the food.
    What are the tastes like textures...they have dessert right?
    I wanted to reach out in that picture and pluck a few scarves for myself! How did you only choose one!!!???

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  6. This was so fun to read! I remember reading your post from Korea about meeting Josiah. I thought he was just the cutest! (Still do.) I'm excited to read about the rest of your trip in Seoul!

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  7. you write as if the trip were just yesterday - it's such a wonderful post! and, i agreed...how great to have had your own Seoul tour guide.
    :)

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  8. Great post Rachel! Such a blessing to meet fellow believers across the world!

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  9. Love reading about your journey....

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  10. I loved this post! Beautiful pictures! 9-9-09...what a sweet day...this is also the day we received our son's referral. We've been waiting over 7 months for him to travel, so this post was a great pick-me-up. I'm anxiously awaiting his travel call.

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  11. OMG, the woman with the black shirt was our social worker at Eastern as well!!! Another freaky thing..I have the exact same close up of the corner of the palace. You never get tired of looking at these shots right? Love it.

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  12. Oh I just love these flashbacks. I wish you had been there for 2 weeks so they could go on and on.
    Yay for Pastor Kim!

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  13. What a lovely post. I loved reading it and looking at all the photos. Brings back such fun memories. I got a HUGE smile on my face when I saw the shot of the woman making Josiah's name stamp. The same woman made Dylan's. Sigh. I love that we all had such similar, yet unique, and WONDERFUL experiences in Seoul.

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  14. I'm so glad you are posting these memories and taking us along with you. I love that you took pictures of things that are such a part of the trip, and yet I forgot to take! Like the flight attendants and the screens on the plane. And what a great idea to contact a sister church. Sounds like it made a special trip even better.

    Thanks for the post and looking forward to the next ones!

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  15. love this! josiah will love having this. i should've taken way more pictures while in our son's home country!

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  16. i loved reading this post! i'm excited to read more! it also brought back happy memories for me! i always love seeing people in the same room that we met Cohen in and seeing their kids playing with the same toys. it's so wonderful!

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  17. Your posts are making me want to adopt from Korea... seriously! Our oldest is from Russia, our youngest a little Tex-Mex and we are praying about a 3rd... I'm glad to have found your blog! I'll send it to my husband... who knows what could happen from it! ♥ Michelle

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  18. Oh Rachel, I loved reading this and seeing your beautiful photos. Such wonderful memories. I, too, remember when this happened 7 months ago and being so excited for you guys to meet Josiah!! Si will get some a kick out of reading this some day. Can't wait to read more.

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