The foster mother had given us a hanbok (ceremonial native costume) for him and returned the disposable camera, filled with photos that we had sent her back in November.
We were overwhelmed. Hil handed him the pink-and-blue elephant she had picked out. My brother was videotaping, and Rob, well, I don't even remember what Rob was doing. From the moment I knew that baby was Spencer, the world grew small and bright around this one little boy.
Holding him close, I thanked the escort, our social worker, the agency director, and had I had the chance I would have thanked the pilot and the ground crew. We snapped open the stroller and placed this wonderful little guy -- still smiling -- in it. We grabbed the agency paperwork and his flight stuff (which included a little flag of Korea), wrapped him in a few blankets and a hat I had brought, and headed back home. Stuffed into his car seat with Mom and Big Sister in the back, he drank his bottle and dozed.
And with that, our family of three was now four. Our four long years of waiting for another child had ended with the happiest outcome possible: a healthy, happy baby.
Of course, we had post-placement visits, adoption proceedings, naturalization, more forms and paperwork, and God knows what else ahead. But on that single day in February, life was perfect and blessed beyond belief. And just 14 months later we were standing in the same airport waiting for our second daughter and second child from Korea, Piper Fallon Chae, the former Ms. Chae Jung Hwa. She was just four months old, a tiny screaming red peanut of a girl who was so small she virtually disappeared into her escort's carrier. I was a real mom before. Now I feel like Uber-Mom -- the ultimate Mom for all ages. Not all born to me, but loved by me as far as I'm capable.
Because of my business and having a child already at home, we chose to have both of our Korean-born children escorted to America. We hope to begin a series of visits to Korea as a family over the next several years. However, had we been able, there's no question we would have preferred to travel to collect our children. If you can travel, I certainly urge you to do so. You'll have the opportunity to meet your child's foster parents, see the agency facilities and experience for yourselves the Korea of your child's birth. Don't miss it.
by Roberta Rosenberg