Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Happy Gotcha Day, Mia!

So, as we already know, I only have my act together about 3% of the time anymore, so it should come as no surprise that this is post is a day late. A year ago yesterday, we met little Mia. I will never forget walking in and seeing here there with her foster mom. She looked exactly like her picture, down to the rosy cheeks. When we walked into the room, everyone stood up and then everything got all swirly and overwhelming and everyone was trying to talk at once and I just stood there like a deer in the headlights staring at Mia until Jeff made me sit in a chair. The next hour went by in an agonizing blur of questions and awkwardness and tears and all the while Mia wanted nothing to do with us. Nothing. Not even a wave. I tried to bribe her with food but it only lasted a minute and she was clamoring back to her foster mother. I knew that this wasn't going to go as it did for Max and I started to get really scared. She was SO PISSED that we were there and she was sick and I knew she just wanted to go back to her home.

Soon they told us to follow them downstairs so we could see the doctor and it was just a chaotic mess of foster moms, babies and workers and holy lord it was SO HOT and I had on a wool sweater and it was itching and I was sweating badly and probably smelled like a foot. We met the doctor, asked a few more questions and then suddenly we were handed all this medicine and paperwork and bags and a howling baby and plopped into a waiting cab. Mia was beyond upset at this point and I struggled to get into the cab with her. The social worker leaned in and with a worried look said she would pray for us (not a feel good send off, fyi) and soon we were stuck in the never ending clog of Seoul traffic with a wailing baby. I tried everything in my power to calm her (blinky monkey! bouncy leg!) but she didn't stop until she passed out about 3 blocks from the hotel (which is about a 20 minute drive in traffic. For real.). The lovely cab driver, who had spent a good deal of time yelling "KOREAN BABY NUMBER ONE!" at us during the ride, helped me out with her and gave me an oddly comforting little hug and a sympathetic smile before he sped off. We took her in the hotel and as we made our way through the lobby, she woke up, realized we were not her foster mom and that this shit was real and proceeded to lose her marbles again. There was a Buddhist monk convention going on (of course) and so there were like 10 monks in the lobby while this was happening and they all bowed their head a bit as we walked through this sea of orange and red robes and I was like "please let them be joining forces to help us" because that is a lot of monk power right there. MAKE IT HAPPEN. When we got upstairs, she was so tired from crying that she reluctantly took a bottle, let us clean her up a little and posed for a few pics before passing out for the next 13 hours until she woke up and it all started over again. And again. And again. For weeks.

But, if you had told me that a year later, this same kid would be showering us with kisses, dancing to sick beats and chasing her brother around laughing like a lunatic, I would have rolled my eyes and called you a liar. She is one of the happiest, joyful little scamps I've ever known and is truly like a little ray of sunshine. Part of her birth name means "grace" and it couldn't be more fitting. Her turnaround has been remarkable and I can't imagine her not being here now. I am in such in awe when we see her smile and laugh, knowing the pain she went through a year (and a day) ago. These are two tough little kids we have here and their road may be rocky at times but we're all walking down it together.

Mia, 2011

Mia, 2012
Love you, baby.


Steven D Skelton said...


I love to read about your experiences with your children. They are both extraordinary...and completely ordinary at the same time.

I also love how open you are about figuring it all out as you go along. None of us become parents really knowing how to do it. We prepare the best we can. We read books. We talk to other parents....

But in the end...we all figure it out as we go. Some of us just have the courage and wit to be honest about it.

Kait said...

I can't believe it's been a year! Happy Gotcha Day!

Allie said...

She's gorgeous! Happy Gotcha Day!!!

L.M.Tea said...

Thanks for sharing your story, I hope somewhere it will help with a similar situation. She is a doll and I'm sure a great blessing to your family.