Saturday, March 21, 2015

17 Miles

Paul and I are runners, but in this city we are walkers.  Paul's phone said we walked over 17 miles in 24 hours yesterday. But easy to do when you climb the mountain up to Seoul Tower, venture into Lotte Mart (imagine Walmart on steroids) and get lost trying to find markets in this town.  By the end of the day yesterday our calves were screaming at us, mostly from the hike, but just tired regardless.

We also had a bit of an adoption scare yesterday.  The head of the Korea program actually called us yesterday all the way from the US.  Violet is just fine, but the US Embassy is trying to enforce a nonexistent or very infrequently used rule on us.  So we will have a representative from the Korea agency come with us for the appointment.  Everything should work out and we have a plan B in place if needed, but I will go into detail after it is resolved.   I want to be smart and acknowledge this blog is out there on the internet and don't want to cause any unnecessary waves.  But let me tell you how fast our hearts were beating in between getting an email saying basically "we need to talk" and having the phone ring here in our hotel.  Yikes!

Much more positive news, or experience...we are staying right next to my favorite market here in Seoul, Insadong.  It is a touristy/arty market were you can find a lot of unique shops and goods.  One common type of shop is where they make name chops.  Basically a stamp of your name carved into stone.  But I need to back up, before we came here I painted a small canvas to match the wall color in Violet's room.  We brought it with hoping someone could paint/write Violet's Korean name on it for decor in her room.  We did the same for Jae.  So while we were having Violet's name chop made, I noticed another man in the shop practicing calligraphy.  So I grabbed our canvas and asked him to write on it.  Words can not describe how seriously he took this mission.  It was unbelievable.  He looked at the canvas over and over, practiced on another sheet of paper numerous times and even switched ink colors to find one that better matched the color of the canvas.  I cried.  He asked right away if it was for our new Korean baby and just made sure it was perfect as a result.  He wouldn't even take a cent for it.  This will give away the shop for those that are familiar with Insadong, but the shop has a donation box for the adoption of Korean babies (hence why all of adoptive parents go there). He would only accept a donation to be made, which of course we did.  And to put it in perspective of how famous this shop is...the Queen of England, Prince of Norway and many others like them have visited this shop for their own name chops. They have plenty of business and really had no need to waste 15 minutes helping us out.  Touched.  Really touched by their effort and kindness.  The result is below and it may not look like much to you, but the effort and thought that went into it...

One more full day before we take Violet in our arms (and have potentially have very long afternoon at the embassy).

Jae and Violet's Mom 


  1. Is this situation normal?
    A bit scared...

  2. Is this situation normal?
    A bit scared...

  3. Not normal and you shouldn't worry!! Isolated case.