Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Normal

I'd like to introduce you to my son. His name is Ryan Kaon, and he is from South Korea. He doesn't resemble me much ... but I think in the long run he'll be quite happy about that. He's the best person I've ever met.

Let's see ... how to condense the events of the past 7 months into a paragraph or two. The trip to Korea was great - and our time there was enjoyed immensely. Seoul is a beautiful city, and is huge. We covered quite a bit of ground in the two days we had to ourselves prior to meeting our son ... and we can't wait to go back.

We met our little Kaon (pronounced Ka-Own) on the third day of our trip. Our case worker joined us for a cab ride through the mess that is Seoul traffic to the foster family's home (one of the ubiquitous high-rise apartments that outline Seoul). How incredibly surreal to be halfway around the world, in the most foreign of places, jet lagged, and on our way to meet a little boy who would become a permanent fixture in our lives from that moment forward. Weird! The door opened, and there was this little boy with a fistful of his foster mother's shirt, clutching to her for dear life ... he looked at us and seemed to instantly recognize that something about us was different. Tensions were high all around - we were quickly ushered into the cramped little apartment (after removing our shoes, of course) - we sat on the floor and were handed glasses of orange juice. Little Ryan stared at us with a very concerned look the whole time these brief preparations were made.

Then, they set him down, and eventually he crawled over to each of my wife and I while our case worker translated his daily habits from Korean to English. Everyone's tensions subsided, and Ryan began to smile, laugh and cautiously approach my wife and I for ~5 second visits before returning to the safety of his foster mother. Eventually my wife got to pick him up and hold him for a good long time. The most touching part of this experience was the obvious love and care his foster mother (and foster brother ) had for him - this was completely unexpected - but it completely blew me away. Our little boy has been in the best of hands since the day he was born ... as I've said in other forums since we got home, he is so fortunately unlucky.

We left the apartment after about an hour, forever changed. Our "gotcha" day was two days later. A quick signature on a form was followed by a worried little baby being passed into my wife's arms. We were quickly rushed to the elevator by our case worker ... the elevator doors opened ... Ryan's crying, babbling foster family gave him one last hug and kiss, his foster brother kissed him on the foot (transforming my wife into a sobbing mess) - we got in the elevator and the doors closed on the image of his foster family saying good-bye. It was exactly that fast, and that blurry. Polarized emotions and extremely bittersweet all around.

The elevator arrived at the ground floor and we exited as a family. Unsure of what to do next. Unsure of how we felt. Just like any family that leaves the hospital for the first time with their newborn infant.

So, all in all it was an overwhelmingly emotional experience, but in the most positive of ways. We are so fortunate to have had the opportunity to have that experience and to enjoy all of the experiences we have before us.

We've been home nearly two months. The flight home was horrific - Ryan screamed for ~12 of the 14 hours we were en route! Borderline traumatic at the time, but sort of funny now. We all got sick as soon as we got home ... which sucked worse than I can even describe ... a rough start indeed. But, after recovering we found ourselves in the most sweet of situations - we were at home, with our son, as a family.

Ryan has become more comfortable every day. He smiles, babbles, is close to walking, and seems to be very content. We are really lucky in how well he has handled the transition ... he sleeps through the night, and eats everything we give him. Our new normal is coming into increasing clarity every day, and we really like the view.

It's crazy that we're already through the entire process. It seems like just yesterday that we met with the adoption agency for the first time ... totally unsure of if / when we would actually pursue adoption. Now it's all behind us and we're able to confidently say we made the right decision. As you can see in the pictures, he is such a happy little boy ... we'll do our best to help him over the inevitable rough spots associated with adoption, and to provide him a solid, unshakable foundation that he has not yet come to know in his short life. And we'll enjoy the ride from beginning to end.

Thanks for reading.

23 comments:

lparsons15 said...

Hey Joe..I Am so glad I am still subscribed in my reader.. Congratualtions on your wonderful new addition! He is precious and looks amazingly happy. Thanks for the update! Stay Well.

Heather said...

Congratulations!! He is so adorable!

Sweet Georgia said...

Congratulations! He's a very handsome little boy. Thanks for sharing your experience.

The Riggs said...

Thank you for sharing your story. He is amazingly beautiful! Congratulations!!!

Orodemniades said...

Oh, what a cutie patootie! I am so pleased for you all - congratulations!

Paige said...

OMG! I'm bawling. I'm 40 and started TTC last year. I started Femara this week after months of the exact same procedures you and your wife went through. EXACT! Sperm tests (he had no porn, poor guy), dye test, laproscopy w/laser pictures (mild endo), post coital tests....all of it. We have our first IUI next week and for the next 3 months. After that it's on to IVF. We love our doc, too, but we are at the beginning of the journey you just ended. I read your entire blog today after googling "femara progesterone". Did you ever think that's how someone would find you? Ha. Anyhow, you've given me hope that no matter what happens or where this road takes us, we will have a child to love. And, regardless of how it happens, we have each other to love. My husband is so much like you. He's self deprecating, grounded, optimistic, super supportive and offers me lots of booze after I start my period every cycle. Loved your blog....you've done wonders for my out look!
Go Tarheels (ugh, they suck)!
That's probably how we're different...Congratulations!
Paige (Wilmington, NC)

Anonymous said...

I have kept checking in....so happy for you and your new addition! He is beautiful!

Kelley

Leah said...

YAY for an update!!! He's adorable! Congrats to you and your wife. :)

Xbox4NappyRash said...

Magic.

Congratulations!

The Cat Lady said...

Thanks for sharing, your experiences have truly touched my heart. Congratulations, I'm so glad that this blog finishes with a happily ever after! Hope we get some updates from time to time, but I understand that you will have your hands full. Take care!

Anonymous said...

Congratulations!! I came across this blog since we're going through infertilty issues (me!). I'm a male 33 yrs and wife is 36, so timing is of essence. Good luck to your family!

Just A Normal Person.. said...

Your incredible.

If you get time, please check out my blog.
Today's post is dedicated to a TRUE hero. Thank you.

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Bl/\ck Cookie said...

cute!

Miss Rathi - women's issue blogger said...

your write-ups are indeed wonderful..happy husband!

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Lene said...

how has life been for you ever since little Ryan entered your life? Must have been busy because no more posts after this post. :)

vipinlalt said...

congratz...I wish you happy life.... i think he a good baby Thanks for sharing, your experiences have truly touched my heart. I'm so glad that this blog finishes with a happily ever after! Hope we get some updates from time to time, but I understand that you will have your hands full. Take care!

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Today many couples and singles from around the world travel to India, in search of their quest of "own" baby with surrogacy.i wish you lot for having really cute child.
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Dixiechick said...

Stumbled across your blog looking for IVF "support." I'm in my 2ww and going a bit crazy. I really appreciate your perspective. Adorable little boy! Happy for you and your wife.

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