I am sorry I haven’t written an update since the early evening of day 1 as a family. Shortly after our last update (which mentioned both kids were sound asleep nice and early), Keegan awoke and we had some very difficult grieving begin. This lasted through the night but diminished with every hour. I haven’t written an update since because I wanted to really do it justice to ensure Keegan and Kai can later read my account of it in the proper context. I am still not yet ready to write about it but only because of the lack of available time I’ve had since. So, here is the quick update. Night time was tough; very tough, but very good for Keegan because while grieving, he definitely would take comfort with us. Neither Christina nor I got any sleep and Keegan was in and out of sleep pretty much every 45 minutes but slept longer and grieved less as the night went on. On Friday morning, he awoke in the sweetest mood and we all enjoyed some very sweet, bonding time together. On Friday, we went to the Lotte (pronounced Lo-tay) department store to get a few things including some new shoes that would be able to dry out quickly (it’s really raining a lot here this week) and just spend some time out together. We weren’t having much fun at the store though so once we got some shoes, we went for a walk in the rain and found a great restaurant for lunch. I have more very cool stories about how well strangers are treating us, but it will have to wait for later. Then we returned back to the hotel to just relax as a family for night number 2. Kai was also looking forward to sharing bath time with Keegan, but we found the mere thought of a bath would make Keegan cry uncontrollably. I tried a number of things including not undressing him, enticing him with bath toys (which he really wanted to play with), getting in myself and splashing (he really likes splashing), but alas, none of them would work. So, we just wiped him down with a wet cloth. Then, on to bedtime which came on quickly for him because he was tired. Bedtime is clearly going to be the hardest time for him for awhile. He cries great big heartbreaking cries calling out for omma. Starting on Friday, he would call out for omma and point at Christina and take comfort. Again, it was a long, sleepless, heartbreaking night, but, it was a little less severe and a little more restful. On Saturday, we decided we needed a day where both kids would really enjoy the day, together. So, we went to the Coex mall where we could be sure to find smoothies, possibly shop for a few things we wanted to get to make our remaining time here in the hotel more comfortable, and most importantly, go to the Coex Aquarium. It was a big hit for both! Kai had already been there just a few weeks ago, and was soaking in being a big brother insisting on showing Keegan many things because “that’s what big bro’s do, Dad!” We had a great day and ended it with a simple dinner at the hotel and spent some time in the pool at the hotel. It’s got a hot tub (not terribly hot) and Kai loves going back and forth from cold to hot. Keegan was very unhappy that I brought him into the water but very quickly became thrilled to be in there especially once he saw me and Kai splashing water around. Kai is really learning to swim on his own now. We spent a lot of time in the big pool too and he’d insist on doing everything on his own and was quite good. Even in the small pool (where he can stand), I can see he has good instincts while he was “practicing his underwater stuff, Dad!” It was a good day. Then came bedtime. Again, it was a tough bedtime, but not as tough as the previous nights, and, overall, we all actually got some sleep…things are getting better. He still wakes throughout the night (and likely will for a long time), but gets back to sleep quickly. Sunday morning came, and wow is he a sweetheart come morning time. Today we decided to spend the entire day here in the hotel and it was a great day. Keegan and Kai really got to spend a lot more time getting to know each other. Keegan, of course still resorts to biting and head butting but we are working on it. This causes Kai to run away when he senses it happening which makes Keegan think it’s a game and chase him around the hotel. So, at one point, while photographing all the high winds and rain out of our window, I hear Kai yelling, “Dad, get the camera!” over and over. I come in the living room and everyone is cracking up while Keegan is tackling Kai from behind and hugging him super tight, patting his cheeks and making his sweet caressing sound we witnessed with his baby foster cousin. This went on forever. Kai would lay down on his stomach and encourage Keegan to come tackle him. I’ll post pictures and video in a couple days. Bedtime tonight was a breeze though. While Kai was getting his bath, Keegan was getting a bit sleepy (we all woke up at 5:30am today), I put him in the baby hawke carrier and let him hold his Pororo doll and rocked him to sleep while watching Disney Jr. And at just the right time, I gave him some milk in his bottle (that his foster mom sent along with him) and off to sleep he was. There was the occasional call out to omma but upon seeing Christina he’d calm down right away. At this point, when he calls for omma, he is often times comforted by seeing or going to Christina (he even points to her and says omma and sometimes even momma). Other times, he is with Christina and when he calls omma he will come looking for me and be happy again. This is common for children to take comfort from dad and even call them omma. Kai did this as well for a little while. But, and very understandably, he is often still looking for foster mom when he calls omma. We know this because it’s obvious (of course he wants her), but also because he will walk to any closed door and knock on it wanting us to open the door to show him that Mrs Park isn’t there. We will show him pictures of her though and ensure he knows exactly who she is and what loving and critical role she played in his life and of course facilitate keeping in touch with her throughout the years.
So, the main reason I haven’t had time to update our blog is because I was spending time getting to know our new family of four. And, now I would have the time because I actually got some sleep last night and now everyone else is asleep, but we have to be up at 5:20am this morning because we are coming home early. With the help and advice from our travel agent, I was persistent and convinced our airline to change our flight to tomorrow morning (2 days early) without any change fees. The main issue was seat availability but even once 3 seats became available there would have been a $550 per person fee for a change. But, I was very convincing about the importance of getting home for our family adjustment and explained why it was never predictable for us when it came to planning our return trip. We have to do some begging tomorrow during checkin to get our seats together, but I feel confident I can get that done too. So, I wanted to provide a brief update of the past few days but I didn’t want to not do it all justice. It’s been a wonderful time filled with everything we’d expect including the easy and hard things we’ve been planning for and now we are heading home. I still plan to write something a bit different than a simple recount of the first few days together as a family of four, but it will have to be a few days from now after we’ve recovered from yet another timezone change. For now, good night Seoul. We will miss you but will return in the future for sure. Thank you for everything and of course, most importantly, helping us complete our family. We love you Kai and Keegan!
EDIT: I just realized I should have titled this “Bringing Home Keegan” because in 5 hours we will wake up, dress the kids, and get in the Holt van service to head to the airport and “Bring Home Keegan”!