Well, not much really.
Our second day in Korea was mostly lost in the time difference on the flight over from Atlanta. We lost 14 hours which was a bummer…..of course we got every bit of it back on the way home with a 2 year old. Super!
We arrived in Seoul and the airport was nice and easy to navigate. I remember exchanging our money and meeting our driver from Eastern who was there to pick us up. The sun was setting as he drove us to the guest house. I watched the scenery as much as I could, but I do get dreadfully carsick….and airsick…and especially seasick. I even get a bit nauseous on porch swings–what ever led me to audition for the Amazing Race, I ask you???
Our room at the guest house was immediately outside the door to the baby home, where Matthew spent a week of his life after being discharged from the hospital and before he went to his first foster family. Unfortunately we couldn’t go in and help with the babies at all because of concerns due to the H1N1 flu. I will tell you this though–not a second went by when we didn’t hear crying coming from the room. Luckily we couldn’t hear it from our guest room, but every time we opened the door we heard it. I knew the babies were being loved on as much as possible, but the cries really got to me. However, the truth is that children who are neglected in orphanage settings learn not to cry when they realize that it has no influence on whether their needs are met or not. I have heard over and over that orphanages are eerily silent places. So in that way, hearing the cries was comforting, if that makes sense. It meant that these babies were used to getting their needs met.
As you can see, it was very sparse but pleasant. We chose to stay at the guest house because it was very inexpensive and because it was convenient. While I appreciate that they do provide rooms for traveling adoptive parents, I do wish we had opted for a hotel. The guest house really depressed me. You other APs will know what I mean here, I think. When you are traveling to adopt there is a lot of excitement, of course, but it’s a very heavy thing to have on your heart. You are experiencing a beautiful culture and knowing that you are there to remove your child from this. You are joyful, but bracing yourself for your child’s grief. It is a very bizarre situation to be in. By staying at the guest house, I felt that we didn’t get enough time to escape that harsh reality on our trip. Walking out our door, we heard babies crying, we saw social workers, foster mothers, etc. We could have used just a bit of an escape from the sad parts. I also think a hotel would have been a more “tourist-friendly” place to stay, as far as being located more closely to restaurants, activities, etc. So the next time we go back, a hotel it will be for us.
We got settled in our room and then went exploring, which was kind of a bummer because it was dark and freezing outside. We found a Chinese restaurant, had dinner, and came back to the room where we fell asleep….until about 3 AM…..ah, jet lag.
And that was the very uneventful second day of our trip.