Monday, July 20, 2009

 
The countdown has begun to the birth of my first grandchild, due on August 1 plus or minus. Probably plus, as first babies are frequently late, but you never know.

Way back in the autumn when my daughter gave me the word, I said how lucky she was to be living in Oregon because she wouldn’t have to go through her eighth and ninth months in a lot of heavy summer heat. I thereby cursed her and everybody living in the Northwest to the hottest, driest summer anyone can remember. Apologies to Arnie, Blair, Rodger, Mark, Corin, Steven and Mark, Stephen, Matt—I didn’t mean to do it--really.

Things are going well and it’s now just a question of waiting. We have tickets purchased, a rental car and hotels arranged for a trip out in the last ten days of August to meet the new arrival and celebrate with her and my wonderful son-in-law after they’ve had a chance to get home, get some rest and settle into the new routine.

With the birth so close, I’ve been overwhelmed by memories of my daughter’s arrival from Korea and the first moments I saw her and held her in my arms. She was six months old (approximately—the exact date of her birth is unknown) and very petite (still is, just petite for an adult, now).

It was 1:30 in the morning at JFK Airport in New York and the flight from Seoul had lasted close to 24 hours including a couple of hours layover in Anchorage. Korea is 13 hours ahead of the US east coast, so for her the day was almost exactly reversed. But she came off the plane bright and wide awake in the arms of a passenger who had gotten the flight half fare for agreeing to escort an orphan baby to its new home, the other half coming out of the adoption fees I paid. I sat down on a waiting area chair and held her in front of me. She started bouncing up and down on my lap, all smiles, and then reached out to pull a pen out of my shirt pocket. I fell totally in love.

Regular reports had arrived, the first one with a picture, as soon as the adoption application had been matched to a child. She had been found, taken to an orphanage, given an extensive physical during which her age was estimated at two months, and placed with a foster family who cared for her until all the arrangements were finalized for her trip to the U.S. Here she is in a photo taken the day after she had been found—the earliest picture I have of her. As she awaits the birth of her own daughter, she has taken to using this picture for her Facebook profile.



Comments:
Congratulations to all!
 
You're killing me. I'm extremely happy for you Will.
 
Aw, too sweet!
 
No bad feelings at all....it's hotter than hell and drier than, well...ah.....really dry. Can't wait for the visit.
 
thanks for sharing that lovely story - and fingers crossed for an easy delivery

wiping tears away
 
What a beautiful story, Grandpa!
I am so looking forward to your visit.
 
I'm so glad to have met the mom to be, if only briefly. Thanks for sharing your memories of the adoption- it's a lovely story.
 
What beautiful memories! Thank you for being a special person who adopted a child and changed the child's life and your own for the better.
 
I can't recall precisely when I first met your eldest, though it was certainly within a month of her joining your family. I do remember getting a phone call at work the day after she arrived. Good lord you were happy. And clearly still are.

Jim
 
Ah...so it was your fault! Damn East Coast heatwave was the last thing we needed.

Actually, it was wonderful for the vegetable and cutting gardens. Although, without AC, we two flowers were wilted.

Congratulations on your soon to appear granddaughter!!
 
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