The Tie That Binds…

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We will always treasure our time with this sweet family. They rented a large van so we could travel together, especially helpful since Koreans drive by a different set of rules. During our brief two days in Seoul, we visited the Social Welfare Society (SWS) and the Baby’s Reception Home and had lunch with Hyejin (Hay-chin), who handled our adoption.

Reunion With Hyejin at SWS

A hug for Hyejin

Staff at SWS who remember Sarang

Baby’s Reception Home

Baby's Reception Home 3

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We had planned to purchase a hanbok, the traditional Korean dress, while in Korea since these are difficult and expensive to purchase in the states and her first hanbok has been long outgrown; but Lovey received two as gifts while we were there! Omma and Appa bought her a traditional one that is very beautiful and fits perfectly, with just a little room to grow. She looks lovely in it, as you can see in the photographs. Hyejin presented Lovey with a more modern or ‘fusion’ hanbok with a skirt made of tulle — so precious and fun! She is delighted with both and will wear them with the poise of a true Korean princess.

We enjoyed walking around the Gyeongbokgung Palace grounds, also known as the Palace of Felicitous Blessing. This was the main Palace of the Joseon Dynasty (1392-1910). We took pictures just like Omma and Appa had done with Sarang before she came home.

Gyeongbokgung Palace

Our lovely Korean princess

Korean

Lovey wears a headband (manggeon) with a braid and tail (daenggi).

Lovey wears a headband (manggeon) with a braid and tail (daenggi)

Traditional Hairstyle

We paid $4 to have Lovey’s hair fixed like this — so lovely!

 

With Omma in front of the palace

With Omma...

The 11th little sweetie is on the right with Appa.

The 11th little sweetie is on the right with Appa

Sarang is being held by Tae Young who is now 20. Sarang's nickname for him used to be "Yah".

With Tae Young (pronounced tay yung) who is now 20. Her nickname for him used to be “Yah”

Sleeping Angel

After the palace we visited Omma & Appa’s home. We are so impressed with this precious couple who has loved and cared for 11 orphans while they waited for forever families. The walls and shelves of their home are decorated with photographs of these children smiling and laughing with the forever families who obviously adore them. So many lives touched! We are amazed as we begin to see how much Omma and Appa have given to help these kiddos do well. I am humbled thinking how much fostering has cost them and yet how blessed and fulfilled they are for saying ‘yes’ to such a calling.

This was Lovey’s crib in Omma & Appa’s room

Lovey and Teddy, trying out their old crib

Toys and photographs

Lovey's is 3rd from the left.

Lovey’s is 3rd from the left

Lovey’s pictures (The heart frames were gifts from us 4 years ago)

We also had the opportunity to have dinner together at a Chinese/Korean restaurant and then walk to visit the church where Sarang was first taught to pray (gido).

A smile for Tae Min (pronounced tay ming)

We met their pastor, who laid hands on Sarang and prayed for her and for us, and for God’s continued blessing and provision in our lives and for her new little sister who will soon be home. Many friends who had prayed for Sarang when she was in Seoul came by to see her and to rejoice again that God had chosen her to be adopted by a family who loves the Lord. These are people who continue to pray for her and they celebrated with us when they heard what God is doing in our lives.

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Outside Desired Haven Baptist Church

Adored by younger brother Tae Min, 18

We also managed to squeeze in a few precious minutes of shopping! I was able to find chopstick trainers and sweet, inexpensive COTTON pajamas for the girls, which are next to impossible to find at home.

Delighted at being carried by Tae Young in the parking garage

We spent the better part of two days together and, since we had an interpreter most of our visit, we were able to communicate many things that had previously been left unsaid. We asked questions, they asked questions, and we took every opportunity to understand and be understood. During our time together, Sarang pieced together a little more of her story and renewed a special fondness and intimacy with this family who still loves her and remembers her with great affection.

Words in any language are completely inadequate to express how I feel, but these sweet friends will forever have a place in our hearts and in our daughter’s story. What an incredible difference they have made for this one – and for ten other orphans in Korea.

Ten, Soon-to-Be-Eleven Less!

“Whoever welcomes one of these little children in my name welcomes me; and whoever welcomes me does not welcome me but the one who sent me.”      ~Matthew 18:5

From the bottom of my heart I honor, admire, and esteem these precious friends and will forever hereafter consider them as family — the best kind of family.

May God bless the tie that binds our hearts…

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