It’s been one month since The Takeaway. Wow. We’ve come a long way in the last month!
The word that came to mind that night a month ago was brutal, but the word that comes to mind now is resilient.
We can’t imagine being taken from our home — our culture, our language — and being thrust into a completely foreign environment, and having any shot at doing well. But, all in all, Ethan has done extremely well. He is very resilient!
If you’ve followed our journey, especially while we were in Korea, you’ve seen a few photos we posted along the way (e.g. 1,000 Words, The Meeting, First Hours with Ethan, Our Amazing Korean Church Family, and Ethan is Home!).
One month after “the takeaway,” we thought we’d post some never-before-posted photos from that night that may give you some sense of what it was like for Ethan (and us). It’s also an opportunity for us to remember where we’ve come from. (Click on photos to enlarge.)
During the first hour and a half, Ethan cried and screamed non-stop. This photo was taken at our host family’s apartment. Here, Joleen and Gloria try to console Ethan, but nothing seems to work. Notice the look of terror on Ethan’s face. It was heart-wrenching (and very loud)!
Here, David tries to console (and/or entertain) Ethan. Both he and his sister, Gloria, were real troopers. They tried everything to help, and they maintained a wonderful attitude throughout the ordeal.
After we left the our host family’s apartment, we went to a neighboring apartment where we had dinner. There, Ethan calmed down for the rest of the evening. A couple things seemed to get his attention — a clock with some kind of spinning mechanism, and a golf ball, which he really enjoyed. We quickly learned that everything goes in Ethan’s mouth. Everything. We also learned that Ethan is very curious (e.g. the spinning mechanism on the clock).
At dinnertime, Ethan gave us a smile (something he does a lot, normally), even on what was a difficult night for him. We also quickly learned that Ethan loves to eat. Seeing Ethan smile was a very welcome site!
Yoonsuk, the wife/mother from our host family, fed and held Ethan during much of the small group gathering we attended that first night with Ethan. In her arms, Ethan went to sleep.
Ethan slept throughout the drive back to the guest house (in Joleen’s arms). We put him in the crib (asleep). It had to have been quite strange for him to wake up in an unfamiliar place in the middle of the night (when two strangers got up to feed him) as well as the next morning.
February 12, 2008, Gotcha Day, was a day we’ll never forget — the tears, the pain, the agony, the joy, the anticipation, and the community we experienced with Christ-following strangers.
We thank God for bringing us together and for all he has done in the days since. And we thank God in advance for all he will do in the days to come!