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Adopting from Korea - A Parent's Guide to Korean Adoption






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IT'S OFFICIAL!

Piper Fallon Chae arrived home
to her forever family on April 30, 1999!
 

Hard to believe, but just a few short months past the year we adopted Spencer, there we were again at Dulles Airport waiting for our baby to arrive. We accepted her referral in early February, a week or so after my mother unexpectedly took sick and passed away. Fallon is for my mother. Piper was chosen to honor a promise I made to my paternal grandmother that I would name a #3 child for her mother. (Mind you, I was 16 when I made this promise, but I didn't want to louse up my generally good karma.)

The original three of us, Dad, Mom, and big-sister Hilary, drove to the airport on a breezy coolish day for April. (Spencer was at home with our nanny tending to his big brother duties at home - all 20 months of him.) I felt happy and relaxed. (After two kids, I packed spare for the trip - a fresh diaper and a change of clothes, a bottle, a bib, a hat and sweater.)

We got to Dulles in good time and discovered the plane was actually going to be early! We also had surprise company. A fellow member of the AOL Korean Adoption board and her two children joined us for the wait. Hilary was anxious for the plane to arrive, worried that maybe Piper wasn't coming after all. We amused ourselves by taking photos with my new digital camera.

Finally, we saw the two escorts and their two babies exit customs. Rob caught a few seconds on tape before the camcorder battery died. We weren't sure which one was Piper at first because all we had was her referral photo at three weeks of age. But when we saw her up close, even though she was red-faced from crying hard, we knew it was her. And I thought, "Wow, she's a beauty, but what a screamer. My God, I'm really in for it now."

Hilary, happily, had fallen for Piper hard. Rob quickly acquainted himself with his new daughter. Our agency director joined us just a few minutes before Piper and her companions arrived and remarked how sweet our baby was. (And she was thinking, "Wow, what a screamer.")

Within a few minutes, we composed ourselves and got ready to return home. The new baby hat I bought was huge on her but serviceable, so on it went. Along with the way-too-big sweater. We said goodbye to our visitors, the escorts, and hurried out the gates. I wanted our daughters - for the first time a plural noun - home!

All three of us girls sat in the back of the truck as we headed back home. Piper and Hilary soon dozed off. I sat quietly admiring our new daughter and thinking how glad I was that we went for #3 before we got cold feet.

I think we're done now, our family -- after much pain and disappointment -- is complete. We're a little long in the tooth for all this - two kids under two with parents ages 44/43 - but who needs sleep? The sweetness of 3 pink and squirmy bodies in our family bed is a blessing far more joyous than a restful sleep (at least I say that today.)

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Piper sitting on the hood of her Foster Parent's car

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Piper with her Foster Mom safe and sound in her Korean "snugli" or podaeggi

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Here's Piper in her baseball outfit on the "famous" Eastern chair. This is the first time I've ever seen the chair in context to the rest of the room.


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Peaceful on her sleeping mat at her Foster Mom's