Finally! The promised EXCITING NEWS I hinted at in my last blog post.....
Another drum roll, please...........
ANNA AND HENRY ARE PREGNANT!!!
Yep, it's true, and we couldn't be happier! I guess the pressure got to them and now I also guess I'm gonna have to eat my words. Those words--more or less--came after they announced their engagement and Henry said he owed me everything. (Come to think of it he also said something similar to me on his wedding day.) Anyway, I agreed completely and on the former occasion I piped up to Henry replying: "Well, no worries, you just owe me your first born." After about three seconds I said, "Wait a minute! I don't want your first born, if it has your WILD genes and Anna's STUBBORN ones!!"
I suppose I'll relent even if those specific genes do surface together, after all. I figure they'll be needing Marmie to help whip him into shape! (And let me say here and now, I think it's going to be a boy!!)
Plus, I know already I won't be able to resist. Can you imagine the cute factor of this sweet union?? OFF THE CHARTS!!
If you're wondering how the baby can be having a baby, you're not alone! It seems only yesterday Rahn was winging his way to Korea to bring our beautiful little girl home. Not long after Anna arrived I wrote an article about Rahn's experiences getting her in Korea. Holt, our adoption agency, published the article in their monthly magazine, reprinted below.
'The Tie That Binds'
by Rahn Hostetter as told to Becky Hostetter
This old familiar hymn kept playing over and over in my mind as I listened to the chaplain pray. The prayer took place in Holt-Korea's offices and marked the end of my daughter's short stay in that country. In just a few hours Anna (formerly Bae Yun-mee) my mother and I would fly to the United States, to my wife, Becky, and three very excited children. Becky opted to stay home to be physically and mentally prepared for Anna's arrival.
But at that moment, we--who three days earlier were strangers in Korea--felt an undeniable bond with Anna's foster mother and the chaplain who prayed in another language for nearly 30 minutes. Despite the fact that I could not understand a word of what he said, it was one of the most meaningful prayers I had ever heard.
So much had happened in those three short days since my mother and I first landed in Seoul. After spending a fitful night in Seo Seoul Hotel we ate a hurried breakfast and headed for Holt's offices across the street.
We were not prepared for the emotional feelings that welled up inside as we were introduced to this beautiful new daughter. I think my mother let out a sound pretty close to a scream! Needless to say, it was love at first sight.
Miss Park, our social worker, made introductions and we spent some time talking to Anna's foster mother through Miss Park. (I marveled at how patient the Korean people were as we tried to communicate in such a clusmy fashion.)
What happened next we were told would not happen! Anna's foster mother invited us to spend the day with her. (In the literature we received regarding our trip to Korea, it said we should not expect to spend much time with foster parents or visit their home.)
At any rate, we spent the entire day with Anna's foster mom. In the course of that day, we went to a Korean wedding. We traveled by taxi with Anna wrapped mummy-fashion on her caregiver's back. Afterward, we ended up back at her tidy little apartment.
Within minutes, neighbor ladies--who were also foster moms--began showing up at the apartment. Shortly after, our hostess disappeared from the small home. Apparently she had gone to buy fruit for our visit because she soon reappeared with a huge platter loaded down with some of the largest, sweetest strawberries I had ever eaten. (There were other fruits--some I am still unable to identify.) We had been told to be careful about what we ate. But we could not refuse in the face of such hospitality and, it was delicious!
For two hours we sat on this gracious woman's floor and continued to enjoy "the tie that binds". The ladies giggled over and over as I tried awkwardly to say "Gam-sa-ham-ni-dah," or thank you in Korean. We also met Anna's foster father who, we were told, really didn't want to come home for lunch that day because it would be hard on him to see Anna for the last time.
We witnessed first hand where our daughter slept, her daily routine and the wonderful beginning we know she got in the hands of her foster family. Someday, when Anna asks me about Korea, I will be able to tell her about her early days. We left Anna there that night, preparing for our return the next day.
For the second night in Korea I slept fitfully knowing that in the morning when we left that country, our lives would never be the same again. I knew that giving up Anna would be difficult for her foster mom, but I was not prepared for the outward mourning she endured during that prayer and afterwards. I realized, as never before, that these special moms love our children as much as we do. They, like the biological mothers, have made a conscious decision to give their babies up because they believe it will be in the children's best interest. After 20 minutes of sobbing and tears from all of us, we finally left Holt's offices.
Nearly 11 months have passed since our bright, little sunbeam has come into our lives. I still stand in awe at the self-sacrificiing love her foster mom gave her. I am not sure we could have given her up as she did. And althouh it may be a long time until we are able to return to Korea, I am sure that we will go back, next time as a whole family. And, Lord willing, we will renew the "ties that bind" with Anna's foster family and with our friends at Holt-Korea.