Saturday, June 1, 2013

The Amazing Race: Finley Edition

I have long wanted to be on The Amazing Race.  

We watch it often with the boys.  We decide who would do which challenge, watch excitedly as the participants travel to new places, and cringe with each wrong step.

Since arriving in Seoul, I told Steve it reminds me a bit of the amazing race. There are very few English speaking people here, we have no idea what we are eating, we have been jumping in and out of cabs, doing lots of hand gesturing, and saying Kamsamida while bowing more times than we can count.

Yesterday, however, Steve and I truly found ourselves in our very own Amazing Race.

Finley's foster mom graciously invited us to Finley's Gymboree class to participate with her.

We were excited to see her one final time before we leave Seoul.  So excited that we arrived at the said meeting place two hours early to ensure we knew we could find it.

Right before our meeting time, we settled into the Gymboree, breathing a sigh of relief that the time was almost here. 

My Mama's heart was bursting with happiness as I realized Finley had been coming to such a wonderful class.

The happiness continued as I took pictures for Finley to remember this part of her story.

Suddenly, as the clock struck 2:30 and there was no sight of Finley Grace, our hearts sank.

Something had gotten lost in translation.

The nice Gymboree lady said that there was no Ji- Eun that attended there and gave us three other spots in the 9 story mall to check.

As I went as fast as possible, in a packed Asian mall, to each location. Steve tried to find WiFi to search something...

My search only left me with an intense longing for my baby girl and a brief moment of tears.

Steve's search left him realizing that there are 25 Gymborees in Seoul.

As Steve continued to put the pieces together of the little bits of information we had, I channeled my inner Katie {who is brilliant in times of crisis} and went back to the Gymboree lady and asked her if she could search all Gymborees in Seoul and see if she could find which one Finley was at.

She found her! 

Finley was at a Gymboree an hour across town.... {insert more tears}

I asked if she could call there and explain the situation to Finley's foster mom and ask her to wait. 

She graciously did, wrote down the address in which we were to go, and wished us luck.

I ran back to Steve, told him the ugly/beautiful news and he said,

I haven't fought this long and hard for Finley to give up now.                                                          {insert me falling in love with him even more}

We ran down the escalator, hailed the first cab we saw, giving him this address, and prayed it was the correct spot.

We calmed our frazzled nerves....

And settled in for an hour cab ride, hoping that Phil from The Amazing Race wouldn't be at the end, tellin us in his lovely accent, Steve and Theresa, I am sorry, but you are the last contestants to arrive and you have been eliminated from the race.

By the grace of God, we did find the right spot, I completely hugged Finley's foster mom {Koreans don't hug, but I couldn't help it}  and she then invited us to lunch.

The Gymboree lady came along to translate, and we got to share the most valuable time with Finley and her foster mom.

Her foster mom, gave us an album of Finley's one year pictures and a magazine the Finley modeled in when she was 7 months old!  To an adoptive Mama these treasures of the time we missed with Finley are priceless! And , to Finley someday they we be of even greater value.

She asked if we thought she would fit well in our family and if we could send her lots and lots of pictures. 

She asked if we could bring her back someday when she is grown, so she can have the hope of seeing her again.

And, through tears she said that she can tell we are wonderful parents, and she is glad Finley gets to have us {tears all around the table}

Although we would love to have missed all of the drama of the day, we are thankful, because if we had not had it we may have missed this precious time with Finley and her foster mom.


Dear Elliott, Gibson and Finley,

Here are some pictures of our time in Korea yesterday.

This morning we are missing each and every one of you, more than you ever may know. 

Please know than we love you more than anything, and that we would go on any amazing race to find each one of you!  

Daddy and Mama

P.s. Finley, you called me Oma! ......... So blessed to me your Oma


{Finley loves to wink:)}

{Finley is laughing at Daddy}

{Our meal....yes, we each got one of these and yes, we all of it?!}

{Finley LOVES noodles}

{The last time we will see Finley, we told her we loved her and gave her a kiss on the cheek from her brothers..}


  1. Oh! What an adventure. I'm so glad you got to spend that precious time with her. Her smile is amazing!
    Miss you!

  2. You will have such a story to tell Finley. Her foster Mom sounds amazing. What are the ages of the other kids in the house??

  3. The wink!! She's such a charmer--I get the feeling Finley is the kind of girl where just to know her is to love her. Happy heart. :)

  4. Gymboree?! How cool!

    Is she not the happiest girl I've seen or what? #precious

    Still can't believe you have time and bandwidth to blog. #superwoman

    My heart is with you. Prayers for peace as you leave... :(

  5. So so sweet! What an amazing story for ALL of you to look back on :))


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