Today was an up and down day. More downs than ups, I'm afraid.
But I don't want to talk about the downs tonight. I want to remember the beautiful parts of today because the ups were really up.
First of all, today was our first day back to church since Maple Anne was born. One of the samonims delivered a baby boy just five days after Maple arrived; so this was her first Sunday back also. It was nice sharing the experience with another mom. We walked in together, showed off our babies, sat next to each other in the mommy-baby room, and then proceeded downstairs to Senior Pastor's office.
It is tradition in Korean churches for a new baby to be presented to and blessed by the Pastor upon her first visit to the church. So Brandon and Chloe met me and Maple in Pastor's waiting room along with Samonim's family with their new baby. We went first, and Pastor prayed a very special blessing over Maple Anne and over our family while our good friend Eun Young (a Pastor-in-training at the church) interpreted. I really wish I could have recorded his prayer because it truly was something beautiful. In the midst of it, I felt like Mary in Luke 2:19. But Mary treasured up all these things and pondered them in her heart.
It was one of those beautiful moments that I hope I can remember in vivid detail for the rest of my life.
Later in the day, while we were all sitting around the house in our underwear because (hello!) it's bloomin' hot here and (ugh!) our air conditioner is basically a glorified fan, our home phone rang. A man on the other end introduced himself and asked to meet with Brandon after the late service to discuss Chloe Jane. Um... that's random. Ok, I guess?
Let me preface their conversation with some history. Brandon and I decided a while ago that the fall Chloe turns three (this fall), we will send her to some kind of preschool or Mother's Morning Out, etc. That is, we had decided that before we new we were moving to Korea. But upon arriving here, we realized how difficult that would actually be. In a place like Seoul, there are several different English-speaking preschools that would be happy to take an American child (if only to help the other children speak English more quickly). But in the less metropolitan city where we live, there is only one (very expensive) school. We heard the price, and discovered that it was almost half of Brandon's monthly salary. Also, we weren't sure if "English School" meant "school where Koreans teach English" or if it really meant "we speak English here." Needless to say, we tabled that option for, like, ever. Since that time, we have really been praying about what to do this fall. Should we keep Chloe in the house for yet another long winter? Should we send her to a Korean school and hope she picks up the language (something that would help her build relationships with the children in our building)? We really had no idea what to do with her, that is, until this morning.
Turns out, that one English-speaking school here in Cheonan? It's owned and managed by a couple that attends our church. They heard that we had been looking into preschool options, and wanted to meet with Brandon to tell him that they are willing to give a HUGE discount for Chloe's tuition. Also, their teachers are both native English speakers (from Australia, America, and parts of Europe) as well as native Korean speakers. They teach both English and Korean (and HUGE plus!!!). The owner offered to let us tour the facility any time this summer, and we definitely plan on taking him up on that. We're still not 100% positive if we will do this. A lot depends on what classes (if any) I will take this fall. But also? Due to the location of the school, in order for Chloe to attend, my three-year-old daughter will have to board a school bus every morning... on her own... by herself. And by that I mean, without her mommy. I have no doubt that she will be fine. It's very common for Korean children that young to ride a school bus, and I'm sure most of them do it without permanent injury. I'm just not sure if I will be fine. It breaks my mommy-heart a little to think of it. But, as I said, we will continue to think and pray about it. Still, it's nice to know we have an English option come this fall. Woo hoo!
So, those are the better parts of today.
While I won't go into all the details of what made parts of this day sooooo down, I will ask for prayer for one specific thing: Chloe Jane's health. She has had a pretty nasty cough off and on since we arrived in Korea. This time around, it has become much, much worse. Sometimes she coughs so hard it's difficult for her to catch her breath, causing her to throw up. According to google (a.k.a. hypochondriacs anonymous), all signs point to a form of childhood asthma. We're going to a doctor tomorrow to have some tests run. Please be praying a.) for good communication between me and the doctors, despite the language barrier, b.) for a correct diagnosis, and c.) for a treatment to that diagnosis.
Ok peeps, that's it for now. Sorry this wasn't very creatively written. I just wanted to get it all out of my head before it left for good. You know how that is, right? Wait, right?
I should go back and proofread this randomness...
Whew, it's late. I'm going to bed. G'night y'all.