Things are feeling different. I am not surprised each day to find that our daughter is finally home. It doesn't seem weird to see her playing happily in our family room. It's starting to feel like she has always been here.
As time passes... as we start to feel and live our new normal.. I feel like Korea is slipping away. Maybe it's because our trip isn't so fresh in my mind as when we first came home. Maybe it's because we no longer have or are using as many Korean items which were in some way a comfort to me... like we still had pieces of Korea with us. The little reminders of Korea aren't there each time I make a bottle... our Korean baby formula is long gone. I have just a couple of Korean diapers left, the toys that Eden brought from her home in Korea now sit at the bottom of the toy box when they used to be her favorites, no more Korean bottles or pacifiers, and even with the extras we bought her favorite Korean snacks are just about gone. Although I think about Eden's foster mother each and every day... the guilt and wondering of how she is doing don't occupy my thoughts as they did when we first came home.
I wonder if the same thing is happening with Eden. It must be.... and it makes me sad. I don't want to forget and I don't want her to forget Korea. Sure we will visit Korean restaurants, celebrate with a traditional Korean first birthday party, watch movies of our trip, and do what we can to incorporate some Korean culture into our family.... but it is sooo not the same. It's like a really watered down American version of Korea... not real. I am forever connected to this place... this beautiful place that stole my heart. I miss Korea and if I miss it after only being there less than a week... I know that she misses it a whole lot.
Our trip to Korea put into such perspective the loss that is involved with international adoption. To experience only a fraction of it as a parent is so powerful. The loss is raw. It is felt throughout your whole body... each of your senses, your heart.
All of this may explain why I am having such a hard time calling Eden... "Eden." We have been using her Korean name, Sei-in, since meeting her in Korea. At first it felt strange to call her Sei-in because for so long she was "Eden" in my heart and mind. We used her Korean name because she recognized it. Now, after a month, I have a hard time calling her anything else. Some of it is just habit but some of it has much more to do with not wanting to lose what's left of her life before coming to the US. I feel as though so much has been taken from her. Really... what's left? Her name... it's like the last piece. Each time I say it... it's a comfort, a reminder, a little nod to the life and people she had before. Her birth father gave her that name and everyone who has loved her and cared for her has called her by that name... who am I to take it away? So... it's hard for me. I didn't expect to feel this way. I wanted to give her an American name. I had read that many adopted children prefer American names because they already feel "different" and having a foreign name draws even more attention to that fact. I love the name Eden and have known for years that if I were blessed with a daughter I would use it. Now I just don't know what to do. Will she regret that we changed her name? Will she see this as just one more loss? When she learns that her birth father named her, will she feel that the one connection to her birth family was taken from her?
I feel so pressured right now to make a decision on one name or the other before she gets much older.
I am struggling with this.