It only took 2 weeks

5 May

Cora spent 5 years as Seung Joo.
We first “met her” through a single picture as Seung Joo.
We fell in love with this little Seung Joo through pictures even though we were half a world apart.
A family member asked us last summer if we were referring to her as Seung Joo or as Cora.  Cora felt wrong…weird, almost.  She was Seung Joo.  She had a name.  We had an idea of a name we liked, but she had a name.

Her friends knew her name.  They still do!

When we met her, she was Seung Joo.

When we started to get to know her in Korea, she was Seung Joo.
And when we came home, she was Seung Joo.

After about 2-3 days, we started calling her Cora Seung Joo about half of the time. Nothing that we really tried to do consistently, but when we remembered, we did it. The boys hardly ever called her Cora Seung Joo, but Dave and I tried to remember.

One day after about a week home, she looked at me and said, “Cora apple!”  (Instead of “Seung Joo Sagwa”). I was shocked.  She started calling herself Cora from that day on.  It took the rest of us a lot longer to give up the “Seung Joo” part of her name, but not Cora.  She humored us, but would only call herself Cora.  (3rd person talk)

Slowly over the past week, we have all given into calling her Cora. Well, all but Miles. He’s still 100% Seung Joo. It was our end goal, admittedly, but I won’t lie, it’s so hard for me to give it up. We’re not technically giving it up, as it’s her middle name, but to lose it in daily conversation is so hard for me.  I know that we can still use it, and we will, but she doesn’t. She knows she’s Cora.

It’s this whole thing about adoption.  The hardness and the sweetness combined.  Some moments are filled with nothing but joy, but in other moments, the joy is mixed with this sorrow that can be felt.  For example, we talk about our “family love” (Kajoke family sarang) and how we all love each other in our family.  Just to remind her over and over that Dad loves Miles and Miles loves Logan and Logan loves Hugo etc….we all love each other.

The other night, we were tucking her in and she said, “Cora sarang sarang mom!” and I said, “Mom sarang Cora BIIIIIIIIIIG sarang” (arms stretched wide) and she was shocked! “THANK YOU, MOM!” she said, full of excitement, eyes huge.  I wanted to cry.  The fact that she was so surprised that I had such BIG love for her reminds me that yes, she was loved by many people, but no, she never had a kajoke family love.

So while we are so pleased that Cora is happily Cora (and yes, she is almost always happy!), I can’t help but miss that Seung Joo bouncing around the house.

Pure Joy

And though she’s now just Cora to herself, I’m going to hang onto it as long as I can. 😉

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One Response to “It only took 2 weeks”

  1. stephanie May 5, 2012 at 3:06 am #

    She is so like I imagined her to be as you waited for her. It is hard to give up what was such a big part of her life “before” family. I seems like a good sign of her accepting her family — her new identity. Still bitter-sweet (I get that.), but perhaps a bit more sweet from the attachment standpoint. 🙂
    Did I mention that I love reading about how it’s going and that you are doing an AMAZING job with her??!?!?

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