Imagine being 32 weeks pregnant and finding out you’re about to pack up and move to a different country. That’s what happened to the Rupert family who made the trek from Hawaii to South Korea just in time for their son’s birth. We caught up with the Ruperts to learn more about their adventures while stationed in South Korea and how they keep family up-to-date through multiple time zones.
Tell us about your family
We are high school sweethearts raised in a small Pennsylvania town but now we raise our son in the one of the largest cities in the world – Seoul, South Korea. My husband and I met when we were 16 and 14 years old, respectively. One church trip to Washington D.C. and the rest is history. Fast forward 12 years and 5 years into our marriage, we have welcomed our first child in South Korea. My husband is an Aviation Officer in the United States Army, and we have been stationed at Fort Rucker, Alabama, Schofield Barracks, Hawaii, and now Yongsan, South Korea. I was 32 weeks pregnant when we hopped on a one-way flight to Seoul with 7 full suitcases praying we’d find a new normal before our baby arrived. Our son was born at 39 weeks and was a healthy 7 pound little boy. On the good days of living so far away, we enjoy exploring Seoul, and on the hard days, we make a half dozen FaceTime video calls back to family just to try to stay connected.
What is your favorite moment that you’ve captured and why?
HARDEST QUESTION EVER. I mean, really, how does a parent answer this when their child is learning and growing so fast. When I’m lying in bed at night I often scroll back through my photos and if I really had to pick, my favorite moments would be our first family picture when our son arrived and he was placed on my chest, as well as when both of our parents traveled to South Korea to meet their grandson. Those precious newborn days while daddy was on paternity leave are also moments I never want to forget.
If you could give yourself one piece of advice before your child(ren) arrived, what would it be?
Throw away the baby books. We read the blogs, memorized the books, and at the end of the day, we need to trust our mommy and daddy guts. Of course, that’s a double edge sword as new parents you question every single decision, but stressing out about following the nonexistence new-parent manuals isn’t healthy for you, your baby, or marriage.
What upcoming milestones are you excited about?
We are most excited (and most nervous!) about taking our son back to the United States for the first time to meet the rest of his extended family this month. He is 5 months old and we are ready to tackle the 24+ hour travel day from South Korea to Pennsylvania with our little man. In addition to that intense travel day, the fourteen-hour time difference will absolutely be tough for all of us, but the look on our families’ faces when they finally meet our son will be worth it all. It will be better than Christmas morning, I am sure of it!
Want to be featured in a future column? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org