Category: Waiting


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EP Eve

After a pitiful past few weeks, K and I have a renewed hope today. We have a high confidence that our (and C’s) wait is nearing its conclusion. Families have started to receive confirmation that they are in the 4th batch of the year, and we think we will be as well. We were matched with C back in April, 2011, and today we have heard of confirmations of families matched in May and June, 2011 who are in this 4th batch. This paperwork is typically processed in the order in which families are matched, so we are all but confirmed for this batch.  We hope tomorrow will be the day that we’ll get confirmation that C’s EP has be submitted.

What does this mean? Since March of this year, one batch of adoption paperwork has been processed by the Korean government per month. When our paperwork is submitted, it will be the first time the Korean government will have heard of us. They’ll confirm that we are fit parents, that C is legally free and clear, and approve a visa, giving us permission to take him back to the US.

It has taken between 4 and 5 weeks for the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare to approve exit permits. We would expect an approval some time near the end of June. After that, the U.S. embassy has to ensure that our I-600 has been properly processed (which says we intend to sponsor C’s citizenship). They recently decided it would be a good idea to limit how quickly they are processing this paperwork. Since they are our government, we plan to get on the phone/email/facebook/carrier pigeon with representatives and see if they can get that change reverted.

Once the embassy has given us the green light, we’ll have a short wait to get a travel call from the Korean adoption agency. We expect that to happen six to seven weeks from now. Once we get that call, we hope to be on a plane within 48-72 hours and meet C for the first time within the week.

Right now it seems like it will be in Korea two years to the month we started this process. It doesn’t seem like it could have really taken this long. We’re so excited to have C home before his second birthday and have over a month to bond with him before family is scheduled to come out to meet him.

K and I have been nuts today – stalking forums, badgering our social worker, having fits of bi-polar. But it seems like it’s really real. This journey is almost finished and the journey we thought would start 6-12 months ago will finally begin.

Prayer Requests-Month #23

June is here. And C isn’t home. That is the thought that permeates our every waking thought. We have told people for a year that C would be here in April, May, or June, and here we are with no C. And we have several more months of waiting ahead of us. Oh vey. Needless to say, we could use your prayers this month.

1. Please continue to pray for C’s health, happiness, and well being. I know he is being so well taken care of in his foster home, but at this point I just want him in his forever home.

2. We are both discouraged and antsy right now. We both are in denial that C will actually ever be ours. J said to me the other night, ” I used to be able to imagine C running around this house. Not anymore. It just doesn’t seem like he’s real.” We both are in need of some major encouragement and prayer.

3. Please pray that beyond all our reasonable expectations we would be submitted in batch 4. That means we could travel the end of July/beginning of August. That means C would definitely be home before turning two years old. Please, please pray that batch 4 would include our name.

I know that I have included 5 prayer requests for the past 22 months, but this month I would really, really love if you focused on just these three.  Please pray our boy home with us!

Timeline Update

Remember that adoption timeline over on the right side of the page? Don’t worry…it hasn’t been updated in so long it makes sense that you haven’t checked it in awhile. 🙂 Since our wait has extended longer than we anticipated we had to renew our fingerprints for the I600 paperwork that we completed last year.

The initial process involved sending a letter to USCIS requesting to be re-fingerprinted. About two weeks later we received a letter in the mail with the date and time we had to be at our local Department of Homeland Security for our appointment.  I took the day off from work, and J and I were there bright and early at 8:00AM. I think they must schedule about 15 people at the same appointment time because even though we were there right when it opened it appeared like everyone was there to get their prints taken. Once again, however, the process was pretty streamlined and we were in and out of the building in about an hour.

I hope that the next time we update the timeline it will be to tell you our EP (exit permit) has been submitted to the Ministry in Korea. We know we are approached the end of our wait, and we are as anxious as ever to bring C home.

Prayer Requests-Month #22

Just writing twenty-two in the post title leaves me a bit melancholy. It just reminds me of how long this process has taken, and I think I once again find myself at my wit’s end waiting for the wait to be over.  Here is what is on our hearts this month as we wait:

1. After a flurry of activity in March with the first group submitted and approved in three weeks and a 2nd batch accepted into the ministry, there has been no news out of Korea.  Since March. This is really hard to understand at this point.  Please pray that batch 2 would be approved quickly so batch 3 can be submitted. We keep thinking we will be in batch 4, but we won’t really know until the dust from batch 3 clears. We just want C home.

2. C is turning 20 months old this month. We know he is being so well cared for and loved by his foster family, and we are so grateful for this fact. Please continue to pray for his good health, happy  days for him, and that his heart would somehow be prepared for the big change which lies ahead.

3. We pray for C’s foster family and the transition they will need to make when C leaves their family. They have taken care of every need for much longer than they originally anticipated since they first took him into their home in 2010. I can’t imagine the grief they will feel when they no longer receive the blessing of hearing his laugher every day. We are praying for this selfless family.

4. Please pray for C’s transition home to our family. I guess there are lots of things to pray for: the handoff at Eastern from foster family to us, the first night as a family of three, the 12 hour plane ride home, C’s grieving over the loss he is experiencing, and that the attachment process begins quickly for him and us.

5. We realization has sunk in for us that we will not receive C by Father’s Day, as we were praying. This has been a hard thing for me to accept and come to terms with over the past few weeks. We are now praying C will be home by July 4th. Even this date feels like I’m grasping at an unrealistic timeframe, but it’s what I’m praying for nevertheless. Please pray that the Ministry would expedite the process of approving EPs quickly and that batches would be large so families can finally be united.

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Prayer Requests-Month #21

It’s April 1st!  So much has happened since our March prayer request post.  Here’s what we are praying for  this month.

  1. The Korean government has started accepting and issuing EPs. This is a huge praise in and of itself. I’m so happy to report that families started to travel to Korea TODAY to pick up their child. I know one day I will be writing that news about our family, too!
  2. Please continue to pray that the Ministry would approve batches of EPs quickly and the batches would be large to accommodate more families and allow for us to travel sooner.  We would still love to have C home by Father’s Day!  (You can continue to check back here to get the latest word on where we stand with our travel estimates).
  3. We are praying for our dear C’s transition into our family. He is turning 19 months old in a few days and he no doubt recognizes us from photos and videos we have sent over for him this past year. We pray these small gift help him become familiar with us.  We pray for his little heart which will have so much to digest in the coming months.
  4. We continue to pray for C’s foster family and the amazing, sacrificial love they have for this child.  They have raised C since he was 2½ months old, and I can’t even begin to imagine parting with him after such a long time. We are and will be forever grateful for his entire foster family who have helped shape him to be the wonderful little boy he is and will continue to become.
  5. I’m very thankful for the adoption community which I have come to know over the past 21 months. The amount of advice, encouragement, and support is really helpful when you are going through a process that is so foreign to so many.

Now let’s bring on the EPs!!!

EPs approvals and speculation galore

More great news is coming out of Korea! On Friday, the Ministry of Health and Welfare approved the first round of exit permits (EPs).  This took about three weeks to accomplish which is definitely on the quicker side when looking at long term averages.

I know the next question many family and friends are asking is what this means for us.  The short answer is it’s still really hard to say.  This batch was huge and the latest news from the MPAK blog is the next batch will also be large.  However, it appears that the Ministry will only approve one batch of EPs each month, not two like we were hoping.  That means the April projection for EP  we made in this post  is just not very realistic for us anymore.  The *new* projection is that we will be submitted in June and travel in July. If it’s earlier I’ll take it, but I wouldn’t bet on that.

For those of you who care how we got to this number you can keep reading, but it is full of guesses, mathematical projections, and adoption lingo that is pure speculation at this point.

I have calculated the number of Eastern EPs to be about 821 (a 10% reduction from last year) for 2012. If the Ministry would divide this number by 12, they would give out about 68 referrals per month. But, the ministry missed two months since they started in March. Thus, the first batch was huge to help make up for it.  In order to get caught up the next batch has to be huge, too.

  • March: Approx. 120 ESWS EPS (Dec-mid Jan 2011) were submitted and approved
  • April: Assuming another big batch would probably mean the rest of Jan. 2011 and all of Feb 2011 will be approved. (We should find out this number next week)

The third batch is more than likely going to be back to the normal size (about 68ish EPs). That would mean people with a March 2011 ATK would be submitted in May. Since we are an April 2011 ATK that puts us in the 4th batch. It could very well be the 5th batch since I’m doing a ton of speculation and the way I see it we are right on the line for the fourth batch, but I’m hoping for the 4th. That would be a 15 month wait from the first time we saw C’s face.

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