So I’ve been looking forward to writing this post for a number of months and today I finally get to do it! We took the first official step forward since accepting our referral to bringing Edric home! Today our paperwork was requested by the Korean Agency to begin translating it. It is a small step but at least we are finally moving.
The process is long and can be confusing and for those of you that have been following with us in this crazy journey, here’ s a brief outline of what’s to come. (There’s a photos of the brief version of this at the bottom-feel free to skip the writing if you want).
Last December 20th we got the call about a baby boy, who we then signed the acceptance paperwork for on December 23rd. And that’s where we’ve been for almost a year.
Today our paper work was requested to be updated and sent to Korea for translation in preparation for EP (Emigration Permission- or “Exit Permission” as I call it). We have some extra forms to sign and our homestudy was just updated last week but may have to do a little more depending on what our agency hears back from Korea in the next few days.
From here once everything is updated and sent off then it gets translated in Korea. Our homestudy is around 15 pages and then we have psych evaluation was about 10 pages, and multiple references from close friends that are a few pages each as well. Added to that are all the government papers that we have signed and filled out along the way. Throw in paper work from our employers, our medical insurance, health forms on each of us, state finger prints and national finger prints, and who knows what else. Needless to say there is a ton that needs to be translated.
Once everything is translated then the Korean agency waits until the Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare asks for it to be submitted which usually happens in batches. My best guess is that ours will get submitted sometime early spring….again that’s not based on anything factual, just my guess. There are a number of people that have had their stuff translated already and need to be submitted before us….and so I’m praying that the government will accept one more submission this month and then hopefully early in the new year we’ll be submitted.
Once submitted the Ministry reads through everything and approves the Exit Permission. That has taken anywhere from 14 days to 100 days with the average being around 60ish.
After that the files are submitted to court and assigned a judge and then the judge assigns a court date. That has taken anywhere from 2 weeks to 111 days depending on the judge. We will be given around 3-5 week notice of when our court date is and make travel arrangements from there.
On our first trip to Korea we will get to meet Edric twice at the Korean agency and play with him and talk with Foster Mom and learn all we can about his temeprment, his likes/dislikes, and habits all while trying to connect and play with him. We will go to court as well and appear before the judge and will be asked questions. This trip to Korea will take about 1 week.
From there we will come home and wait for Preliminary Approval and Final Approval. This can take anywhere between 4 weeks and 3 months depending on if the judge feels that the birth parents need to be contacted again and sign off again on everything.
After Final Approval we will fly back to Korea, take custody and then go to the US Embassy in Korea to get his Visa and then fly home. And begin learning how to be a family of 5. While we have considered him our son for months, he won’t know that we are his family and we will be strangers to him and he’ll be in a whole new environment and grieving. And so then we start the process of attachment and bonding.
As I mentioned, the steps are many…but at least we’ve started walking down that path, as Leighton said tonight at dinner “Mommy, soon you are going to have to say “my three little boys””, and I can’t wait for that day!