Sometimes on long journeys there are little surprises and I find myself farther along than I thought I was. I do this with running from time to time. Sometimes I figure the end is many more miles and then I discover that it is actually closer then I had planned or thought. I almost have to prepare myself for the worst.
I’ve done much the same thing with our adoption process. For so long I had told myself…by this date we’ll be at such and such step, or by this time we will be here…and so on. And I’ve been disappointed time and time again. In order to protect my heart I have tried to over shoot when something might happen, I can’t get hurt if I don’t plan on it right?
Well I was surprised today. I had heard rumors that some people in the process got submitted to the Korean government for EP (emigration or “exit” permission). But I knew that there was a group of people ahead of the group I was in that was going to get submitted first. Then I started to get word that some people with similar dates to ours had been submitted. But I started to think “our file was mailed on January 12th to Korea, there is no way that they got our 60+ page document translated by now to be submitted.”
I’ve made some friends through this process and I’ll never be able to trace how we all got to know each other, but as the morning wore on and we sent messages back and forth it was apparent that no one had heard from our adoption agency. As time continued to tick by we heard more rumors from other agencies and yet still nothing from ours. Emails were going unanswered as well. And so I decided we needed to take the next step….
I made my husband call. You see I’m not all that brave, and if there was going to be bad news, I wanted him to get it and not me, his emotions aren’t nearly as on the surface as mine are with this whole thing. So he gets to call and get the bad news. And being the brave person that I was, I sent him a frantic text from gymnastics saying “you need to call our agency and make up a reason or question to ask and find out if anything is happening”. And then promptly stashed my phone in the cubby with my boys’ shoes so I wouldn’t have to see his text back that said that nothing had happened.
Well as it turned out, he actually got different news. He tried to call me twice, and texted me the news, but I was living in my bubble and so I didn’t get it. And so he actually called the gymnastics gym’s front desk and they brought me their phone so he could tell me that our file got submitted to the Korean government today! As it turns out our social worker was out of the office and those filling in were slow in getting the word out.
As the afternoon went on, many messages back and forth I learned that many of my adoptive mommy friends were also submitted! A few didn’t get such good news, and in this journey it is tough, our stories get interwoven and no one quite understands me and my thoughts/fears/emotions like another mom in the same spot. And so while I rejoiced, my heart was heavy for those that didn’t get that same news.
So where does that put us? In brief over the next 2-3 months the Korean government is going to review our 60+ page file and determine if we can in fact be approved to be Edric’s parents. They will then grant us EP, or exit (emigration) permission. From there we will be submitted to court, and depending on the judge wait 1-4 months for a court date. We will then travel to Korea for court and meeting Edric, then travel home and wait for final approval which takes 3-8 weeks. After that we can arrange to fly back, take custody, and get his US Visa and passport and bring him home.
It’s a big step. It didn’t really sink in for a number of hours because I was not expecting it until at least April. I know have a huge grin on my face that may not come off for a number of days! Of course there may be delays, which is just an expected part of this process, but at least there is a light at the end of the tunnel….even if it is still months away, I can actually see it shining now.