We received our "Welcome to the Korea Program!" packet by email this week. We are now officially waiting for a referral! We have actually been on the list since March 26th when are home study approval was finalized. I didn't realize we we already on the list until we received the packet. I thought we had to wait for our social worker to finish writing up our home study. We are waiting for a referral of either gender, but more than likely we will have a boy. We are required to be open to gender since we have no children (though we would be anyway). Because families with children usually request girls and because boys are less likely to be adopted domestically in Korea, families without children usually receive a referral for a boy. I have, however, seen a family without children receive a referral for a girl recently on a blog I have been lurking on. I am actually excited about the possibility of a little boy. At the time of referral, our child will be about 6 months old. Children are not eligible for international adoption until they have been available for domestic adoption in Korea for 5 months. South Korea began a campaign to encourage domestic adoption in 2007. However, adoption is less accepted in Korea so there are still more children needing homes than families desiring to adopt. You can read more about this here and here. The wait time until we will receive a referral is 6-9 months.
That means our child may have just been born and may be born any day now!
Currently, it is taking 6-8 months after referral to get the necessary paperwork and permission to travel to Korea to pick up your child. This is an increase from the 3-6 months it used to be, so our child will more than likely celebrate his/her first birthday in Korea and be a little over one by the time we travel to Korea.
So what's next? Our social worker needs to finalize the write-up of our home study and have it notarized. Then we send a copy of it off with the I-600A form to Citizenship and Immigration Services for approval. And then we wait.
I can't wait to meet our child! It sounds strange to even say that. After over five years of waiting and longing, I began to wonder if it would ever happen.
It was not easy getting to this point, but I am so excited to be here now!