That same day I got to go to a Korea Program Support Meeting at our adoption agency. The highlight of which was definitely getting to talk with Jen and her husband John whom I met at the last meeting, and getting to meet Grace and Peter. It was wonderful to have a chance to talk to others who understand all the emotions we are experiencing right now.
We also got to learn a bit more about the increase in wait time for travel. Basically, there is an Emigration Permission quota that is set for each year, which is usually reduced each year as S.Korea continues to work toward its goal of ending international adoption. The quota is divided up among the 4 agencies in Korea based on their success with domestic adoptions in Korea. Basically, the more success the agency has with domestic adoption (which is still stigmatized in Korea), the more emigration permissions the agency will be given for that upcoming year. The agency in Korea that our agency is partnered with has been less successful in their efforts with domestic adoption and therefore reached their quota for 2010 at the end of March. So any family that received a referral after April 1st would not be able to travel in 2010. This has the effect of pushing everyone's travel time back and increasing the wait until we can travel. They are still telling us up to 11 months at this point.
The good news is that our agency is pushing for more updates about our children and is allowing us to send more that one care package. They have said we can send two, but at the meeting they said they aren't really counting at this point. I got some ideas of things to include in our care package so that is something I will start working on soon.
We also learned a little bit about what our child's life is like with their foster family (Elaine, I am thinking of you because this is definitely not Babywise!):
- For several hours a day Joshua is most likely held by his foster mother (his umma 엄마, which means mom), he is carried around on her back while she cooks, cleans, etc., it is the tightness/compactness of the carrier that is comforting as it is very similar to swaddling
- Joshua most likely co-sleeps with his umma on a futon cushion, with patting/soothing while sleeping
- Sleep and nap times may be irregular if at all, no pattern
- His needs are met immediately, she would not ever want him to cry, and she wants everything to be easy for him
- Opportunities for self-soothing are pretty much non-existent
- All his food will most likely be mashed up and therefore he won't be challenged to chew (as an example she will scrape a pear or an apple with a spoon and then feed it to him)
- Jook (죽) which is a rice porridge will most likely be the first food he is given
- No set time for meals
- Opportunities for socialization are abundant - S. Korea is a very child friendly society so there will be lots of people touching and talking to Joshua
- Lots of outdoor time
- He will be dressed in many layers of clothing