Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Referral Acceptance Paperwork Sent to Korea

I am a little behind on posting this, but our referral acceptance paperwork was sent to Korea on October 5th! She said everything looked great, so as usual I had nothing to worry about.

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 
I loved learning about what Joshua's life is like with his foster family. While much of the above is different (not wrong, just different) than what I think I would have done, I believe it will be best for Joshua if we replicate much of this at least initially until he attaches and bonds to us. I am a big believer that kids thrive on routines so I hope we will be able to establish a routine for our days, but I think that can wait until after he is feeling comfortable with us.


A said...

So excited for you as you prepare your hearts and your home and care packages for your son!! That is really interesting about his life in foster care. Praying for you that you get to travel earlier than you think!

Jennifer said...

It's great that you are able to learn about Joshua's routines so you can continue them when he comes home. I agree, they may not all be what I would do, but at least you know he is being loved and taken care of. Can't wait until he is home with you where he belongs. :)

Lisa said...

I really enjoyed reading about the Korean culture and Joshua's lifestyle at this point. Very interesting. And I agree, not all the way we would do things but it is obvious he is really being loved on and cared for!! That is awesome!

Amy said...

SO exciting! You have so much to look forward to! God Bless!

Dave and Elaine said...

:) I think that is wise to continue what he has known and then work towards a routine once he is well established into your family! So exciting to see all this coming together!

Alicia said...

I'll be praying for you and your little one :) I love hearing how other cultures do things, so interesting.