Sunday, July 31, 2011

Home Visit Tomorrow Morning

Our adoption application was received and approved! Last Thursday we drove up to Scottsdale for our joint interview and tomorrow morning (Monday) our social worker is coming for our home visit and individual interviews. I am so happy that things are moving along so quickly with our agency here in AZ. After our  home visit and interviews, she just has to write everything up, receive our reference letters, and call three of our references. After that our home study will go to the court to be certified. She is working so quickly because she is concerned we will have a problem with USCIS (immigration) as a result of our move. However, our agency has assured us it will not be an issue. I am hoping they are right. She also mentioned she had a family in the past that moved at the same point in the process as us, and they ran into trouble with the Interstate Compact because their home study wasn't yet updated. So anyway because of her concerns, she is working as fast as she can to complete our home study. So hopefully we won't have any delays bringing Joshua home (that is if we ever get EP approval!).

Our social worker is fantastic and I feel really comfortable with her. She adopted from Korea many years ago (her son is now grown and married with children), so she has so much knowledge and experience to share. I must say my feelings are so different from what they were the first time we went through the home study process. I am much less anxious, I guess it helps to know we have been approved once before. :-) But I would still appreciate prayers for everything to go well tomorrow and for our home study to be completed quickly. And of course, please keep praying for Joshua's EP. This delay has NEVER happened in the history of Korean adoption. It is completely unprecedented and no one, including our agency, seems to know why the delay has occurred or when it will be over.

I am trying to keep busy during this wait. Last week John and I went up to his dad's cabin in the mountains for a few days. Joshua's room is almost done (pictures soon!). And I am working on writing up my testimony.

Hoping this week brings good news!

Sunday, July 24, 2011


The song Stronger by Mandisa was shared on another site with those of us caught up in this EP mess. I don't think I had ever heard it before, but it has really been ministering to me, especially these lines.

Oh, don't hang your head
It's gonna end
God's right there
Even if it's hard to see Him
I promise you that He still cares

When the waves are taking you under
Hold on just a little bit longer
He knows that this is gonna make you stronger, stronger
The pain ain't gonna last forever

I don't understand why for us building a family is such a long hard process. But I am trying to lay this down before the Lord and trust that He has a plan and a purpose in all this. I am trying not to let fear in; the fear that Joshua is never going to come home has been trying to creep in. But I have to hold on to the hope that he will, in God's perfect timing.

John is still waiting to be credentialed so he can start practicing and because of that he decided to take leave this week. We are going to take some time to get away from it all, so I may not be on the internet much over the next few days.

We continue to ask for your prayers. We are going on week 11 of waiting for Joshua's EP.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Calling All Prayer Warriors

We need your prayers please. As of tomorrow we have been waiting 10 weeks for Joshua's EP (Emigration Permission) from the Korean government. This usually only takes one month and is the last major hurdle to cross in order to bring him home. Our agency has no idea when they will be issued and hasn't been able to give us much information about the delay (I really do believe they are doing the best they can with what little information they have). Well yesterday, we were finally able to get some understanding of what seems to be going on. See this post from Steve Morrison of MPAK (Mission to Promote Adoption in Korea). On the one hand I am heartbroken over the information, but on the other I am so grateful to finally have some answers. Other agencies have told their families not to expect EP until at least August. Our agency says that's just a rumor and has denied the connection between the EP hold-up and the Ministry's request for documents (post-placement reports) on children who have already come home. However, they did come out with a statement saying they had complied with all the requests of the agency in Korea and the Ministry, meaning to me that the information in MPAK's post is correct. There was a follow-up post (which has been taken down), which only further confirms for me that MPAKs information is correct. I think the agencies in the U.S. may just not be getting all the information or are just not able to share it directly with us.

All that to say, please be praying. Please be praying the Ministry quickly receives all the documents they are requesting from the Korean and U.S. agencies, and for a speedy resolution to this situation. Please be praying that ALL the EPs are released so that Joshua and all the other children can go home to their waiting families. Please also be praying for all the waiting families, as some are having a very hard time right now with this wait and all the uncertainty in this process. I am doing okay, but I must say it gets harder every day. I can't wait to hold my little guy! Every time I look at his most recent pictures my heart just aches.

We need God to move in this situation. We need your prayers.

"For with God nothing shall be impossible." Luke 1:37

Monday, July 18, 2011

Adoption Application - Take 2

As a result of our move to Arizona, we have to basically redo our adoption home study for the state of Arizona. We are going to be working with Dillon Southwest. I chose them for a number of reasons. First, they also have a Korea program and so they are familiar with doing home studies for Korea. Secondly, I am hoping that they will be able to connect us with other Korean adoptive families. Our social worker already offered to share my info with another family! And lastly when it comes time for #2, we will already have a relationship with them. :-) I don't think we will be able to go through our current agency unless we find a waiting child whose needs we think we can meet who is with Eastern and not SWS. I don't qualify for SWS due to having had counseling in the past.

Anyway, I sent off our application today!!! I am so happy. I feel like a huge weight has been lifted off me. I should be back to blogging more regularly now. I wasn't allowing myself to blog until I completed the application. Truthfully, I hate (I know it's a strong word) doing these applications. And this second time was especially difficult feeling like I had to prove my worth as a parent so close to Joshua being home. I have really tried not to let the process frustrate me and to always keep a positive attitude about it all, but this time it got to me. I am just glad it's done!

The stack!

My hubby humored me by allowing me to take his picture with the application.

We are going on 10 weeks waiting for EP approval (it usually only takes 4 weeks). Hopefully, I will have more news soon. I will be posting a prayer request post about it tomorrow.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

8 Weeks Today

Yes, as of today we have been waiting 8 weeks for EP approval. This is our agency's maximum estimate of how long it should take to receive EP approval and passport. The house is now unpacked and almost everything is in its place, just some finishing touches left to do. But I am just ready for my phone to ring. I have been praying we receive EP approval soon and would ask for your prayers as well.

I am trying not to feel anxious about it, but I just want to go get our little boy. The thing is, we still aren't completely ready, I still have some final purchases to make of things we need and I need to finish his room. But I don't even care, which is quite a departure from my usual perfectionism. I am learning to let go and realizing it really will be okay if everything isn't perfect. I know we will make lots of mistakes and we have much to learn about parenting. I am just ready to get started. I want to meet Joshua and start our lives together.

I am also a little worried about our transition and how it will go. Joshua is losing everything he has ever known: his country, his language, and the family who has loved and cared for him since he got out of the NICU. And this is on top of already losing his birth family. When I know a difficult time is coming, I like to face it head on and begin dealing with it as soon as possible. Not that his grief will be a one-time occurrence, most likely it is something we will be helping our son cope with throughout his life as he processes all his losses, but the initial transition period of getting to know each other and bonding as we become a family may be especially difficult. I am just ready to get it started.

Hoping my phone rings very soon with good news!