After being asked a couple of times recently if there were any updates on Jonah's adoption, I realized I am long overdue in giving an update. As you can see by the ticker on the right side of my blog, we have now been waiting almost 10 months from the time our referral acceptance paperwork went to Korea (ATK). Initially, we were anticipating an 18 month wait to bring Jonah home, but as the process began to move forward it began to look like he could be home by February of 2013. Now I am not so sure.
Many of you may remember that we were waiting on Emigration Permission (EP) from the Korean government in order to bring Joshua home. We have been waiting on the same thing for Jonah. Once the EP quota was announced at the beginning of this year, we knew we would not travel this year to bring Jonah home. But it was looking like we would be in the first group submitted in 2013, which is when we began to anticipate traveling in February. However, a new law in Korea went in to effect on August 5th of this year. This law mainly changed things with domestic adoption in Korea, however it does have some effect on international adoption, the main effect being that after we receive EP approval we now have to get approval from the Korean court. At this point it looks like only our paperwork goes to court; we don't have to personally appear in court and our adoption will not be finalized in Korea just as before. In anticipation of the new law the Korean government allowed the adoption agencies in Korea to submit large groups of families for EP approval prior to the new law going into effect. Only 10% of the 2012 families were not submitted under the old law; these families are to be the trial group under the new law. The problem is only a few of them have been submitted for EP, none have received approval, and not one international adoptive family has gone through the Korean courts yet.
The recent MPAK blog post sheds more light on all this. The problem appears to be with the courts and with the Ministry that handles adoption. No one knows yet if the court is going to require additional paperwork or information from us. But irregardless, it looks like the remaining 10% of families will not all travel this year which pushes us all back. Even if all these families receive EP, it is being estimated that it could take another couple of months after that to receive court approval.
So where does that leave us? Traveling in May? I honestly have no idea. This new information has had me feeling pretty down and discouraged. I feel like Jonah is going to be two years old before he is home. Missing two years of his life - a hard pill to swallow right now.
But I have to trust God with this. It is all so out of my control. I know His timing is perfect. It was with Joshua, and it will be again with Jonah. I have to rest in that and do the only thing I can - pray.