The year started off with some excitement on the adoption front when news came that half of the last group from 2012 (they should have actually traveled last year) finally had EP approval and would be submitted for court review under the new law in Korea (prior to this new law we did not have to go through a court review process, only EP). I think we all had high hopes that the court review process would move quickly and that the first group for 2013 would be submitted for EP approval; we anticipate being in this first group. But there has been nothing, no word at all, and no confirmation on what, if any, new paperwork the Korean courts would like. I have heard lots of rumors about this from Holt families, but we have had no confirmation of anything. So just as quickly, hopes have fallen - such is the emotional roller coaster that is international adoption.
Part of the issue appears to be that the Korean courts have never done adoptions before so all of the judges and lawyers need to get up to speed on the process.There has been a suggestion made that Korea allow all of us who accepted a referral prior to the new law going into effect be allowed to skip the court review step, which would allow adoption to continue on without the delay this new step is causing. It is a long shot, but our God is a God of miracles, please be praying with me about this, that somehow this court review step begin to move forward either because it is eliminated (temporarily) or because the courts quickly determine the process and necessary paperwork.
One of the potential new pieces of paperwork that may be required is a Certificate of Citizenship (COC) for Joshua. Technically, he became a U.S. citizen as soon as his adoption was finalized. However, at the federal level he is not listed as a citizen until we pay $550 and file a bunch of paperwork, and 6-12 months later we get a piece of paper. Because of the cost we had been waiting to file for this until some funds came in; we are in the process of doing all the paperwork now, but obviously with the current processing time frames we won't have Joshua's COC before being submitted for court review. We will receive a document that states our paperwork has been received, so please pray that this doesn't cause us any issues and that the Korean government will be satisfied with a receipt notice.
We really need your prayers right now:
1) For the adoption process to move forward
2) For the court review step to be worked out
3) For us to have all the necessary paperwork including the COC issue
4) For Jonah to be able to stay with his current foster family (we haven't had an issue so far, but the longer
the wait, the more likely it is a problem could arise that requires him to change to a new foster family)
5) Prepare our hearts and home for Jonah's homecoming, especially Joshua's who at the mention of his little brother tells me "bye" meaning he wants him to go bye-bye; also for me - part of me can't wait to meet my next son, but part of me is so afraid of going through another difficult adoption transition
6) To prepare Jonah's heart and for God's protection upon it - Jonah is now 18 months old and has lived with his foster family for 16 months; this will be an incredible loss for him
7) For us to rest in God's timing; one of the things I have been praying about is that if Jonah's homecoming could occur during a developmental window that would make the transition easier for him, to let it be at that time
We have been blessed with new photos of Jonah almost every month (skipped April and August - though we received his first birthday pictures in August). I am so grateful for these photos, whether and how often you receive them depends on your social worker in Korea. Our social worker has been really wonderful, but unfortunately she has recently left the agency. I am hoping our new social worker continues to send photos every month.
Jonah is now 18 months old, he weighs about 23 pounds and is 32 inches tall.
Hard to believe it has now been over a year since we first saw this sweet face and a year and 5 days since our paperwork went to Korea. For comparison, we were in Korea meeting Joshua for the first time exactly one year from when we first saw his picture and 11 months from when our paperwork was sent over. We in all likelihood still have several more months of waiting. I have all but given up hope of traveling in March. At this point, I am hoping for April.