First, I want to say thank you to everyone who joined us in prayer after my last post, whether you left a comment or not, we so appreciate the prayers, blog comments, emails, and Facebook messages. I could literally feel your prayers and the Lord gave me much peace about everything in spite of the circumstances. I could sense He was at work and would work everything out to His glory.
There was supposed to be a meeting the week after my last post (on March 5th) between the Korean adoption agencies and the Family Court. However, we found out on the evening of March 4th (Korea is 16 hours ahead of us), that the meeting was cancelled and two of the three judges were replaced and a fourth judge was added. I went to bed feeling discouraged and defeated. Just a day prior to that, our community group had prayed for us and this meeting. It was one of those Spirit moving, tears being shed times of prayer where you go away just knowing God is at work. I thought that great news would follow after the meeting took place. And then it was cancelled.
The next morning I woke up and was able to have some quiet time with the Lord. Side note here, this was possible because Joshua has been sick and slept until 8am. I don't want to give the impression that I am a super spiritual, super mom who gets up every morning before Joshua wakes up to have my quiet time, though I would love for this to be so. The truth is I have really struggled to have a regular quiet time since becoming a mom. Anyway, I was reading in Exodus and came across these verses:
But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.” Exodus 14:13-14
I sensed the Lord telling me that these previous judges were the "Egyptians," that they were not favorably inclined toward international adoption, and that their replacement was an answer to prayer. It was interesting to read the MPAK blog post and see that Steve also felt confident that the issue of the extended stay in Korea would be a "no brainer" for these new judges and that he had a strong sense that the new court would agree to a solution that would require us to be in Korea for only a week.
Well, God has answered!!!!!!!!
We found out today that the new judges have decided that we don't need to appear in Family Court. Our paperwork will go to the court and once we are given approval, we will travel after the VISA is issued just as before, and stay about a week. We weren't told yet whether both parents would be required to travel, but I wouldn't think so since there is no longer a reason it would be necessary. This is a huge answer to prayer!!! I can't imagine having to go to Korea and waiting 14 days before the court decision is final, not knowing whether we will actually bring Jonah home. Plus, John would have had no time at home with Jonah, it would have been incredibly difficult financially, and it would have been potentially very traumatic for Joshua.
I don't believe there has been any change as far as recontacting birth moms, but I have to say that I recently had an opportunity to watch a documentary called "Mercy, Mercy" about adoption from Ethiopia that reframed my thinking on this subject. You can watch it here: http://youtu.be/bTirNtngWTE, but fair warning it is one of the most horrific things I have ever seen. However, it NEEDS to be watched by everyone in the adoption community. This isn't just an isolated case; this is what all too often happens when potential adoptive parents rush in to adopt from a particular country because with them comes large amounts of money. Too often this leads to corruption and the manufacturing of orphans (it happened in Guatemala and now it's happening in Ethiopia). The children in this documentary didn't get a "better life" by being adopted; they belong with their biological parents. Adoption should be about finding families for children who truly NEED a family, not finding children for families who want them. So I look at this situation with Jonah's birth mom as an opportunity to ensure that adoption is truly what she wants for him; it is an opportunity to make sure that his adoption is ethical.
Hopefully, this process will finally begin to move forward. We would appreciate your continued prayers!