Sunday, August 14, 2011

Adoption Process Update

Now for the less interesting stuff...the process. Since my last blog, we have completed the homestudy (process where a local social worker evaluates the parents and home environment to be sure we are capable for being adoptive parents). The homestudy was notorized and sent to S Korea in June 2011, along with our acceptance paperwork that makes our match with Taylor official! This leads to another round of paperwork including submission of two documents known as the I-600 and I-600A. These were sent to the USCIS: Dept of Homeland Security so that Taylor can be issued an Emmigration Permit (EP...basically what we would consider a passport) when the time comes. These documents change Taylor's status from being classified as an 'orphan' to being an "immediate relative of the Murry family." Wow. What a picture of the gospel. I am so humbled to know that when I was an orphan, not seeking God, he pursued me, not only for justification to be made right before God, but for adoption into his household!

"12 Remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world. 13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near by the blood of Christ....19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household," (Ephesians 2:12-13, 19).

"How great is this love the Father has lavished upon us, that we should be called children of God!" 1 John 3:1

As amazing as this concept is that Taylor's status will change from 'orphan' to 'son' and become part of our sinful, imperfect family, how we pray even more that he will be brought in as a member of His household by the blood of Christ.

All of that to say, homestudy complete, I-600 and I-600A submitted, waiting for second fingerprinting appt (not sure why the state and national government cannot share?). According to the typical timeline given by the Holt adoption program, which is made based on what has happened in the recent past, we should be looking for a travel call approximately 4-6 months from the time our acceptance paperwork is sent to Korea, June 18th in our case. This would place Taylor in our arms before Christmas. That was the timeframe we were looking at until we received an email from Holt on June 21 explaining basically the following (written concisely by Liz Barnett, who recently brought home her little girl from S Korea this past March; thanks Liz for the beautiful explanation; hope you don't mind me using it):

 "the adoption situation in S Korea has slowed to almost no approvals of children's visas in the last 3 months. So these are babies who have been matched with families but not approved to travel. The Ministry only allows so many visas per year which only increases the wait times for families and babies to be united. Thus creating a backlog each year that is growing larger and larger. It used to be a 4-6 month wait to travel. We waited 8 months and families are now waiting even longer. So instead of babies coming home these kids are now toddlers and the foster families are raising the children for much longer, which makes the separation even harder on the foster parents and the children. Plus if children used to stay in a foster family for 9 months and are now staying until 16-18 months it is preventing another baby from being in a foster home and therefore being placed in a group home setting."

Sooo, we are now adjusting and looking to travel some time early next year when the visa amount resets. We are devoting our time to saving money for the trip, soaking up the time with just the two of us, preparing his room, learning some words in Korean (slow with this one), reading about attachment and raising a 2 yr old adoptee, and spending time in the Word and prayer as only God is able to bring about His purposes. I was reading in Psalm last night and came across the following scripture that really hit home for me and where we are now. In verse 2, when "toiling" is mentioned, it refers to lengthening the day with anxious worry and stress when God provides "sleep" (literally and rest/peace of mind) to those he loves. In addition, it is the LORD's involvement that makes the effort worthwhile and successful. Please join us in prayer that we trust full on God's timing and sovereignty over even the Korea government. Thanks for reading!

1Unless the LORD builds the house, those who build it labor in vain. Unless the LORD watches over the city, the watchman stays awake in vain. 2It is in vain that you rise up early and go late to rest, eating the bread of anxious toil; for he gives to his beloved sleep. 3Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD, the fruit of the womb a reward. 4Like arrows in the hand of a warrior are the children[a] of one’s youth.

5Blessed is the man who fills his quiver with them! He shall not be put to shame when he speaks with his enemies in the gate. Psalm 127

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