We are at last "PAPER READY"!!!! We just got the O.K. from the federal government yesterday and they gave us the green light to wait for a referral. It was our last hoop in the paperwork section of our journey. I spoke with Laura (our social worker, for those of you just tuning in) and she said she'd notify the "list keeper" that we were ready. I couldn't help myself and had to ask where we are on the list. Of the families waiting for boys from South Korea we are 8th down on the list. Three of the families before us are paper ready as of the beginning of May. They have been receiving about 4-5 referrals a month, so she said we could expect a referral by the end of summer!!! I swear it is like someone just told me I'm pregnant. I'm just about as giddy. Although, I need to pace myself. Once we receive a referral it will be 3-6 months before all the paperwork is completed to go and get him. My dream of bringing him home before Christmas has a chance, but I'm trying to keep an open mind on that one.
So right now we are in the process of waiting. Laura said to let her know when we are on vacation so that she can get a hold of us if our little guy's information comes in. I'm sure she'll be sorry she told me that. I'm likely to call and tell her every time I go to the bathroom, so that she knows I won't be near my phone. :-)
Wednesday, May 28, 2008
Thursday, May 15, 2008
Since it is kind of a quiet time in the whole process, we thought maybe it would be a good time to tell you a little more about the adoption agency we will be working with over in Korea. Let's start at the beginning....(I love history). South Korea has the oldest international adoption program in the world. More than 200,000 children have been adopted from there since the mid-1950s, when many children placed for adoption were biracial children fathered by U.S. Military personnel during and after the Korean War. Most children available for adoption today are placed by unmarried mothers who are concerned about the strong stigma against children who are born out of wedlock.
Our particular agency is called the Eastern Social Welfare Society (ESWS). I found most of this information from their website and the information given to us from Lifelink. ESWS is based in Seoul and has been placing children since 1972. It was founded by Dr. Duk Whang Kim, a lifelong Christian and an elder of a church who has helped needy children find families, and provides places and education for disabled children. They have many homes and projects that benefit many aspects of the process of adoption. In Seoul, their main office is connected to their children's hospital, baby nursery, and guest house. The babies usually stay at the nursery for the first six weeks and are then placed into foster homes. When we go over there we may have the opportunity to stay at their guest house. Dr. Kim recently retired and was succeeded by his daughter. It was customary for him to meet with each adoptive family and share a meal with them. I'm guessing that his daughter will still carry on that tradition. I've been reading up on my Korean table etiquette for that very reason.
It is so easy to get caught up in our own story of w-a-i-t-i-n-g for our little guy. There is a book, I Wish for You a Beautfiul Life, that is comprised of letters written from Korean mothers to the children that they have put up for adoption. One wrote, "You needed to be loved by family members, and you could have that love only if you were in a family. I couldn't give that love by myself. Therefore, adoption was my gift to you." What a completely selfless act of love.