The Waiting Game

Dear John and Katie:

Your dossier has officially been submitted to the Ministry of Health and Welfare for Emigration Permission (EP) on July 16, 2019. Congratulations! You are nearing the end of the adoption process in Korea. Please find below the remaining steps in the process before you travel to Korea.

1) We need to wait for Emigration Permission (EP) from the Ministry of Health and Welfare. We expect EP within 1-3 months from the time of submission, though this can vary. They will send the approval to ESWS and ESWS will notify us.

2) Eastern Social Welfare Society will then submit your court packet to the Seoul Family Court. The packet is usually submitted a few days after the EP approval. We will notify you of the court submission as soon as we hear.

3) You will then be notified of a court appearance date after the court has reviewed your case. It has been taking an average of 1-2 months to receive notice of the court appearance after the packet has been submitted to the court. The appearance date typically is scheduled 4-6 weeks from the notice date. If there is an urgent reason why you cannot attend on that date, we can request a rescheduled date.

And let the waiting games begin!

It’s been an exasperating process at times, where all you can do is throw your hands in the air. With the mounting family leave and timing questions, it’s been a very humbling and frustrating experience having to tell people I have no idea.

I let out a small sigh of relief when we received the letter from our adoption agency. While there is no hard and fast date, we do have just a bit more clarity now. Based on the timeframe outlined above, we’re looking at a first trip to South Korea anywhere from the mid-October to the end of January. It’s not perfect, but having an earliest date sure helps.

On top of the mounting questions are the mounting to do’s like painting, decorating and furnishing the girls’ room, getting a new car (oh hey half step to a minivan), getting all of our pre-travel documents in order and notarized, etc. Soooo we have what… 3 months to get our acts together???

What’s been very encouraging and my favorite parts so far in our adoption journey are the periodic updates and pictures we get from each of the girls’ foster mother.

In the latest update, we learned at our youngest daughter can say a handful of words (umma mommy, appa daddy, kaja let’s go, andwae no), dislikes bathing, loves apple, watermelon, and potatoes, and has a lovely smile. Our oldest daughter can also say simple words and demonstrates understanding of language. She likes to eat apples, cheese, and bulgogi, make towers with cups and insect books. She’s also nearly walking by herself.

Getting these updates makes me so eager to get our girls home to cherish some of these milestones together. Until then, it’s back to paperwork, painting, and patiently waiting.


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