My big girls head to school

Austin and Stevie are adjusting so beautifully. My shy, soft spoken angels and now full blown screechy kids that run amok and feel so comfortable being in their own home. They are fun, energetic little cheeseburgers that pick up remote controls and say, “hello?” as if on the telephone, scarf down bananas in shockingly few bites, and slowly walk hunched over when they want to make you laugh.

Stevie and Austin
Photo Credit: Diana Levine Photography

It’s hard to believe we’ve all been together a little over the two months. Life before Austin and Stevie feels like a distant memory and parenthood, as tiring as it can be, is the new normal.

This past Monday marked their first day at day care. It’s an incredible program and we feel so lucky the girls can be there with their cousin Cooper. So far, they’ve each taken turns crying/whimpering the two days we’ve been, but when we pick them up they look like they’re having the time of their lives on the playground. It’s a nice feeling. I’m also so looking forward to the progress they’ll make being around so many new people and kids their own age. The language development has been slow but steady. My hope is that steep learning curve will result in some great gains in both the language and social skills.

Freketic Earle family
Photo Credit: Diana Levine Photography

Outside of enjoying everything parenthood has to offer, we have had some frustrations with the post placement process. The girls arrived back to the US with us with South Korean passports with stamps to evidence their US Visa status. At customs, we provided a large packet of documents that a customs agent processed for us and told us we’d get a certificate of adoption in the mail within a few weeks and their actual green cards up to a year later.

Others we’d been in Seoul with let us know they’d already received their certificates, so it’s been a bit stress inducing that we haven’t gotten ours yet. We reached out to our Massachusetts agency who helped us with out home study and they referenced a 45 day period. That time passed and still nothing. We reached out to our New York agency, the primary agency that really did the bulk of the work, and were told it could be up to 120 days.

I wrongfully assumed our domestic adoption process would be held up without the certificate, but was informed that was not the case. We’re going to embark on that process now (which differs state to state) to get the girls’ adoption completed in Massachusetts.

We have our second post placement visit with our Massachusetts agency later this month as part of the 1 month, 3 month, 6 month and 12 month visits. I’m excited to see what Angeline, our social worker, thinks of the changes in the girls since her last visit in January. It’s really incredible the difference two months can make.

Then one of the final steps we need to take is to get the girls’ names changed on their social security cards, which fingers crossed should be the easiest out of everything.

We try to keep our heads above water and not compare others’ experiences and timelines too much with our own. At the end of the day, we have our daughters and that’s what counts.

Adoption Family

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