This morning I was keeping quite busy as I had 3 children 2 and under in my care!! I busted out some Mickey pancakes
and I was enjoying a glimpse into our very near future!
I had planned a morning full of activities
so we were checking off the list
and in between a trip to the neighborhood park
and making some pizzas for lunch,
I checked my email and was blown away to find this message at the top of my inbox ….
Brandon just happened to come home for lunch today and was here to celebrate with me!! The boys were a little frightened as I did jump up and down and scream a little before sharing what it was that I was so excited about!!
This was unexpected for many reasons!! Everyone in the Korean adoption community has been anxious to hear that a new batch of families children had been submitted for their Emigration Permits. We all thought it was very hopeful to think it would be before mid-October!! Everyone also knew that this was the last batch of families that would have their children submitted for an Emigration Permit this year. So while a few families celebrated, many families mourned the loss of the hope they were holding onto with regard to bringing their children home in 2011. We celebrated the blessing this is for our children and family, but we did not and will not forget those who are walking this journey with us and who are still enduring a painful wait. While this is one of the most important steps before travel, we still do not have a clear idea of WHEN we will travel. This process has been anything but predictable. I am going to throw out my optimistic vs. worst case scenario travel timeframes…. I would think we can anticipate travelling anywhere between 6-12 weeks from now! Normally 6 weeks would not even be close to realistic…but with our Visa Physical and quite possibly Class B out of the way…it COULD happen! I’d say somewhere in the middle is much more possible. I wonder if we will be running a close timeline to our 2 year anniversary of our Family Day with Harrison. hmmm? Only time will tell! We are praying for a speedy process of course!! We don’t expect it, but we sure can hope and pray for it!! If I have learned any ONE lesson throughout our adoptions it is that ultimately,
We humans keep brainstorming options and plans,
but God's purpose prevails. Proverbs 19:21
The twins also had their Visa Physical (uncharacteristically early) today so that puts one thing that normally takes some time later on in the process out of the way. A Class B waiver can follow the Visa Physical and we anticipate needing one for one if not both twins and we gather that this can also take place as we wait for EP approval,
Here is what we were told needs to happen between now and travel and the usual order (you will notice that two of the things mentioned will have been completed before the normal timeframe):
· EP- Emigration Permits(Giving God the Glory for this submission step being completed today 10/6) are submitted into the Ministry of Health and Welfare. This is the first step in paperwork process. We will be notified when the EP is approved (all but one batch this year were approved within 30 days and many in the mid 20 day mark….the exception batch was a 3 month wait…see what I mean by unpredictable ). Once the EP is approved, it’s difficult for us to accurately determine when travel will be. What we know is the following steps need to occur before the child is ready to travel.
· Travel Certificate- Holt Korea will apply to the Ministry of Foreign affairs for the travel certificate after the EP has been approved. This typically takes about a week to gain the approval. We are not notified about this.
· Visa Physical Exam(done 10/6)- This is done by an outside Doctor appointed by the US Embassy. Usually, the exam takes place at the Holt clinic, but if the child has special needs the exam is done at a local hospital. I will e-mail you once we learn when the appointment has been set.
· Class B waiver-(hoping this will be done soon now that we have VP done…to our knowledge this can be done before EP approval although that is not normal…but neither is having the early VP that we were blessed with ) This is only needed if the Doctor doing the exam notes something that they want to make sure that the adopting parents are fully aware of. If there is something noted on this form then Holt-Korea has to have a Class B waiver accompany the visa physical when submitting the P3 into the Embassy. The Class B waiver lets the officials know that the adoptive parents are fully aware of what is noted on the visa physical, and would still like to proceed with the adoption. The waiver also has to say exactly what the Doctor noted on the Visa physical, word for word. If you child needs a waiver we will notify your family and send you the waiver by e-mail.
· I600- (already there and waiting) Holt-Korea does not need your approved I600 until the very last stage in the process (submitting your P3 into the Embassy). Your I600 should only have an effect on your travel time if you delay in filling once you receive your Legals. Please send the Eugene office and your Branch/Co-op a copy of your approval once it is approved.
· P3-The packet that Holt-Korea submits into the Embassy for the one way travel visa. This packet contains; I600, I864, birth/marriage/divorce certificates of adoptive parents, 1040, W2, legal document of child, vaccination certificate, visa physical examination, class b waiver (if needed), photo of child and IR4. This takes 5-8 business days to be approved. We are not notified when the visa worker submits the P3 into the Embassy.
· VI- Visa Interview-This is new as of November 2009. The foster families now have to physically take the children down to the Embassy for a visa interview. This happens after the paperwork has been submitted into the Embassy. We are not notified about this.
· Travel Call-After the visa has been issued our staff let us know through e-mail M-F of any children that are ready to travel, either by parent escort, or by giving us flight details for children who are escorted home. For all families, the travel call will come from Lisa Lowery (or Katy Bogart). Please review the guidebook for more details about travel.
So, this is what we have to blast through to get to travel!! Most people travel 4-6 weeks after EP approval….but that is with Visa Physical and Class B mixed in for a few of those weeks!! So, we shall see friends! We are just so thankful and look forward to being super productive as we countdown to travel!!
We got this adorable picture of Sophie via email the other day…I imagine this is where the movement came from…Sophie was putting in a good word