After waiting 173 days we were finally EP submitted on October 31st! I won’t even joke “but who’s counting?” because I was. It was me. I was counting.
I talked more in depth about where we are in the process and what that means now in my one year adoption update post, but basically: Eli’s file will be submitted to the Ministry of Health for his Exit Permit (or Emigration Permit) which grants him legal permission to leave the country and officially starts the ball rolling to custody.
Our next milestone is EP approval. Our agency estimates this step to take anywhere from 1-5 months. After EP approval, our paperwork will be submitted into the Korean Family Court and we will be assigned a judge. The judge will review our paperwork and assign us a court date. Our agency estimates it can take anywhere from 1-4 months to receive a hearing date once we have been submitted to court.
So, to answer to the question everyone is asking: we still have no idea when we will be traveling.
I’m hoping it’s after the first of the year, February – March. I’m praying it’s before his second birthday in April. I’m preparing myself that it could even be next summer.
I would be lying if I said that I’m not still struggling to fully hand this over to God. I’m working on it. I know I need to. I want to. I want His will and the peace that comes with it. I’m fully aware how asinine it is to believe that anything in this process was ever mine to give over but, man, sometimes the heart is slow to let go.
God has been so faithful to us every.single.step of the way thus far. Seriously, between the precious photo book we received from our Foster Family, to the extra photos AND videos we receive monthly, to the way He has calmed us with sweet and specific updates about our son… I most certainly feel spoiled by Him. He has shown us over and over how loved this little boy is.
It’s not easy having a child on the other side of the world. Most days I don’t understand why I can’t GO GET ON A FREAKING PLANE. Other days I am wrecked by the loss that’s coming for him [and the one he’s already experienced]. And then there’s days I just need to talk about him with the random grocery checker, like I would if my pregnant belly were hanging over the counter.
I think that’s why it’s taken me so long to write this update. The brokenness, the bureaucratic red tape, the still empty arms 15 months in… it will get you down if you let it. Will you pray for continued strength in the wait, that we will not let our hearts become overcome with fear or heartache, but that we will rejoice always, pray continually, and give thanks?
Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18