WE MADE IT: EP Submission!

“I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.
Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”  Psalm 27: 13-14

I keep trying to write this post, but I am so overwhelmed with gratitude that I just keep stopping to pray “Thank you, thank you, thank you.”

We heard from our agency this morning that our Emigration Permission (EP.  I keep calling it exit permit because that makes more sense in my brain) was submitted to the Korean government.  This is what we have been praying for since we saw Sam’s sweet little face for the very first time on March 16th.

The mountains were moved.

We originally thought we would be matched with a child in June.  We requested a little girl’s file in March, but her file was already being reviewed by another family.  Our agency then told us they had another file they were about to list on the website, but offered to let us review it first if we were interested.  We were able to have Sam’s file reviewed by a pediatrician that specializes in international adoption and who has adopted from South Korea two decades ago.  He answered all of our questions, and we made a call to our agency as soon as we left letting them know we wanted to adopt him.  A week later, we overnight-ed the paperwork that officially matched us with Sam on March 30th.

Our home study was delayed, but our agency turned it around for revisions lightning fast. We were “Accepted to Korea” (ARK) in early April. Mountain moved.

Our biometrics appointment was scheduled for the first week of May, but we went early and they took us as walk-ins.  Mountain moved.

Our agency expected our i600a approval to come through in mid-June.  We had it in our hands by May 21st.  Mountain moved.

Based on previous timelines, we expected the EP submission batch to move forward in mid-May.  It didn’t happen until today.  Mountain moved.

We didn’t even think we’d know our child’s name by now.  But by the grace of God, we know his name and his face and we are now halfway through the process to bring him home.

Thank you for each and every prayer sent up for us and our boy.  We feel all of them.  God has been so present with us through this entire thing.  He is so faithful, so good.  So worthy of our trust and worship.

So what’s next?

It generally takes 2 – 3 months for this submission to be approved.  After we are approved, our case will be submitted to court within about a week.  Then we wait to be assigned to a judge and for that judge to assign us a court date.  This process takes 2 – 4 months.

Long story short, we are hoping travel to Seoul to meet Sam by the end of 2018.  We are feeling really optimistic about bringing him home in early 2019.

Nothing is set in stone.  The timeline could go crazy over the next 5 – 6 months.  But looking at data over the last few years, everything is looking really positive for that early 2019 custody day!

What are we praying for?

  • That the judge find ours case an easy YES.  That everything is in order on the first try.
  • That we are able to use airline points to travel.  Travel is often more expensive during the holiday season.  We have been accumulating a lot of airline miles in hopes of easing the financial side of this process.  But we don’t know if we’ll be able to use them during that time of year and/or with the last minute nature of travel.
  • That our baby boy has a wonderful first birthday next month!  We are shipping out a gift to him this afternoon, and I’m hoping his foster mom takes lots and lots of pictures for us!
  • That God continues to protect Sam and guide us through this process.  He has shown us incredible grace and favor every step of the way.  We feel humbled and grateful, and we prayerfully ask that it continues as we press on toward bringing Sam home.
  • That God prepares our kids for this big transition for our family
  • That God comforts Sam’s birth mother and foster mother as they learn more about us.  That God will particularly give Sam’s birth mother total peace about her decision and that we will be able to find her (via Korea’s records) and rekindle that relationship when Sam is older.

I am still overwhelmed and in awe.  I just want to sit and be in awe of God today.  This has been a dream.  Our agency sent an email with this parting line, ” In the meantime, I suggest you do some internet research on traveling to Seoul!”

This is real.  This is happening.  We are coming for you, Sam.  We are so ready to meet our little boy!

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