Friday, April 24, 2009

Behind the scenes...

Did you ever wonder what is going on behind the scenes to get our son home? Well, instead of an original post tonight. I thought I would copy part of the Korea Guidebook so you can see what is going on while we wait for "the call".


From the Holt Korea Guidebook:
After we receive the acceptance papers from the family, we Fed-Ex them to Korea. These documents indicate to Holt-Korea that the adoptive family has accepted the child assigned to them.

After Holt-Korea receives the acceptance papers from the adoptive parents and the child’s family registration is in order, the next step is to get government permission for the child to leave Korea for the purpose of being adopted by a family overseas. The Holt-Korea office first applies to the Ministry of Health and Welfare for an Emigration Permit. After the Emigration Permit has been received, Holt-Korea applies to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs for the Travel Certificate. The Travel Certificate is similar to a passport; however, it is good for only a one-way journey out of Korea.

Each child must have a visa physical examination. This can be done any time after Holt-Korea has received the acceptance papers from the adoptive family. It must be done before the Holt-Korea office can apply for the child’s visa at the US Consulate. Children are given their visa exam at the Holt-Korea clinic, but must also be examined by a doctor appointed by the US Embassy.

After the Travel Certificate is issued and the visa physical examination is completed, Holt-Korea can then apply at the US Embassy for a US visa for the child. The Embassy examines and approves the family to adopt based on the I-864. They also check to see that USCIS has issued their approval of a visa (I-600) for this child and family. It usually takes a couple of days for the visa to be issued.

Many parents assume that, when the USCIS issues a visa approval for a child, he/she will be home very shortly. This misconception is common since the USCIS visa approval process is the only part of the process that adoptive parents are involved in. Please note that there are two Korean Ministries and a District office that your child’s paper work must pass through before it reaches the US Embassy. At the US Embassy, visa approval by USCIS is the last item checked. Visa approval by USCIS is the icing for a cake that also has to be mixed, baked and cooled prior to spreading.

When all the child’s papers are in order, he/she is ready to travel! Most children from Korea fly home to their new families by “Holt-Korea Escort.” When the child is ready his/her name is then put on a preflight list. He/she usually leaves the country seven to ten days later.

About a week before the child leaves the country, the actual flight list is made up. Holt-Korea will inform Holt International headquarters in Eugene of the date and time of the child’s flight. A few days before the child’s departure, the child is seen by the Holt-Korea doctor for a pre-flight physical.

On the day of the flight, the foster mother brings the child to the Holt-Korea office three hours before the departure time. The child is seen by the doctor for the last medical checkup. A new outfit of clothes is provided for each child. A wrist band with the child’s name, case number, gender, and date of birth, and the family’s name are put on their wrist. The worker prepares diapers, powdered milk formula, extra clothes and extra bottles for the flight bag for each child.
It is finally time to leave. A circle is made with everyone present: the children, the foster mother, sometimes the foster father, foster siblings, the caretakers, the child’s social worker and the escorts who will take care of the children on the flight. The Holt-Korea staff prays for the children, their caretakers, and their adoptive families.

Then the children are taken by the Holt van from the Holt-Korea office to Seoul’s Incheon Airport accompanied by the escorts and a Holt social worker, leaving behind the foster mother or child care workers who are waving, crying and praying for the children as they leave for their new families in a new country.


So that's all that has to happen before Brandon arrives home! Ha!

Just thought you might like to know!

Saturday, April 18, 2009

Happy 8 month birthday!

Brandon is 8 months old today! How I wish he was here and I could celebrate with him, it is so hard to have this precious little baby, who I already love so much, so far away from me.

Today Patrick and I went to our PIP V class which was pretty much a review of PIP I-IV...except with more families. Nothing too interesting except it gave me a good opportunity to brag about my little man to all the other moms and dads!

So that is all that is going on here, just wanted to keep you all informed!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009


I only have a few minutes but I wanted to just let everyone know that there is progress being made! I got an email from Holt that Brandon has been submitted for his EP (Emigration Permit), woo hoo! Approval takes 3-4 weeks so we should get both his I-600 and EP approvals by mid to late May!!! Please continue to pray that each step of this process goes smoothly and we get our approvals quicker then anticipated!

Monday, April 06, 2009

An award and an update!

I just found out that I got a blog award, thanks Sunny Mom!!!


For this award you are supposed to list 7 random facts about yourself and pass it on to 7 other people. Since I'm not 100% certain 7 of you even have blogs, this should be interesting! :)

1. I am a mother without a child, my daughter Madelyn died in my arms in August of2006 and her death was the HARDEST thing I have ever been through in my life

2. I love my husband so much, he is so amazing! I couldn't have gotten through the past 2.5 years without him

3. I am married to a pastor; God has a sense of humor!

4. I have won $500 and a Wii from contests on the internet

5. Even though I hate writing my feelings down I have a blog

6. I miss living close to home and wish HERE was closer to THERE

7. I was a math major in college and worked as a systems engineer for 8 years until we moved to Nebraska. Now I only work 3 days/week at an insurance agency!

And now to pass on this prestigious award! :) And I do realize that there are only 4 of you but all the rest of my blog followers don't keep blogs! :)

Lauren @ The Holy Lands

Mary & James @ Heart and Seoul

Rach @ In His Hands

LuAnn @ Daily Grace & Mercy

Ok, now onto the update!

I have been a little stressed out because we hadn't heard from USCIS about our fingerprints. I emailed the Omaha USCIS office last night and heard back from someone before noon today. She informed me that our fingerprint date is May 4th! I freaked out a little at this point because that is almost an entire month away. I prayed (a lot) and tried to calm myself down. Well, God always has a way of reminding me that He is in control so not even an hour later I got an updated medical report for Brandon (his 7 month Well Baby Check)!!!!

He is doing really well and is on track, developmentally, for a 7 month old. He is 26.5 inches long and weighs 17 pounds. According to the US height/weight percentiles he is between the 10th and 25th percentiles for both! He's a tiny little guy and so stinking cute! The WBC says that he has 2 bottom teeth erupting and he is shy to strangers! I can't wait to love on him, he is just the most beautiful baby I have ever seen!

We just got the April monthly update from the Holt Korea program and they are moving along matching families in the regular program! As part of the update they defined some of the steps that need to happen before we get the much anticipated travel call so I thought I would share some of them here:

P3-The packet that Holt-Korea submits into the Embassy for the one way travel visa. This packet contains; I-600, I-864, birth/marriage/divorce certificates of adoptive parents, 1040, W2,legal document of child, vaccination certificate, visa physical examination, medical acceptance letter (if needed), photo of child and IR4.

VI-Visa Interview (there is not a actual visa interview with the child)

Visa Physical Exam-this is done once a month by an outside Doctor and is usually done after EP

NVC log-in-National Visa Center has received your approved I-600 from your local USCIS office and has logged into their system

NVC log-out-National Visa Center has sent your approved I-600 to the Embassy is Seoul

EP-Emigration Permit

I600-Holt-Korea does not need your approved I600 until the very last stage of the process (submitting your P3 into the Embassy). Your I600 will only have an effect on your travel time if one, you delay in filling once you receive your Legals, or two, if USCIS needs additional paperwork once you have submitted or if they are back logged therefore it takes them awhile to approve the form.

Whew! I know that's a lot but did you catch the last one???? "Holt-Korea does not need your approved I600 until the very last stage of the process" Praise God that the step I thought was THE ONE we were waiting on is actually not. There are other things taking place at the same time!

Praise God!