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!

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