by Matt Bell 1 Lives Impacted Seoul, South Korea
We have big news!....with a twist! If you've been following our adoption story since the beginning, you may remember that we started out in the "op...
We have big news!....with a twist! If you've been following our adoption story since the beginning, you may remember that we started out in the "open options" country program with our agency. We didn't feel a strong call toward a specific country, and this would allow us to begin the process without needing to choose a country. If a child were to come available in any of our agency's country programs that matched well with our family, we could receive a referral. When the time came to do our home study, we needed to choose a country, because different countries have different specifications and requirements for the home study. After looking at the children's genders, ages and needs the different countries tended to have, we felt that China was the best fit for our family. We have requested a little girl, under the age of 3. We knew that China would mean a bit of a wait, because both parents have to be 30. This meant that we would be able to send our dossier to China after May 5 and then begin the wait for a referral of a child. At this point, we have completed the requirements for our home study and our social worker and agency have been putting the final touches on it.
On Wednesday, January 4, I received a phone call from our *amazing* home study social worker. I assumed she was updating me on the status of our home study. We had the typical "how was your Christmas?" small talk that you're supposed to have when you speak within a couple weeks after Christmas, and then.... She asked me if we would be open to viewing a file of a little girl from Korea!!!! Major shock! Let me back up a bit and explain something about Korea. The files that the U.S. receives from Korea are 95% boys; therefore, Korea does not allow prospective adoptive parents to specify "girl." This was one of the reasons we went with China. So, this was huge! Meanwhile, Matthew was driving a church van back from Atlanta, GA. After a series of phone calls back and forth with Matthew and Crystal, I let her know that we had decided we would view the file, then that we were serious enough about the file to view pictures and videos!! After praying and researching for a couple days, we officially told our agency on Friday, January 6, that we would like to move forward! I cannot describe the feeling to you of going from thinking we have at least another 5 months before we know who our new daughter will be, wondering where she is right now, how old she is, and what she looks like, to knowing! We've seen her precious face and heard her sweet voice. She will be 1 on February 1 - 3 days before her big brother turns 4! Because we chose "girl," we could not choose Korea, but God gave Korea to us! Sweet Baby E, you are Loved, you are Chosen, and we cannot wait to Adopt you into our family - your forever family - and to introduce you to our Heavenly Father, who loves, chooses and adopts us!
Another difference with Korea, and something we were encouraged to consider before even viewing her file, is that the bulk of the money is due up front - upon submission of emigration permission to the Korean government- which will happen in around 30-45 days. It's a God-sized amount, but we believe He is in control! He has chosen this child for us and He will provide the funds! If you feel He wants to use you to help bring her home, this giving platform will allow your donation to be tax deductible. We are also going into full swing with grant writing. There are many adoption grants available, but they typically take several weeks to months to come in. We foresee these helping with the later expenses, including the 2 separate trips we will make to Korea, of 5-7 days each. The first will be for court, and we'll get to meet our daughter!! Then, we'll have to come back home without her. They'll let us know when it's time, and we'll go back for another 5-7 days to bring her home!