Last week we signed acceptance paperwork for our son in Korea. That paperwork is now on its way to Korea! Hooray! This means that I can finally post pictures of him publicly, and it means we are officially waiting for Emmigration Permission (EP). Before I tell you about that, I want to introduce you to my son, Benjamin JoonSeok.
This is the most recent picture that we have; we got it in January. He will be 3 in September. He has lived with one foster family since he was a month old, which means he is very attached to them. That’s good, in terms of his potential to form attachment to us; that’s bad in terms of how difficult it will be for him to leave that family when the time comes.
So, EP. The Korean government gives a certain number of EPs to each of the 4 agencies in Korea. Last year, our agency (Eastern Social Welfare Society) ran out pretty early in the year. That meant that everyone who was approved and ready to get their baby last year had to wait until January for the process to start up again. The families who are traveling now have been waiting since last summer. So, we are approved now but we are in line behind all of those people who have been waiting since then. Right now, the estimated wait for EP is 8-12 months, which means Ben could come home by Christmas, but realistically may not make it here until February of next year.
Please pray with us that the Korean government will give more EPs to Eastern, and that the process will move more quickly than expected. So many families are waiting for their babies. Every day, Ben is more attached to his foster family, learning more Korean, growing up in so many ways. This is true for all the babies, but for a toddler I think it is even more important…think about how much toddlers learn every day! Think about how your 3 year old would react if he/she were taken out of your care, out of this country, and placed with strangers across the world. Even if those strangers were well-meaning and loving. We all have quite a journey ahead of us. We appreciate your prayers.
And isn’t he just the cutest?!?