So, were about 10 weeks into our adoption, and our "timeframe" is more ambiguous than ever. The question everyone wants so know is, "When will you get her?" In short, we have no idea. We should have a better idea towards the end of August or beginning of September, but until then we are in limbo. Here's what's happened. Korea only allows a certain number of children to be adopted internationally. This number is automatically decreased every year because there is great political pressure to end international adoption. Because of this pressure, the government decreases the number based on whatever percentage they need to reduce international adoption for that year, not based on the number of children in foster care.
So what happens is each agency receives a limited number of Emigration Permits every year, and every year they receive less and less. (An Emigration Permit, or an EP, is the document issued by the government allowing children to leave the country for adoption) What's sad is that the agencies have more children in care than they do Emigration Permits. So this means each year they get further and further behind in placing their children in homes. Why is this happening? Because international adoption is a hot topic in Korea and politically it looks good to be able to report to the general public that "Yes, we have reduced international but such and such %, and we intend to end international adoptions by this date." The fact that is being overlooked is that the problem of orphaned children is still there, but now the problem is being hidden behind charts that show artificial numbers of reduced international adoptions. What is not widely publicized is that the number of Korean children in foster care is steadily growing every year because the government will not allow them to be adopted internationally and Koreans in general have long standing, cultural biases against adopting (This attitude is slowly changing, but not fast enough to find homes for all who need them)
So, what does this mean for us? Our agency is behind in issuing EPs as is every agency. They only got through August or September 2010 last year, so when 2011 began they started 4-5 months behind. We are now in June and they have started to run low on EPs. They have issued them for most of the people who had February 2011 referrals, but NO EPs are being submitted or approved by the Korean government at all this month (The government gave no reason for the sudden halt) This is very worrisome as it most likely indicates they re running very low. There is general speculation that if we are not submitted for our EP in July, we may not be submitted at this year as there will be none left to give. This may or may not transpire, all we know is we may or may not make the cut this year. If we do, we could travel to Korea in the fall, but if not, we won't travel till February or March of 2012. That would make our little Avery about 18 months old when we get her. I have never heard of anyone having a year wait from referral to travel with our agency, (Other agencies yes, but not ours) but it is a very real possibility for us right now.
Anyway, I am refusing to do much speculation right now, as it will do nothing but breed frustration and anger. I will not allow this to steal my peace or pervade my mood. I even waited a day before posting this so I would be less emotional and be able to process it all. I am not going to be derailed by circumstances, and I will not allow the time I do have with my kids to be ruined or stolen by an adoption setback. Avery is in Gods hands and there is no better place for her. I want her home, but I'm content with where God has me and my biggest longing is to know Him more. I would love my baby girl NOW, but until then, I will rest in His hands.