We are happy to report that our home study is complete, our initial immigration application has been submitted, and our first round of paperwork is on it’s way to South Korea! These last few months have been busy with social worker visits and paperwork, but we are finally in the stage where we are waiting for a referral. Due to COVID-19, the process is moving more slowly, but it’s a relief to finally have completed these major milestones.
Home Study: Complete
If you are familiar with adoption at all, you probably have heard the term “home study.” A home study is a report written by a social worker that verifies our home is suitable for adopting another child. This seems simple enough, but depending on the type of adoption can be extremely complex and time consuming. For Korea, we needed background checks, fingerprinting, psychological evaluations, adoption training, multiple social worker visits to our home, interviews, personal profiles, and more. We have been working on all this since last fall – Korea requires a bit more from the home study than Nigeria did, and we had some delays due to COVID, so it is nice to have complete.
Pre-Dossier Paperwork: Complete
The “dossier” required in international adoptions varies greatly from country to country, and thankfully, Korea is quite simple compared to Nigeria. For Olivia’s adoption, we had a huge stack of paperwork that we had to send over initially and keep updated throughout the process. For Korea, the list was much shorter and did not require nearly as much time. This paperwork, including the home study, has been sent to Korea to assist them in matching us with a child that will be a good fit for our family. We have been told to expect a wait time of 5-8 months for a referral and an additional year before we travel – this is significantly longer than the timeframe estimate prior to COVID. Despite our joy in submitting this paperwork, this news of the slow down was definitely a downer for us.
The I-600A is an application through U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) that allows for “advanced processing” of our adoption. This simply means that they can start the process of verifying our eligibility to adopt, reviewing our home study, more background checks, fingerprinting, and starting a file for us rather than waiting to do everything when our child is identified and ready to be adopted. We will file the I-600 near the end of the process, which actually will give approval from USCIS for us to adopt our specific child. The I-600A/I-600 part of the process is the same as it was for Nigeria, so it brought back memories of Olivia’s adoption. This initial approval is likely about 90 days out, delayed a bit again due to COVID.
While we are extremely excited to get through these steps in the process, the news of delays is disheartening to us. We strongly desire to bring home our second child soon, so we would love prayer for patience and peace in the Lord’s timing. You would think we would have learned patience over the last few years! 🙂
Please also pray that our paperwork would find favor in Korea and the wait would be shorter than we think, and that the wait between accepting a referral and traveling would be shorter than expected as well.
Thank you all so much for your love and support. We cannot express how much it means to us.
Markus, Sarah, & Olivia