If you’re here reading this you probably already know our very exciting news, we’re adopting from South Korea! I’ve shared bits and pieces of our adoption story with everyone individually but by doing that I realized I’ve been leaving out major milestones and have never gotten the chance to fully explain the process to anyone. We are still in the begining stages but we already feel like we’ve acomplished so much! So before we get any further I thought this would be a good time to start blogging our adoption process and sharing our story so everyone we love (and new friends curious about adoption) can be involved every step of the way! To get started, here’s a few of the questions we’ve been asked a lot! I’ll definitley dive in to these things in more detail soon but I thought this was a good way to kick things off!
Q. Why adoption?
A. Kyle and I have both always known we wanted to adopt and that came up very early on when we were dating. I didn’t think much of it then but looking back it was so amazing that we both felt so strongly about adoption and it was never a question that it was something we wanted to do. We’ve been asked if we’re adopting because we can’t have biological children and the honest answer is we have no idea if we can or can not have biological children! We’ve never tried and we’re totally happy that way. We’ve heard from so many people that the love you feel for a child who is adopted vs. a biological child is no different and that is exactly how we’ve always felt. We know there are a lot of children around the world who are waiting for a forever family and we are so happy we will get to be one of those families.
Q. Why international adoption? There are plenty of children to adopt in the United States.
A. We’ve been on a researching journey for years. For Christmas about 4 years ago Kyle made appointments at information sessions for foster care adoption, several different international adoption agencies, and domestic infant adoption. At that time I was heavily leaning towards foster to adopt but we weren’t quite ready and when we were finally ready we went to another info session on foster to adopt from the county and one from another local agency and they let us know the program had recently changed and it wasn’t a fit for what we were hoping for at that point (plus it required some flexibility that we didnt have the ability to provide with our work schedules). Foster care in California is much more focused on reunification with the birth parents rather than adoption which is fantastic but our hope right now is to adopt. We still are open to being foster parents later in life but the ability for us to adopt was just not there so it ultimately wasn’t a good fit.
Growing up I had always pictured adopting from China and during our first information sessions years ago we got some information that made us feel like it just wouldn’t be possible (they told us it would be an 8 year wait) but after seeing some people on Instagram who didn’t have that wait I began to contact international agencies and found that for many countries the wait was around 2-4 years, including China, something we were totally ok with!
Q. Why South Korea?
A. I was so excited to have international adoption open to us again and I spent a ton of time researching country options. I was pretty committed to China but their program had just gone through changes that left a ton of unknowns and it was unclear what that would look like if we went that direction. One of the women we were talking to asked us if we had checked the waiting child listing for Korea and told us what a great program that was. We began looking in to it and fell in love with the amazing care the kids receive with their foster parents in Seoul and the awesome community of adoptive parents who had children from Korea we were meeting. We continued to do tons of research until one day Korea just felt right. Kyle’s grandmother was from Korea and we just loved that our baby would share that heritage with him.
Q. How long will this take?
A. We started our process officially with our agency in January of 2019 and we anticipate the process taking between 2-3 years but there are sooo many unknowns that are out of our control so we know this is just a guess and it could move slightly faster or slower. We are hoping to have a referral for our baby by the end of 2019 or early 2020 and after that it will be 8-12 months until they come home but we’re trying not to have too many expectations for when everything will happen. We’re just enjoying things as they come!
Q. How old will our baby be when he/she comes home?
A. 2 years old give or take a few months most likely!
Q. What else do we know about our baby?
A. We haven’t been matched with a baby yet so not very much! We’re definitely open to some physical special needs and have specified in particular we’re open to heart issues (after my journey with SVT we’ve become way more comfortable with the heart!) but we have no idea yet what our babies history will be. When we get our referral though we will know their name, age, gender, a detailed medical background, family history, their developmental progress and of course we will get photos and videos! We won’t be able to share photos online though so you’ll get a censored version on here.
Q. Will our baby have a Korean name?
A. They will have a Korean name! We want to keep this important part of our babies story so it will stay in their name somewhere.
Q. How much will this cost?
A. We are anticipating spending between $50,000-$60,000 to bring our baby home. (Although we just got approved for twins and if that happens it will be between $75,000-$85,000). We’re planning on saving, fund raising, and applying for every grant out there! As steep as this cost is when you break it down it all goes necessary places. I hear a lot from people that they think people are just out to profit from international adoption clearly with costs like that but when we learned that raising a baby in Seoul is in line with raising a baby in San Francisco it really helped to visualize where a lot of this money goes. We’re so thankful for their amazing foster family in Seoul who we know will be caring for them so well and that is priceless.
Q. Do we have to travel to South Korea?
A. Yes. The program requires two trips to South Korea and they will be toward the end of the process. We will meet our baby on our first, week-long trip and we will be required to make an appearance in court to meet the judge who will be presiding over the decision of giving us custody. The second trip, about one month later will be for their Visa appointment and we will be able to take custody.
Q. What can we do to help?
A. Pray for our little mystery, whoever they may be, their birth parents, foster family, and we wouldn’t mind some prayers too. We also just hope we will have a loving community here to welcome our baby and support them as they grow up. We will also have some fundraisers coming up soon that we hope you guys can be a part of in any little or big way you can (we have so many fun ideas swirling around right now that it’s hard to pick where to start but we promise we’ll share that soon).
Q. What’s next?
A. We just finished all of our home study visits and are waiting for final approval of our homestudy which we’re hoping for next week! After that we’re able to apply for our I600-A which is the last step before our agency creates our dossier which gets sent to Korea and they will match us with our child! Once our dossier is in Korea it could still be a several month wait before our match though so we’re just over here in California patiently waiting for our little mystery to be the newest addition to the bungalow! We can’t wait to find out who our baby is! It’s hard to believe this is all really happening!