Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Leaving Korea Today

A whirlwind of activities took place while I was in Korea for a week. I will post the pictures of my travel to Korea later (some I have already shared through FB). I am leaving today to go back to the US.
But the most important news for all the waiting adoptive families is that on May 31st, the judges at the family court will start the processes for the intercountry adoption.  While I don’t have a clear number, approximately 15 or so families are scheduled to stand before the judges to interview and get rulings on their adoptions.  From then the 14 day waiting period begins, and all the families that are affected by this have been notified and they are making travel arrangements.  After May 31st, there will be other groups, but this information I do not have much yet.
As for my trip to Korea, I took a part in the National Adoption Day celebration on May 10th, the Emmanuel Orphanage Adoption Festival on May 11th (one of very few orphanages that send away children to be adopted), MPAK’s Kwachon City Adoption Festival on May 14th, the MPAK leadership meeting on May 14th, and an interview with a newspaper, and more meetings here and there.  It has been a very busy week, and I will post some pictures when I settle back in LA.
On another point, I took down the posting on the quota related article, and felt that the posting was counter-productive to many waiting families.  For instance, after the posting, the adoption agencies were all inundated with many phone calls by waiting families asking whether they will be a part of the quota or not.  What made it more difficult was that the information I shared on the posting did not even get to all the agencies by the time I posted it, and they were surprised by it.  So I am walking a delicate line of balancing and figuring out what information should be released and when to release them.  While the information may be good for many, but it can also bring more worries against the waiting families.


  1. Thank you for the update Steve! We were excited to hear last week that all families through our agency who were expecting an EP in 2012 now have a court date! We're just glad to see progress!

    Any word on whether these families were planning on making 2 trips, or were they planning to stay in Korea for the entire 3-4 weeks?

    Also, do you know if us parents get to meet our waiting child before the court date? I'm curious to hear more about the specifics of the process.

    Thank you again for all of your time and effort!

    1. I think it would be up to the families whether they wish to make two trips or stay there the whole time. And yes, you do get to meet your child before the court date. I imagine that this would be possible a day or two later at your agency. The agency will work with you to coordiate all the travel and the accommodations. Each agency seems to have their own guest house type of lodging at reasonable price, but this is sometimes conflicted by visiting motherland tour groups, etc. But the agency should be able to provide information on other forms of accommodations through hotels.

    2. Jenna,

      I have a court date on June 13th and my wife and I going a week early to take a picture with our son. That picture has to be processed and sent to court for our date. We were told that there is a 14 day reconsideration period. It is up to us whether we stay for an additional 2 weeks or come back and forth (with an additional airfare cost) to US. We are leaving and coming back again. We've already booked our tickets to Korea.

      The agency we are working with (Eastern) isn't doing a darn thing about accommodations or airfare. That was left up to us. I had to book it on Orbitz or Hotwire. We are thinking of spending in excess of $20,000 in addition to the costs already incurred.

    3. James- so wonderful you are bringing home your child. It's best to think of positives in this. What an amazing opportunity you will have to visit for two trips to Korea! One day you can share how amazing that was with your child! Safe travels!

    4. Thanks for the info James! Our child is with Eastern as well! I haven't even started crunching numbers on hotels versus paying for 2 trips, but I'm thinking we'll have to make 2 trips just because of my husband's inability to take 3-4 weeks of leave all together. I have heard that Eastern has guest rooms for a reasonable price, but not sure on the details..?

      So you go a week early, meet your son and take a picture and that takes a week to get to the court? Is that for the visa to be processed or something? I'd love to hear the details of your trip as they unfold! Safe travels!

      Were you in the 2011 group expecting to leave in 2012?

  2. It sounds like you had a productive trip. Looking forward to hearing more next weekend. Thanks as always for your tireless efforts!

  3. James,
    You're lucky to finally be bring home your child! Congratulations & I hope the Court process goes smoothly for you.

  4. James,
    I was at Eastern last week and the person in charge of ICA told me that they will help the parents in finding the accommodations. You might want to check on them. Best wishes as you will be very close to bringing your child home. Congratulations!