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Oct 16, 2006

Comments

Erin

I'm sorry you're feeling so hopeless about this process. It's really hard to have had all the control about "planning" a family taken away through infertility, then to have absolutely no control over the "planning" a family through adoption. I hope the Korea process speeds up soon.

Donna

Damn. I bet you wish your blog title wasn't quite so right on the money, right? Sad, helpless, frustrated...these aren't supposed to be the things prospective parents are feeling. I'm sorry this whole process has brought you to this place. One day it will all be worth it and we'll all sit around and laugh about it. Than again, maybe we won't. In the meantime, keep planning vacations and starting up new hobbies, you'll need those things when you have kids too.

Donnie

I'm sure you've done a lot of research, so I know I run the risk of sounding like an idiot, but have you looked at the Family Medical Leave Act? It guarantees 12 weeks of leave and your employer must keep your job for you.

Through the FMLA you can apply for federal compensation, which (I've heard), is about 60% of your regular pay.

If you work for a school or for a small business, the FMLA may not apply, but just about everyone else has to comply.

And adoption is completely included.
Good luck,
-D.

art-sweet

Oh man, this sucks.

I'm sorry Korea is taking so long.

And I'm sorry your company sucks big hairy donkey balls.

Is there any way to do domestic on the down low (different agency) and pull out of korea if you wind up with more kid than you can handle?

Lut C.

You're way ahead of me, so I have no words of wisdom for you. I'm thinking of you.

Stephanie

Yes, everyone gets the FMLA but it is unpaid. We don't even get the measley few hundred bucks of disability that moms giving birth would get. I've been asking for at least that and get laughed out the door. Totally not fair. Hang in there. The waiting totally sucks. I say plan your life, and when the referral comes up it comes up. I agree with you on the age thing too, I wish we had started this crap earlier, but who the freak knew??

Tiffanni

I am sorry things are getting so frustrating. It's such a difficult journey. Keep your head up, girl.

k #2

How absolutely frustrating to have a company that doesn't support your adoption plans. It doesn't seem right.

millie

One of the reasons we're leaning towards domestic adoption is that we feel (probably wrongly but whatever) like there's at least stuff we can do to try to increase our odds. One of the hardest things about all of this is the utter lack of control. That just sucks.

I think there are many adoption-friendly companies around here that would give their eye-teeth to have you.

I say let's go drinking soon.

Jill

thank you...

we are also waiting and frustrated.

you are fortunate - you and your husband are in love - that will help to sustain you.

Simone

You two are beautiful.
So lucky to have such a friendship, talking like a team.

Amy

I don't want to sound unsupportive but in terms of the disability pay given to mothers following delivery is due to a medical condition - same as if you had a qualifying surgery that left you medically unable to work. Disability is completely different from FMLA it just so happens to be applicable at the same time FMLA is when a child is born/placed for adoption.

I think it is an awesome benefit that FMLA even exists...really, employers never had to even let adoptive parents bond with their children. At least now we have that.

Have you considered looking at another agency for Korean adoption? I know that Eastern is still referring children out of Korea but I'm not sure what the changes in 2007 will bring for any/all of the agencies there.

Hang in there...the wait is hard...relinquishng control to the system is horribly hard. But it will happen...

Lady Hairshirt

This really sucks. I'm so sorry.

Roberta Rosenberg

The recent news about changes in the Korean adoption program plus the usual slowdown this time of year (yes, traditionally Oct-Dec things slow down in the process due to travel quotas and a bunch of other stuff.) make it easy to feel helpless and hopeless.

Try not to despair. Your company merely sucks, it's not a sign of anything more.

And on age? Well, I always imagined I have my 2 requisite kids between 30 and 35. Since I divorced my 1st husband at 33 and married my second at 35, I was already way off schedule. A few miscarriages and then my daughter was born when I was 37. A whole bunch more miscarriages and we adopted our son when I turned 42, and our youngest daughter at 44.

And I'm happy to report that while I think I'm the oldest mom of a second grader in the whole school, I'm not the oldest mom of a 4th grader in the same school.

I try not to think of the grandma thing too much :=)

One thing I learned about the adoption process, as others have stated, is that I can't control the whole damn universe, as much as I would like to. It's a lesson I'm still learning.

erinberry

My company turned down my proposal too... I put together a letter and packet of information, but obviously they weren't swayed. And this is a Fortune 100 company.

Truly Tested

I am really impressed with how supportive you both are of each other. That is going to get you through these tough times.

If we could control time, we'd be better off in this case, but as they say, worrying or fretting about that which we can't control doesn't get us anywhere.

thanks for sharing that IM exchange

Amyesq

UGH! I could have had almost the exact same exchange with my hubby! And we started trying at 30! Like you probavbly, most of my friends my age are freaking DONE having kids. SO feeling your frustration. And also waiting for the day adoption benefits are mandatory in CA. Hey, let's sue! You know, since we have nothing else going on right now in those halycon days we must enjoy BEFORE KIDS. Blech blech blech.

The comments to this entry are closed.

Adoption To-Do's

  • 

    Total Expenses So Far: $21,531

    Select country (Korea) (11/14/05)

    Select agency (11/17/05)

    Tell our families

    Receive preliminary application

    Preliminary App filed (12/5/05):

    • Fill in application
    • Photo of us, photo of house
    • Write medical statement, elaborating on treatment for depression
    • Line up four non-relative references
    • One copy of tax returns from past three years
    • Pay $200 fee
    • Notarized adoption services agreement $10
    • Fedex to Agency $15

    Receive Big App (12/15/05)

    Receive Korea Adoption Guidebook

    Home Study Paperwork: (1/19/06)

    • S: Complete "Personal Data" form with 67 essay questions
    • S: 1 photocopy birth certificate
    • S: Complete Authorization of Release of Information - Employer Verification
    • S: Criminal Record Statement
    • S: LiveScan fingerprint form (for State of California: criminal and child abuse index)
    • S: Schedule LiveScan fingerprinting appointments
    • S: LiveScan fingerprints done, pay $65
    • S: Medical Exam, including HIV and TB tests
    • S: Medical Report filled out by doctor
    • T: Complete 51 essay question "Personal Data" form
    • T: 1 photocopy birth certificate
    • T: Complete Authorization of Release of Information - Employer Verification
    • T: Criminal Record Statement
    • T: LiveScan fingerprint form (for State of California: criminal and child abuse index)
    • T: Schedule LiveScan fingerprinting appointments
    • T: LiveScan fingerprints done, pay $65
    • T: Medical Exam, including HIV and TB tests
    • T: Medical Report filled out by doctor
    • Complete detailed Financial Statement
    • 1 photocopy marriage license
    • Photo of baby's room
    • Map & directions to home
    • Copy all, keep for records
    • FedEx packet to agency, $15 (1/12/06)
    All 4 non-relative references return 3-page, 10-essay questionnaires directly to agency (1/28/06)

    Home Study Part 2: (4/3/2006)

    • Receive & pay invoice for home study $3066 (2/1/06)
    • Schedule social worker visits (2/10/06)
    • Childproof house (smoke detectors, fire extinguishers, outlet covers) $40
    • Social worker visit #1 (joint) (2/21/06)
    • Acceptable Medical Conditions Form (2/27/06)
    • From that details how "open" an adoption we are willing to consider  (2/27/06)
    • Social worker visit #2 (S only) (2/28/06)
    • Social worker visit #3 (T only) (2/28/06)
    • Sign up for module 1 & 2 of parenting class
    • Book travel for parenting class in Southern California
    • Modules 1 & 2 of agency parenting class (in SoCal) $500 (1/21/06)
    • Receive 2 completed, certified, notarized copies of Home Study (4/3/2006)

    Agency sends Home Study to Korea (HSTK) (4/7/2006)

    Sign up for modules 3 & 4 of agency parenting class

    Take modules 3 & 4 of agency parenting class (4/9/06)

    I-600A filed with US-CIS (Advanced Processing of Orphan Petition for Visa) (4/6/2006):

    • I-600A form
    • Copy certified Home Study
    • S: Photocopy of birth certificate
    • T: Photocopy of birth certificate
    • Photocopy of marriage license
    • Copy of most recent federal tax return
    • Proof of medical insurance
    • $545 fee + $140 for FBI fingerprints = $685
    • Cover letter
    • Copy all for records
    • Mail to US-CIS San Francisco

    FBI Fingerprinting:

    • US-CIS acknowledges receipt of I-600A (4/12/06)
    • FBI Fingerprinting appt. scheduled (different than LiveScan fingerprints)
    • FBI Fingerprinting completed, for each (4/28/06)

    Receive I-171H (Approval of I-600A) (5/11/06)

    Pick baby name

    Arrange for medical evaluation of referral

    Receive Referral (12/29/06)

    • Child's presentation letter
    • Child's information
    • Photographs
    • Medical records
    • Confidential background information

    Medical evaluation of Referral by Oakland Children's Hospital (1/10/2007)

    File Referral Acceptance Paperwork: ($140 + $12) (1/6/2007)

    • Child Information Transmittal
    • Pay invoice for $17,500
    • 3 Placement Agreements - all notarized
    • T: 4 Statements of Adoption (for child's Korean passport) - all notarized
    • 3 Travel Option forms
    • 1 Foreign Travel Release - notarized
    • T: 2 Affidavit re INS Vaccination Requirements
    • T: 2 I-864 Affidavit of Support for Immigration
    • S: 2 I-864A Contract between Sponsor and Household Member
    • Copy of entire last year tax return, with ALL attachments
    • Copy of all last year W-2 and 1099 forms
    • T: Photocopy of birth certificate (again)
    • S: Photocopy of birth certificate (again)
    • T: Copy of 2006 paystubs
    • S: Copy of 2006 paystubs
    • Photocopy of marriage license (again)
    • Photocopy everything for records
    • FedEx to agency (1/6/2007)

    Receive child's "legals" from Korea (in English & Korean): (1/22/2007)

    • Affirmation and Oath Certificate (attests these documents are true and correct)
    • Certificate of the Guardian (certifies Korean agency was guardian)
    • Statement of Guardianship (transfers guardianship from Korean agency to American agency)
    • Extract of Family Register (birth certificate equivalent)

    I-600 visa petition form filed w/ US-CIS: (1/25/2007)

    • I-600 form
    • Copy of I-171H
    • Copies of child's legals
    • Originals of child's legals, with note and SASE envelope requesting they be returned
    • Copy of child report
    • Copy of child photos
    • Copy of most recent 1040 tax form
    • Copy of I-864
    • Copy of I-864A
    • Letter with visa cable instructions
    • Fedex to US-CIS San Francisco $25

    Meanwhile, the Korean agency works away:

    • Our application is translated
    • Korean agency applies for Emigration Permit with Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare
    • Ministry approves Emigration Permit (aka "EP")
    • Agency gets I-171 (I-600 approval) cable from US Embassy in Seoul
    • Baby tested for Hepatitis B & HIV
    • Visa physical for baby
    • Submit application for baby's IR-4 Visa

    Resubmit our I-600 visa petition after US-CIS screws up (2/9/2007)

    Buy baby gear (3/17/07)

    Baby CPR & safety class (2/17/07)

    Line up a regular pediatrician (3/5/07)

    Line up a pediatric cardiologist (3/14/07)

    Investigate childcare options (3/17/07)

    Line up Daycare (5/25/07)

    Get on preschool waiting list (1/5/07)

    Setup nursery(3/19/07)

    Get life insurance for both

    Write wills with statements of guardianship wishes (both)

    Set up trust

    S: Get pre-approval family leave with HR (1/24/2007)

    Buy gifts for foster family, Korean agency staff (3/16/07)

    Make travel arrangements to Korea ($185 plus 240,000 frequent flyer miles) (3/13/07)

    Wrap-up job for a 15-week leave (3/12/07-3/16/07)

    Finalize leave plans with HR (3/15/07)

    Travel to Korea (3/19/07 - 3/25/07)

    • Meet both foster mothers (3/21/07, 3/22/07, 3/23/07)
    • In-Korea pre-flight medical exam (3/22/07)
    • Go to US Embassy in Seoul to process Class-B Waiver (acceptance of medical condition) 3/22/07
    • Get the final Visa paperwork (3/22/07)
    • Take custody of child! (3/23/07)
    • Long plane ride back to USA (3/25/07)

    USA Medical Evaluations

    • Add baby to my health insurance (3/28/07)
    • Evaluation by regular pediatrician (3/30/07)
    • US immunizations (3/30/07)
    • Evaluation by pediatric cardiologist (4/18/07)
    Receive Placement Confirmation Notice from Agency (3/28/06)

    Receive baby's Green Card in mail (4/16/07)

    Get social security number under baby's Korean Name as permanent resident (4/27/07)

    Receive post-placement packet in mail from Agency(4/15/07)

    Post-placement visits from social worker: (9/12/07)

    • Visit #1 (4/28/07)
    • Visit #2 (6/30/07)
    • Visit #3 (7/26/07)
    • Visit #4 (9/12/07)

    Create and file child "progress reports" with 8-18 photos each, for Korean agency and government, and a letter with photos for foster family (9/12/07)

    • 1-month progress report (4/28/07)
    • 3-month progress report (6/30/07)
    • 4-month progress report (7/26/07)
    • 6-month progress report (9/12/07)

    File US Physician's Examination Report with Agency (4/17/07)

    File Adoption Finalization Paperwork in our county in California (5/1/07) ($20)

    • Form ADOPT-200 (Adoption Request) (5/1/07)
    • Form ADOPT-210 (Adoption Agreement) (5/1/07)
    • Form ADOPT-215 (Adoption Order) (5/1/07)
    • Form ADOPT-230 (Adoption Expenses) (5/1/07)

    RE-File Finalization Paperwork the State changed in July '07 (ARGH!) (11/13/07)

    • Form ADOPT-210 (Adoption Agreement) (11/13/07)
    • Form ADOPT-215 (Adoption Order) (11/3/07)

    Finalize Adoption in County Court

    • Receive "Consent to Adoption" from agency (11/2/07)
    • Schedule court hearing (coming in December '07!)
    • Adoption finalization court hearing (Munchkin is now a US citizen, and his American name is now his legal name!)
    • Have a HUGE Party to celebrate!
    • Send agency/Korea copy of child's adoption decree (child is no longer considered a Korean citizen)
    • Send adoption announcements

    Secure proof of US citizenship for child:

    • Complete & file N-600 with US-CIS, pay fee
    • Receive Certificate of Citizenship
    • File passport application
    • Receive passport
    • Apply to SSA to get status changed from resident alien to citizen, SS# name changed (passport is proof)

    Start the process all over again for kid #2!