I figured I should start off with the news that most everyone is waiting to hear or lack there of. We still wait (mostly patiently) for our court date. We found out this week that the courts are issuing dates into late April and early May this past week. The good news is that we should have a bit more of a lead before having to travel (four to six weeks rather than two to three). The bad news is that we will have an additional few weeks while we wait before we can finally meet our little guy and then finally bring him home.

But you know you had a pretty eventful week when that doesn’t make your top news. This actually began about a week ago when a blog advocating Korean adoption wrote about the courts and a new requirement of additional psychological testing they require for adoptive parents. Obviously, additional requirements were not on our horizon and caused a bit of a panic on our end. A quick note off to the agency and all we could do is wait.

Monday we received a message back from the agency indicating they had heard rumors but nothing was confirmed as of yet. So, we waited a bit more before getting the news we really didn’t want to hear. Our agency relayed that the courts are requiring these additional tests. Julie quickly went to work to find someone to administer these tests and I took a look at the adoption fund to see what this additional cost will do to the budget. Thankfully, God had the funds in the bank already for us, Julie was able to find someone to do the tests, so now all we need to do is wait to make for clearance from our agency before knocking this out.

Yet, as stressful as this is, we understand the reason why the courts are asking for it. Recent events involving a Korean adoptee prompted the courts to review their process. This review led to the new requirements to add another layer to protect other kids in the future. We completely agree that the primary goal is protecting children and making sure they are safe, even if we are saddened that it might delay our adoption. And a huge thanks to Holt International and especially Bethany Christian Services and our adoption team who has walked us through this and put up with our many messages and questions over the past week!

In the midst of all of this, I received a bit of encouragement as well. I am a big pen guy and made it my mission to find a nice pen to sign all the court documents in Korea and then save for our little guy and give to him on his 12th birthday. I did something similar for Lucas on all his birth documents. I was quite particular that the pen come from Korea. I wasn’t sure I would find a pen that was actually made in Korea until a kind soul on the Fountain Pen Network message board offered me a pen from his personal collection as a gift. I was humbled by his generosity and look forward to meeting him and sharing a meal while we are in Seoul.

IMG_20140320_181653_063However, that isn’t even the best part of the week. As we had mentioned in the past, we had hoped to travel in mid to late March so we could celebrate his birthday with him. Well, we didn’t hit that, so we celebrated this past week here by going to the only Korean restaurant here in Des Moines. We had a great time and found a new favorite dish: jiajangmyum. We know that we won’t celebrate every birthday with the little guy with Korean food (we fully anticipate next year his birthday party will probably involve video games and pizza!) but it was a fun treat in an otherwise hectic week. And we added another dish to try when we actually travel to Korea.

Afterwards we stopped at Target to get a couple of things to send to him for his birthday. We felt bad that we missed a present for him on his birthday in hopes that we would be there to give it to him in person, but we hope that he likes the Hot Wheels, Skittles and Captain America t-shirt we sent!

And yet, we’re still not at the most exciting part of the week! Earlier in the week, our case worker mentioned that she had a LARGE file that was sent from Korea that she is downloading but it would take quite awhile. I get to work on Friday and Julie had sent me an email entitled, “I think I’m going to cry.” The agency receive a large update that they are mailing to us with photos and videos, but what grabbed me was a note (translated) from our little guy’s foster mom.

While the note contained some very positive news on his development (he likes to count and Legos!), the most encouraging part is that he not only knows about us, but that he is asking about us and is excited to meet us. His foster mom shares that when he plays with his toys, he says he wants to meet us. When he is eating, he says, “I want to share this food with Luke!” He also says, “dad” when he sees an airplane which his foster mom believes means he wants to get on a plane to come see me (and I suppose all of us, but he mentions me by name so I’m running with the idea that I’m already his favorite!). We’re just so excited that he is looking forward to meeting us!

It’s been a whirlwind week and I realize this is a long blog post. But, even in the bumpiness of the process, we see God working and are grateful for all the blessings of this week. And thank you for joining us along the way. Will you join us in praying over the next several days for:

1) A quick resolution to our testing.

2) A prompt court date.

3) In praising God for how He is preparing us and our little guy for the future.

I leave you with one last picture today. This was Luke’s fortune at the restaurant after his supper the other night. We smiled because this is our prayer for both of our boys and their relationship in the future.