Sorry I haven't posted a single thing since we announced our referral!! We have been crazy busy trying to get our acceptance packet in, and making sure we understand the process from here on out. The acceptance packet has been completed, turned in, and sent to Korea!! A second packet of information on our tax returns for the last few years has also been sent and received, and forwarded to Korea. The acceptance packet took a few days to complete, and it took a meeting with our social worker to figure it all out! All of it had to be notarized, and all copies of all documents had to be originals with original signatures. No cross-outs, no white-outs, no mistakes or you start over!! No pressure! I was determined to get them right the first time, and get them right ON time, so I didn't delay our part of the process in getting Emma home! We have also finally decided that we are going to travel to pick her up when it is time, as searching for a volunteer to escort her home may take up to an extra MONTH!!  No way are we waiting an extra month when we could be on a plane to get her!

So what are we waiting on NOW?? Well, the next official step in the chain of steps is to receive Emma's "legals" (her Korean birth certificate) in the mail. Once we receive these, we make copies, and a copy goes with a packet (another one!) of forms and documents to US immigration to apply for Emma's visa to come into the US and live until her citizenship is granted. Legals usually come around one month after your referral, and once immigration receives the packet with the legals, it is about another 30-45 days before her approval is sent to the National Visa Center (NVC), where her visa is issued. This sending of the approval to NVC  is the step known as "NVC In", and when her visa is sent to Korea this is "NVC Out". NVC In and NVC Out are usually a day or so apart from each other. That part happens very quickly. Her visa approval and issuance is sent to Korea, where lots of things have been happening separately from what happens here. In Korea, after legals are sent to the parents, the child is submitted for an Emigration Permit (EP). EP is extremely important and right now extremely controversial. EP is the child's permission to LEAVE Korea. From submission for EP to approval of EP takes about 6-8 weeks right now. Korea only has so many EP's to give out per year, and in 2009 they ran out. So January and February of 2010 were spent catching up on families waiting from last year. They are finally starting to get back in the groove so to speak and are submitting children relatively on time again. For now. I pray that Emma will be submitted for EP soon, and approved soon also. Once a child has EP, she can appear at the US Embassy, have her picture taken for her passport, and prepare for her Visa Interview (VI). I'm honestly not sure what takes place at the VI, but I know that it occurs USUALLY a few days before or after your Travel Call!!! The Travel Call is your call to get on a plane and come get your baby! So, these are the things that have to happen before Emma Grace can come home. It's a lot of things. It scares me that it won't all happen correctly. It scares me that all of it is out of my control. But I know that she WILL come home. Eventually.

In other news relating to Emma Grace, we received a surprise in the mail yesterday!!! We got a copy of her most recent visit to the pediatrician for her Well-Baby Check! She is rolling over, holding her hands together, sucking on her hand, laughing, cooing, and bearing some weight on her legs! She is on track developmentally, and she is a whopping 18.5 pounds at 5 months old!!!! A chunky monkey! Heaven knows how big she will be when we finally get her!! We are still waiting on updated pictures, since we know she has changed a lot since her first picture at 2 weeks of age. I know she is beautiful though. I think I have posted quite enough for tonight!! Prayers for us and for Emma while we wait to meet her in Korea!!!

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