I talked to the lady handling our adoption at our adoption agency today and I got some information that I thought I'd update you on.
Right now we're #8 in line with our agency. What that means is that there are seven families ahead of us, but that doesn't necessarily mean that those seven families have to be matched with a baby before it's our turn. When a baby is ready for adoption, they look at the profile of family #1 first and if their profile doesn't match the baby's situation then they look at family #2 and so on until they feel that they have the best family for the baby. For instance if family #1 has requested a girl and the next baby available is a boy, they'll skip the first family and look at the second family. Sometimes the birth mother requests a family of a certain religion or sometimes the baby has a health issue that needs to be matched up with a family able to handle it, etc. So it doesn't necessarily mean that we're 8 babies away from being matched.
But what that DOES mean is that we're getting closer!! Our agency gets an average of two referrals from Korea a month. Sometimes as many as five and some months none. The bad news is that January and February are their notorious slow months and that's right when we're going to be close to the top of the list. So I'm betting that we won't hear anything until March. Maybe sooner, but I'm trying not to get my hopes up. It's still sooner than we originally thought it would be, so I'm happy. :)
The other thing I'm really excited about is that I think there's a bigger chance that we're going to take the leap and actually travel to Korea!!! One of the things holding us back was the cost. This adoption is costing us an absolute fortune and we just weren't sure that we were going to be able to pay the extra cost to travel. But when I was talking to the agency today she said that it's actually not that much more to travel than it is to have Clarissa escorted to the US!
It will cost us about $2,500 if we have Clarissa escorted. That covers the airfare for Clarissa and the escort and whatever other fees they deem necessary. If we fly it will probably cost us about $2,500 total for airfare for Shawn and I (we won't be taking the boys), and then all that's left is food and lodging. We only have to go for three days and there is a guest house at the Korean adoption agency that we can stay in for $28 a night as long as it's not being used, which is SUPER cheap, and then food prices are about the same as they are here.
So it will cost a little more for us to travel than to escort, but not so much more that it's out of our price range or anything. It's still totally doable! The more we talked about it the more it seemed like the way to go. Plus she said that escorting takes longer than travelling to pick up the baby. If we travel we can go as soon as all the paperwork is complete. If we escort we have to wait for them to find someone to escort her, which can take anytime from a week to a month to arrange! I think by the time the paperwork is done and she's free to leave Korea I'm going to be climbing the walls waiting to go get her. Another month would be unbearable torture.
That DOES mean that I have to take the big scary flight though. Fifteen hours over the ocean!! That scares the crap out of me! Here's what I do when I'm on an airplane. I sit in my seat with my nails dug into Shawn's arm, just waiting for the plane to crash at any moment. Even the slightest turbulence signals certain death, I'm just sure of it. And then when we finally land I'm always pleasantly surprised that I'm still alive. :) I've flown several times. I've flown to Las Vegas, Orlando, Memphis, California, and when I was 19 I was a nanny in New Jersey and I flew back and forth between New Jersey and Idaho several times. I tolerate it when I have to. I absolutely love being on vacation and I love going to new places. It's just the getting there and getting home that I hate, and when you live in Idaho you pretty much have to fly to go anywhere because we're too far away from anywhere interesting to drive.
But flying halfway across the world is different than flying across the country! I've never been out of the country before and I've never flown over the ocean. The only way I even sort of tolerate flying is because I know that at least there's a possibility of making an emergency landing if we have to. But there's no emergency landings in the ocean! The thought of that many hours in the air over water seriously panics me. I think the second I get on the plane I'm going to take a large dose of Benedryl and I'm going to attempt to sleep for 15 hours. :)
If this is what I have to do to get Clarissa into my arms ASAP, then I'm going to do it. Everyone I know who has traveled to Korea to get their baby says it's the greatest experience ever. So I can do it, right? Thank you to the two commenters in my last post who encouraged me to fly. It helped! It probably won't kill me right? How often do planes crash in a blazing ball of fire into the ocean?
Every single night I lay in bed trying to imagine where Clarissa is and who is with her. What a great experience it will be to actually go there and find out for myself. Meeting her foster parents and getting to explore Korea a little bit will be an absolute amazing experience.
And who knows, maybe between now and next summer someone will create a teleporting device and airplanes will become obsolete. It could happen, right?! :) Ok, maybe not. I'll just have to suck it up and fly.
I'm so glad you are getting closer to adopting. I love reading your story.
Hey if you stop in Guam for fuel I'll come over and say Hi! :)
I have no doubt that it will be a flight that you won't ever regret!!!
Good news! You seem to be getting closer!
I think you are doing the right thing going to get her. It will make the experience so much better and you have 15 hours of just the 3 of you to get to know each other!
I have been following you for a little while (from OBBC- BHB)
I have flown on international flights for business, and this is what I do. For sure pay the extra for business class (it's less expensive than first class) Get something to eat at the airport, and as soon as you board the plane take an ambian sleeping pill. When you wake up you will be 3/4 of the way there! Business class has seats that lay down almost flat, so you are sure to get some good sleep!
You guys have passports right?
Check the dates! We went on vacation last January and hubbys expired 6 days after we got home. 6 DAYS!
It was a close call.
You'd be surprised... it's actually MUCH nicer to fly in those larger airplanes. You don't feel the turbulance as much, and you'll relax after you're at cruising altitude.
I've flown from Alaska to Australia twice... both times through Korea on Korean Air... they're a good airline. (And good food... but I <3 Korean food!)
Guess what! You don't fly directly across the ocean. The reason that its so long of a flight is because you travel alongside land. (Most do, I did when I landed in Seoul.) You go up the western side, get to see Canada, Alaska, Russia, and then Korea. You can make an emergency landing on land.
I am so excited for you!
Amy, that makes me feel sooo much better!!!
These comments are REALLY helping, thank you all! I think I am going to look into flying business class. It will cost us more, but being able to sleep and have a little bit more room to move will probably be worth it. If the seat goes really far back I think I probably could sleep through a lot of the flight.
And I don't have a passport! I've never needed one since I've never been out of the country before. Thanks for reminding me that I need to start looking into getting one! How exciting to finally have a use for one! :)
How exciting! I'm sure to you it seems like time is standing still as you wait for your baby girl, but what a relief to get tangible information from the adoption agency! I agree with the others on you not having any regrets on your decision to pick her up in her birth country! How fun to go and see the place and experience the culture (even if it is just for 3 days), especially since you have immersed yourself in it! You can practice your Korean and buy your own Korean souvenirs! I love reading your updates - keep 'em coming!
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