I got a question in my comments about what happens after we get our referral phone call and I was typing an answer in the comments and it got too long, so I thought I'd just make a post about it.
It's a good question that I don't know the exact answer to! When we get the referral phone call I'm guessing that she will just e-mail us the photo and info and then send us the hard copies later, but I'm not positive about that. Hopefully they give us the photo the same day! Or maybe they FedEx it next day or something? I don't know exactly.
What I do know is that she'll call us and tell us that we've been matched with a baby and then we have to look over the info and formally accept it before it's officially our baby. There is some paperwork that has to be signed and sent back before we can officially say that she's ours, which means that it might be a day or two after we get the referral call before I can show photos of her if I have them. I've been told by other people that they were asked to wait to share photos or info until they had send back their acceptance paperwork. I will definitely be posting as soon as I get the call, but I may not be able to share details for a few days.
Once we formally accept the referral we start a paper chase that will last about 3-4 months before we can bring her home. There is a bunch of legal paperwork that has to be done before we can go get her. She has to have a passport and a visa and all of that, and the US government has to give us the official OK to adopt a foreign child. It's a really complicated process that I don't fully understand yet.
It's hard to say how long the paperwork will take because it just depends on how fast the government wants to look at it and approve it. There are a bunch of steps we have to go through and at each step we have to wait for approval before we can move on to the next one. Some people fly through it all in a few months and some people get held up for one reason or another. I'm going to be hoping and praying harder than I ever have in my life that things will move along smoothly!!!
Once all the paperwork is done they'll call and tell us that we're free to go get her and then we'll make travel plans and hop on a plane ASAP! So if we get our referral in the next few weeks and it takes 3-4 months more before we can go get her, we should hopefully be traveling in September or October. That's actually a nice time of the year to visit Seoul.
I'll know more once we get the referral. I have a very basic understanding of how the paperwork works, but not enough to explain it. I'm just waiting for the agency to walk us through it all when the time comes!
OK, so now that I've explained that, here's what's going on here today. I had to go to the pet store this morning to buy cat food. Normally Shawn does the cat food buying because me going into a pet store is a dangerous thing. I tend to come out with pet. :) Harvey the hamster joined our family the last time I went to the pet store to buy cat food.
Before I start my story, I'll just say that NO, I didn't buy a pet today. But I almost did!! I went into Petsmart and right at the front of the store they had a whole bunch of kittens. I seriously can't look at a kitten without wanting to take it home with me. I'm such a sucker for baby animals, especially kittens!
When I was growing up we always had cats. I can't remember a time in my life where I didn't have a cat. Fortunately Shawn was the same way growing up, so when we got married one of the first things we did was buy a cat. Our very first Christmas together we were super broke and couldn't afford presents so we decided that our present to each other would be a kitten. We bought a little grey kitten for $5 a few days before Christmas and named her Daisy. That cat was like our baby for the first few years of our marriage. Twelve years later she's still around. Now she's old and fat and fairly cranky, lol.
Not long after we started the adoption process in 2007 I was having a hard time with how long the wait was going to be and I came across an ad for a cat rescue center in our town and they were looking for people to adopt stay cats. I think the word "adopt" must have caught my eye and the next thing we knew we were in the car on the way to adopt a kitten. As soon as we walked into the room full of cats a little orange kitten ran right up to us like he had been waiting for us. I picked him up and he started purring and an hour later Max was on his way home with us.
Two cats is really enough for us. I don't realistically want a house full of cats. But still, every time I see a cat in need of a home I can't help myself, I want to take it home!!
So today I held the little silver and black kitten at Petsmart who purred and snuggled with me and I tried to remember why it was that I don't want a house full of cats. Surely one more wouldn't hurt, right??
I did eventually come to my senses and remind myself that the last thing we need right now is another pet and I put it down, but it wasn't easy! It's taking all the willpower I have no to run back over there and buy it.
I don't need another cat, I don't need another cat...
Darn, I still want another cat.