On Thursday, December 20, we got the news we’ve been waiting on for almost two months–HOME STUDY APPROVED! Our placing agency was finally able to review our home study report and, as a family, we were approved to adopt a child from Korea! After the long and drawn out wait, the news was fairly anti-climactic, but our excitement is growing once again with each day that has gone by since receiving the good news. It is a HUGE milestone in the international adoption process and we are so grateful to have received the news before Christmas. I, for one, was not looking forward to another holiday sitting in home study “limbo.”
Immediately following the approval, we paid the U.S. processing fee (#2) and provided extra photographs of our family. Once payment is processed, our home study report will be sent to Korea so that we can wait to be matched with a child (or two).
Once we have the state-approved, notarized copies of our home study we will file the federal I-600A form which is the official “Application for Advance Processing of an Orphan Petition” with the Department of Homeland Security (U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services). U.S. citizens who plan to adopt a foreign-born child use this form to allow USCIS to adjudicate the application that relates to the suitability and eligibility of the applicants as prospective adoptive parents. (Translation: To adopt a child from another country, an immigrant visa must be issued to the child.)
After the I-600A is filed, we have additional adoption training to complete. This includes a webinar titled the “Republic of Korea: History and Culture.” We will also continue to read ALL the books on international adoption and toddler adoption to better prepare. Our Korean word count is now up to a half dozen words! We are looking forward to learning more about the Korean culture and heritage.
Our adoption agency will inform us when we are an “official” waiting family and we look forward to celebrating that milestone soon. Once our report is in the necessary hands in South Korea the average wait time for child match is currently about 5-6 months. It could be more and it could be less. We rely on God’s timing and his wisdom. We trust that we will be matched with the child we were always supposed to have and we are very excited for God to reveal his or her face in 2019.
The cost of adoption
The cost of adoption is substantial. We are terrified, excited, anxious, humbled, and thrilled to have the opportunity to adopt. We promised ourselves we wouldn’t let the money prevent us from having a family. We strongly believe that the cost of adoption should never prevent families from being formed. We are stepping out in faith despite the looming financial hurdle we have to overcome in order to start our family. We trust that God will provide as he always does.
We are doing everything we can to be prepared to welcome a beautiful new life into our home. As part of our adoption process, we have started a crowdfunding campaign. We are anticipating spending about $52,000 to bring our child home from South Korea. This is why we have set a goal of $35,000 to help ease the financial burden that often overwhelms adoptive parents.
Asking for any kind of financial assistance is way outside of our comfort zone and it is not something that we do lightly. However, many parts of this process have been, and will continue to be, way outside of our comfort zone. We are not trying to guilt anybody and we would never expect or demand anything. We know that everybody’s family and financial situations are different.
We hope that by inviting you into this process, you will see yourself as part of the community we hope to build around our child as he or she grows up.
We cannot possibly express what your gifts, encouragement, and prayers mean to us. Just simply know, you are forever changing our lives and the life of a child, the child God has chosen for us, who needs two loving, Christian parents.
“I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you” (John 14:18).
For more information on how you can help us bring our child home, please visit our crowdfunding profile at gofundme.com/thelambrechtsadopt.
THANK YOU from the bottom of our hearts for your love, prayers, and support.
Here’s an international adoption timeline to better understand the process: