*I’m sorry this is so long, but I promise the details are so very worth it!

On thursday, I received a call from our social worker, Joy.  We have been in the process of getting our home study update completed, and the plan had been to have our home visit in August.  However, she called to tell us that we needed to get it updated ASAP as it was possible that another very unexpected batch of Emigration Permits were going to be submitted to Korea.  There was a chance that Reid’s would be included.  I couldn’t believe my ears and while I had a hard time believing that Reid would actually be included in this submission, I was thrilled that another batch was going through.  (they weren’t expecting to be able to submit any until September)  I tried to call Ryan at work but he was not at his desk so I called my two best friends to share the news with them.

Once I got off of the phone with them, I put Evie and Maggie down for their naps and sat down at my computer to eat my lunch and check email.  As my Inbox opened, I saw an update from Holt International.  The Subject read, “EP submitted, July 12th!”.  I fully expected this to be an email sharing the exciting news that another batch had been submitted.  I still did not expect it to say what it did,

“Holt-Korea submitted your child for their Emigration Permit (EP) into the Ministry of Health and Welfare on Thursday, July 12th.  Now that your child has been submitted for EP, it generally takes 4-5 weeks for the EP to be approved.  We know you are anxious to get your child home, and this news your child has been submitted for EP is a huge milestone!  We truly share the immense joy in the news and hope it provides you with the reassurance we’ve wanted to give you all along– You are reaching the finish line in this long journey of bringing your child home!  Congratulations!”

The very moment my eyes read that first line, my heart over flowed with joy.  I immediately called Ryan on his cell phone.  He hadn’t been at his desk which meant he was probably in a meeting.  I DID NOT CARE!  He answered and I attempted to tell him our amazing news, but I was bawling and he could not understand a word I said.  🙂  He had to ask if this was good or bad news and I calmed down enough for him to understand.  Once we had talked a little, I hung up so I could call more family and friends.  I was pretty useless for the rest of the day.  I do not remember being that giddy since the day we found out I was pregnant with Trent.

As the email from Holt says, we are reaching the finish line in this long journey of bringing our son home!  He’s coming home!!!!  Once again, we still do not have an exact time.  A LOT of EP’s have been approved in the last 3 months which means there are a lot of families who will be traveling in the next few months to bring their children home.  We now wait for Reid’s EP to be approved by Korea and then we wait for all of our paperwork to be submitted for our travel.  Holt’s best estimate is fall-winter for our travel.  We are quite certain he will be home by Christmas and maybe before!

With this amazing news, a celebration was in order!  We went out with some of our family to a Korean Restaurant.  This was a first for almost all of us (my Dad was in Korea for business in the 80’s).

Thankfully, we had done a little research on what to order!

I was so proud of our kids.  They tried almost everything including octopus and anchovies!  They were definitely braver than me!

Banchan – multiple side dishes served before and with the meal and included kimchi, seaweed, bean sprouts, and anchovies

The Anchovies were Trent’s favorite… no joke! Each of the kids tried them, but Trent LOVED them.

Trent kept saying, “These anchovies are so good! Their heads are so juicy!”

Evie even ate an anchovie. She LOVED Ryan’s Bulgogi – thinly sliced, marinated beef. She ate a ton!

Maggie was enjoying the anchovies until she realized they were looking back at her. Once she saw their little eyeballs, she was done!

Papa and Mammie

Papa Doc (Nana was in Branson with some of our nieces and nephews and she was greatly missed)

We love you, Reid! Come home soon!

We all agreed that Korean food was an aquired taste… we did not hate it… and we did not love it.  However, we did love the reason we were there:  a fuzzy headed, brown eyed, baby boy who we can’t wait to welcome home!

Please join us in praying that the process will continue to move faster than expected and that there won’t be any complications.  Also, we covet your prayers for Reid.  This will be a very tramatic event in his life.  Pray that this will be as painless as possible and that he will make the adjustment smoothly.