Going Crazy Over Legals!

16 Sep

What’s a legal? The legal document of custody that the agency in Korea has that our government needs to process the very important I-600 – form to “officially petition an orphan as an immediate relative”.  The mandatory, can’t adopt without, form.

Why am I going crazy over it? WE DON’T HAVE THEM YET!

How long have we been waiting – 11 weeks, 2 days.  79 days.

I’ve gone through the ringer of emotions over this.  At 6 weeks of waiting, I started to freak out a bit.  I did a lot of research and saw that, while rare, there were people who have waited for 6-8 weeks. And I read one “poor woman” waited just shy of 11 weeks.  (I certainly won’t be her!!)

At 7 weeks, I thought about all the bad things that could happen.  Probably not logical things, but things that could happen?  (Now, this is all in my head. I’ve never read this happened to anyone…)

Is she legally adoptable?  Did they make a mistake?

I emailed my agency every Friday for 3 weeks straight with the same-o response – “Not here yet.”  The 3rd week getting more of an irritated, “Not here yet, but when they come, I PROMISE I’ll let you know” response.

So I prayed for peace.  For God’s timing, not mine.  And He really did give me peace! Only when I sat and concentrated on the weeks passing did the fear start creeping in again.  “Is this adoption going to happen?”

Two weeks ago, legals came in for Cora’s friend Mercy after only 8 days of waiting.  I emailed our agency, tears in my eyes, asking if Cora’s came at the same time.  The girls ARE at the same orphanage with the same agency.  They must have.

I got, what I feel like was a slap on the hand email from my contact that night.  “The legals do not move at the same pace for every family.”  I get it! I do! But don’t they KNOW how hard this wait must be?  WHY aren’t her legals in? Is something wrong?  Did they make a mistake?

In all of my research, I have yet to find someone who has waited 3 months for their legals to arrive.  Especially for a child who has been waiting for a family for 4 years! Did they lose them? If so, can they make more?  These papers, from what I’ve read, might have Cora’s birth mom and dad’s signature, maybe even their fingerprints on them.  You can’t make more of those.

When Dave and I talk about this elephant in the room together, our anxiety only builds.  So we just pretend it isn’t there.

Today makes 2 weeks since I heard that they were going to inquire why they haven’t come yet.  (They also said this at 6 weeks and 8 weeks, if I’m remembering correctly. They’ve never come back and told us they actually DID inquire.)  Yesterday Dave called to speak directly with the Korea director, but they had all-day meetings and she wasn’t able to call him back.  I’m hoping she will today.

I’m asking anyone who can to pray that these legals A: exists (I know that’s a little dramatic, I’m sure they do!) B: are on their way and C: Our agency has good conversation with Dave to erase any doubt in his eyes, which will help erase the doubt in my eyes.

It’s our 11th wedding anniversary today – what a great, GREAT gift those legals would be!!


9 Responses to “Going Crazy Over Legals!”

  1. JaM September 16, 2011 at 5:22 pm #

    First of all, I’m so sorry you’ve had to wait so long. And it is helpful to follow other families who follow a similar timeline so you know when something isn’t quite right. I know SWs are busy people with lots of families but this is YOUR child so go ahead and bug them. You’re the only one who can advocate for your child.

    Ok, now, let me try to answer some fears about the legals. The legals are held in the Korean Family Court so no, they are not lost. What you get (or what USCIS will get) are certified copies, you don’t get an original as those stay with the Korean Family Court. If your agency had them and somehow misplaced them, more certified copies can be made.

    I think I answered your other question on the BBs. Since legals expire (silly I know, just like “how do fingerprints expire?” but they do apparently) the agencies haven’t been as quick to request them so that they don’t have to request them again later due to expiring. It’s frustrating, I know. Especially since it would be nice to see movement period even if it is “just” on the US side of things. It’s also nice to have something so very tangible as those legals that could contain things like the BC, names, fingerprints, etc. Things that connect us to our child and (potentially) their birth parents.

    *HUG* to you as you wait. It will come! Hopefully your agency will have some good news (or at least an explanation) for you soon!!!

    • jenadk September 19, 2011 at 1:35 am #

      “If your agency had them and somehow misplaced them, more certified copies can be made. ”

      This was HUGELY helpful to me! And you really really did make me feel more at ease. I didn’t really know what the process was, so thank you SO Much for taking all of the time to explain it to me.

      Movement would be nice. I’d love to have i600 approval and just be waiting for Korea. Soon!

      Thank you again, SO much!

  2. RTH September 16, 2011 at 11:44 pm #

    I am sorry you are having a hard time with the wait. We are with Eastern and it has been two months since our acceptance to Korea. We have not received the legals for the I-600 applcation yet. I contacted my agency in the US a couple of days ago and they said that Eastern is waiting to process the paperwork for us as well as for other families with similar ATK dates. They did not specify a reason for why they are waiting. They said that there were no problems to be concerned about. But now that I read the response left by JaM to your, it makes sense that they are waiting to make sure that there are no problems with the documents expiring.

    I hope this helps

    • jenadk September 19, 2011 at 1:37 am #

      RTH, it does. Since my “blogging fit”, I’ve heard that Holt AND Eastern are holding on to legals. They do tend to do things together, so that must be it! I hate to think how busy USCIS will be when they all get “released”, but I’ll try not to stress about it. 😉 (Try is the key word! 😉 )

  3. Stephanie September 17, 2011 at 1:28 am #

    Ugh…waiting….adoption is the land of “hurry up and wait”. It is SO hard to wait and wonder and worry and then wait some more.

    Praying you’ll feel peace in the waiting…His timing is never wrong.


    • jenadk September 19, 2011 at 1:39 am #

      Oh Stephanie, how you’ve helped me along this walk. Prayers for you and your walk as well.

  4. Ramsey September 18, 2011 at 4:13 pm #

    You know, yeah, I understand these things move at different paces for different families, blah blah blah. But quite frankly, if you feel like you’re impatient, I just want to validate that and tell you I relate and would be super mad in your situation. I have a job where, if I don’t move as fast as I can in every case, someone could die, so I have very little patience for things like this moving slowly. If everyone did their job with urgency and thinking about people like you (and your daughter!) who are waiting, there would be no delay. Hope you hear soon!!! I will say a prayer for your legals. your sweet daughter and your family. I almost never check the Holt BB anymore because for the most part it has just gone crazy, but yours is one of the few families I still “check in on.” Good luck!!

    • jenadk September 19, 2011 at 1:41 am #


      THANK YOU! You have validated my feelings. And it is very appreciated. Many times I have felt that I have to tip-toe with my agency, not say that wrong thing or irritate them, but then I remember, I certainly paid for their interaction every once and a while! 😉

      Thank you for the encouragement and checking in on me. I’m a basketcase one day and strong as a statue the next. Guess that’s how it goes, huh? 😉


  1. And Still, We Wait. « Cora's Coming Home - October 7, 2011

    […] about our wait for them here, when we had been waiting for 6 weeks.  I also talked about them here, when we had been waiting for them for 11 weeks.  2 weeks ago we had a conversation with our […]

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