The good, the bad and the very ugly news

I really don't even know where to start today. I apologize in advance if my thoughts seem scattered. Im not in a completely calm state of mind.  I guess I will start with some good news...

We met with Charlie again today, we met at the adoption agency and we were both a little nervous as to how it would go as last time it went so well. We arrived about ten minutes early and went up the 7th floor, where the office is located. We walked in and he was already there just chilling. I was a little surprised to see him there already but it was so fun to see his little face again.  His foster mom just walked over and handed him to me, he wasn't thrilled about it but he let me hold him. They took us to a small playroom and I set him down and he immediately went to his foster mom to sit by her. After about 10-15 min she got up and walked away, she left us alone with him for the next 45 min. It went very well! He is extremely social and very easy to entertain and get to giggle. We had to constantly introduce new toys and do silly things to keep his attention on us but we did not mind. Eventually, he willingly sat on my lap and let me kiss him and nuzzle with him. We met another couple adopting a little boy his age from Canada and the women noticed right away how happy and social Charlie was. She couldn't believe how content he was with us. Towards the end, he got very sleepy and I rocked and bounced him with a blanket and he was almost asleep but his foster mom came back in and it was time to hand him back over. We did sing Jesus Loves Me to him and I consider that such a highlight of the trip. Overall, we were just so pleased with the visit and how well he let us interact with him.

The bad news is that we now have to wait four days for court and honestly the days are very long. We are enjoying the sites but it is very different from a vacation. We are tired and while the subway system is pretty easy to navigate, the city is just HUGE, it takes a lot of time going from one track to another to get anywhere. We also feel a little purposeless, we have traveled thousands of miles and will spend 10 days in this country for 3 hours of significance. Two hours of time is all we get with Charlie and then the final hour is court, our actual time in court is only about 10 min but to travel there and back and wait for our turn will take an hour or more of time. It is very hard to be here and not be able to see him. 

And now for the very ugly news. I will try to explain this as best as I can, this morning we received an email from our US Agency stating that there are some new requirements that have to be met in order to finalize your adoption. These new requirements states that each adoptive parent needs to have a mental/psyche exam that includes 5 separate tests before the judges will approve the adoption process.  To shed some light on the situation and why they are requiring these tests I will need to share a pretty terrible story. A few weeks ago a little boy who was adopted from Korea last Oct passed away. His adoptive father has been charged with his  alleged murder and this is a very bad child abuse case. For obvious reasons this was very troubling news for the Korean government. They have had meetings on how to address this series of events and how to move forward with the adoption process. These new requirements are their response to this terrible event. We are told that we should be very grateful that the adoption process was not shut down as has been the case when things like this happen in other countries altogether. I really can't go there in my mind...
It did not happen and so I praise God for that. 

We immediantly contacted our caseworker to see if these new requirements applied to us, I mean we are here in the country for goodness sakes. She said they received a list of families who would need to complete the tests and we were included. I was awestruck! How can this be happening?!? I have basically been crying all day. I hate crying in front of people and I cried at the agency, I cried on the subway and I cried at the resturant. We got to speak with the head manager of SWS (our korean agency) today. After our meeting with Charlie, she came in and said she wanted to go over a few things with us. She was absolutely wonderful! She said that our agency as well as the other two agency's who deal with international adoption have appealed the judges decision. She called this ruling "insane". She also said that in her 15 years of working in the adoption field this is the worst time for adopting she has ever seen. She went on to explain that originally the judges were requesting that 10 separate tests be done but soon decided that was too much and cut the number in half. The problem now, she explained, was that not alot of research went into deciding what tests need to be done and out of the 5 tests the USA only conducts 2 of them. We were told that France only ever runs 1 of 5 tests. The reason behind this is that the testing is so outdated that the USA no longer gauges mental stability using those techniques. We were also told that many famillies will have to travel a very long distance to find facilities capapble of doing this type of mental examination, its not a common test. Also to get an appointment can take several weeks, then you have to actually take the test, get it read and approved, send it Korea, get it translated, get it okayed by the judge and then after all of that your adoption can be approved . Only after all of that can you paperwork be submitted for Visa, which takes another 2-5 weeks. So I was crying pretty good at this point and I looked at her and said "so your telling me it could be months before we get to travel back?" She said "yes". I nearly came undone!

The agency and workers are very upset by this and are appealing the whole thing and stating that there needs to be a better solution. We all understand the terrible tragedy that has taken place and I know why they are wanting to add more requirements, to hopefully prevent anything like this happening again. The problem with all of this for us is the time. We were praying for 3-5 weeks and hoping that was as long as we would have to wait before we could come back and now we are back to not having an end in sight. In the mean time, Charlie gets older and more attached to his foster mom.
The thing that really, really gets me is that another family who lives right near us and we have befriended was in Korea last week. We were submitted to court the same day they were, they got a court date 13 days ahead of ours and they received word that because they have already been to court once, they are exempt from this process. We are basically one week too late. It apparently does not matter that we are in court in 4 short days. The manager at SWS did say that they are trying to figure out any and all means to help the judges understand that this is not a good solution, that once again the children will suffer and that she might want us to say something in court next week to the judge. We will have to wait until the morning of our court appearance to find out wether or not we are to "plead our case". Either way I think that we will have to get at least some kind of testing done.

I don't really know what to do or think right now. We are stuck here for another 5 days so we can't get started on anything. Here we sit a few miles away from our son and I have no idea when we will get to see him again.  Please Pray for Us, this is the hardest thing we have ever been through!!