Here's the short answer.....paperwork.
Here's the more detailed answer:
When we started the adoption process, back in August 2007, the standard wait time from "referral" to travel was about 3 months.
The Korean adoption process is a very well established and stable process compared to may other international adoption programs. Korean international adoptions with the US have been in place for over 50 years. Korean interational adoption started after the Korean War in the 1950's. However, one of the "mantra's" with adoption is "expect things to change". Thus, that is some of what we are experiencing.
Back in fall of 2008 Children's Home Society and Family Servies (CHSFS-our adoption agency) was seeing an increase in wait times from referral to travel. At the time, CHSFS was anticipating that this increase in wait times would be temporary. During the New Year, there are traditionally slow downs due to changes in job positions and the important Korean New Year celebrations. CHSFS was hoping that the paperwork process would start to speed up again.... that has not been the case. Ultimately, the slow down is due staffing cut backs. So as of March 2009, the "new normal" for the CHSFS Korean adpotion program will be a 6 month wait from "referral acceptance" to travel time (previously it was a 3 month wait). We just happen to be at the "cusp" of that change were it could've gone either way. We were told that this longer wait was a possiblity, but CHSFS was hoping they would be able to honor the original timeline we were given when we started the adoption process. In the end, we have to wait about 8 weeks longer to travel than we originally expected. The increased wait time puts us at a projected travel time of mid to late August. So..... we will not be traveling to get Ms. Gracie Mae until some time toward the end of August. The increased wait is difficult emotionally, however, practically speaking it has some benefits. We are anxious for her to be with us, yet we are handling it in stride. So that is when we expect to travel to Korea to bring our daughter home.