Today in our worship gatherings, we announced that we are both receiving parental leave upon our return from Korea, where we will pick up our adopted son.
Here’s the announcement …
News About Randy & Joleen’s Parental Leave
As you know, we are adopting a baby boy from Korea. We expect to travel to Korea to pick him up sometime in or around February (at which time, Ethan will be about 8 months old).
In the United Methodist Church, pastors are able to take 8 weeks of paid parental leave. We both plan to take this time (plus 2 weeks of vacation, to cover our time in Korea), and we have followed the Book of Discipline, which included filing our requests with our respective SPRCs and the District Superintendent. Recently, the Cabinet (the Bishop and District Superintendents of the Conference) granted approval.
As you may imagine, bonding time of parents and child is very important. It’s especially important in the case of international adoption. Not only will we use this time for bonding, but we will also be dealing with transitioning issues — change of location, culture change, 12 hour change in time zone, change in baby formula, and a whole new life for the three of us!
Over the course of the next few months (of waiting time and transitioning time), we would appreciate your prayers for …
- God to work out all the details
- God to help us finish our dissertations (and graduate in May)
- Our trip to/from Korea (including long flight with Ethan)
- The bonding and transition of our family
Also, while we are in Korea, we will be connecting with a ministry(ies) as part of a cross-cultural experience requirement for our doctor of ministry programs.
While we are on leave, area United Methodist pastors will be on call for pastoral emergencies. Rev. Tiffany Freeman will be a guest speaker two times in each of our churches so that Holy Communion can be celebrated. On the other weeks, lay speakers will fill in. Some details still need to be worked out with our SPRCs, but we wanted to inform you about our upcoming parental leaves.
Thanks for your support and your prayers!
Randy & Joleen