Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Being Authentic

Well, the other day I emailed scans of much of our dossier paperwork to our family coordinator. Most everything looked good but in her response she listed that many of our documents needed to be authenticated by the states in which they came from. Having a document authenticated involves sending it to the secretary of state along with the appropriate fee (and sometimes a self-addressed stamped envelope) and having them certify that either the notary or other state official who has signed the document is in good standing with the state. We knew that we would need to do this but we failed to understand that the authentication had to be done in the state the document came from. We thought that we simply took all of our documents to the secretary of state in North Carolina when we got it all together and that they would do the authentications. Being that this isn't the case we had to send documents to Florida, Alabama, Kentucky, and Virginia at a total cost of $80.00. When we get our I-171 (approval from immigration) from USCIS (which is immigration services) we then take all of our other paperwork to be authenticated at the secretary of state in North Carolina but that should be a while before we get to that point.

Have I mentioned how much fun paperwork is?

Thursday, October 18, 2007

An Adoption Video from Ethiopia

Alright, I'll admit this choked me up a little.


I found this on the internet and thought it might be of interest to everyone adopting: http://www.adoptedthemovie.com/.

There are many clips from the movie on the website. It deals a lot with international and tranracial adoptions.

We are officially married!

Today we received our marriage certificate. I guess that means that Dottie and I are officially married. It's kind of depressing really. We have just a few more items in our paperchase and then we really begin waiting. Particularly we are waiting for our appointment to get our fingerprints. Of course, once we have that we will then wait to actually go get our fingerprints. And then...well, it's a bit depressing to list all the stuff you wait for so I'll just stop there.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Home Study #2

Well, last night we had our second home study meeting. Once again it was painless. Actually, it was quite nice. We met at a Chilis so I got my baby back ribs. Ribs is good. Me like ribs. I will say though that it is a bit odd to be sitting in front of your spouse and having to answer, "So, what are her strengths and weaknesses." One must be careful with such questions. But we both survived, still happily married, and still adopting.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Home Study Interview #1

We survived! Well, our first visit with the social worker ended just about 20 minutes ago. We spent last night and much of the morning cleaning the house, changing the batteries in the smoke detectors, and making sure our new fire extinguisher was properly placed in a position that looked as though we had always had it there (oh, and we hid 3 laundry baskets of clothes over at the church). The house inspection ended up not being much of an inspection at all. She glanced at the rooms (I don't think she ever even looked in the bathroom - that's the last time I clean the toilets), she tested the smoke detectors, and looked at the fire extinguisher. That was really it. The rest of the time was just talking. Much of what was talked about were the same things you cover when writing your autobiography - your parenting style, your marriage, your reasons for adopting, your extended families' thoughts on the adoption, your community, etc. The interviews with the kids lasted about 5 minutes each. That was about it. All in all, it was quite painless. Our next meeting is Monday night and we are meeting at Chili's so that will mean "I want my baby back ribs."

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Paperwork is easy to miss...

A while back Dottie and I sat down one evening to systematically send off for all the paperwork that we would need for our home study and our dossier. We sent off for birth certificates, death certificate, dissolution of marriage certificate, and our state of Florida criminal background checks. We were so proud to have all of this accomplished. About a week later one of our certificate request was sent back to us because I had failed to put in a copy of my driver's license. Never the less, it got sent back and the certificate has been received. We really thought we were ahead of the game. Then we got to wondering, all the certificates we had sent off for had been received in a relatively short amount of time. However, we were still missing one. We had never received our marriage certificate. Now we were quite thorough so we couldn't have possibly forgotten to send off for it. A quick check of our checking account revealed that indeed no check had been written to obtain our marriage certificate. So, another check is written and tomorrow another application for yet another certificate will be mailed.

The moral of the story, even when you think you have it all done - you don't.