Up until mid September we were busy with different bits of paperwork. When we came home in June we had a whole second set of paperwork to do. When that was finished the Russians changed the rules and we had to have a new Certificate of Residency. Sounds simple, but you try getting a very specific letter typed on Chase Manhattan letterhead and notarized! That took about 2 months. Once we were finished with the CoR there was nothing.
Essentially we have taken an adoption break for the last 5 months. No paperwork, no shelling out any money... nothing. Last Wednesday we were hit with the realization that we have some serious paperwork to re-do. Unfortunately according to the "laws" of international adoption paperwork expires. Don't ask me how a marriage certificate expires, but it does. Here we are thrust back into the paperwork nightmare.
The first order of business was our homestudy. We had to get a 2-3 page update on our homestudy. That is actually a story I will let D tell in the Stupidity blog. It is that good. Our Social Worker informed us that we need letters from our doctor stating that we were in good health and competent to raise an adopted child. Easier said than done in this house. I changed docs this last fall because our old doctor is not the best in the world. When I called the clinic to get New Doc to write this letter the lady kindly informs me that New Doc has moved out of the state. Great. Also, since D has never been into the clinic they can't write his letter and won't be able to see him until March or April. Well that won't do. D either has to go back to Dr. Not so Hot or to a local walk in clinic for a basic physical. He gets to make the call on that one.
Then, I get an email from our coordinator this morning listing all the other paperwork that is expiring. Marriage certificate (that we have to pay to get), copies of passports (they are printed when the expire! in 10 years!), new police clearance letters (at $20 a shot), and other miscellaneous items. She also breaks the bad news that there is yet another NEW piece of paperwork required. A letter from our state Department of Health and Social Services stating that our homestudy agency is licensed to write post-placement reports and is in good standing. Have you heard the horror stories about WA State DSHS? Hopefully I can pin this one on the Social Worker since he is the one that works with the homestudy agency.
Of course it is not enough that we have to re-do all of this paperwork, but it all has to be apostilled* again. At $15 a page the cost can mount. When we had our initial dossier apostilled I wrote a check fro $321. I think it will be around $150 this time, but still.
Now try throwing all of this paperwork re-do in the mix with the various other things I volunteered for to keep myself busy. Sure... you all said L get out of the house. Get away from the computer. I DID. I volunteered for all kinds of things. I am helping out with the Women's World Day of Prayer that is this Friday, I am doing all the sets and costumes for our church production of Godspell (that is in a month), I am on the youth and family ministry team and we are putting on the Shrove Tuesday Pancake Feast tonight and I took a part time job as our church secretary. Couple that with trying to complete stacks of paperwork and you've got yourself one freaked out lady.
*apostille: a notary of the notary; a state seal stating that the person that notarized a document is a notary in good standing.