Wednesday, September 5, 2012

We are paper chasing!

This morning I woke up thinking first of all that today is when Garth and the boys would come home. They had been in Missouri all weekend visiting Grandpa and Grandma D. I stayed home so I could get some things done around the house as well as get organized to begin homeschooling today. They were originally going to come home yesterday but Garth got sick so stayed another day before making the trip back. I admit that it was kind of nice to have so much silence and being able to get a lot of things done, but I missed all my boys, so I was excited that they were coming home. Shortly after that thought, however, I wondered if I would hear from America World and my family coordinator. I went through the day doing things and probably every 45 minutes to 1 hour I would check my email to see if I got anything. Nothing. Zip. Nada. I was trying to keep myself busy but I couldn't stop looking. At about 3:00 this afternoon, I posted this on my FB wall: I find myself wanting to check my email all the time hoping to see one from America World. About 20 minutes later, Garth and the boys got home. There was great excitement and talking and the peace and quiet was gone. Then at about 3:30, the phone rang. I looked at the caller ID and it had a 703 area code. Somewhere that number clicked in my brain but I couldn't remember why. Even though I don't usually answer calls if I don't know who it is (there was no name listed with the number), I had this niggling little thought that I should answer it. Keep in mind that in the 10 minutes that the boys were home, they had turned on the CD player in the living room (where I was) and turned on the baby monitor right next to it (that they had been playing with like walkie talkies) and the other monitor was in the kitchen behind the wall to the living room so the radio was not only very loud but also echoing from the living room to the kitchen through the baby monitor. The boys were very excited to be home so were talking VERY loudly, and all this was going on when I picked up the phone. The lady on the line said "Hello, this is Melissa from America World. I'm your family coordinator for your India adoption!" I literally couldn't think of a thing to say. My mind was screaming "Say hello! Tell the boys to turn off the music and lower their voices! Go to another room!" After what seemed like forever, I finally managed to get some words out while trying to shush the boys when she just started chuckling. That broke the ice. I then said (in rapid progression) that the boys had just come home and I had been expecting an email not a phone call so had been checking my email all day and oh how good it was to talk to her! She chuckled again and said she just wanted to introduce herself to me and see if I had any questions. At this point the boys HAD turned down the music but not their voices and the baby monitors were still making the music echo so I ran up to the office where I could actually hear her. We visited for a little bit and she answered my questions. She said that she would email me the dossier guidelines before she left for the day and she looked forward to working with us. Within minutes of hanging up, I had the email and everything I needed to begin the paper chase. 

Now those of you who haven't adopted internationally may be wondering what "paper chase" means. Well, it means you are chasing down many different documents that will eventually be sent to India. These papers include:

  • Original birth certificate for me
  • Original birth certificate for Garth
  • Original marriage certificate
  • Notarized physical for me
  • Notarized physical for Garth
  • Notarized copy of our financial statement
  • A certified copy of our 3 most recent tax return statements
  • A certified copy of a recent bank statement
  • A notarized letter from our employers stating our title, length of employment, annual salary, and prospect of continued employment.
  • Three letters of reference from friends
  • Certified copy of my passport
  • Certified copy of Garth's passport
  • Notarized copy of our home study
  • Notarized copy of my criminal history
  • Notarized copy of Garth's criminal history
  • USCIS approval copy
  • Notarized copy of the post adoption agreement
  • 2 family photos
  • A wedding photo
  • 1 photo of the front of the house
  • 1 photo of the back of the house
  • 1 photo of  each main room in the house which includes the dining room, living room, kitchen, family room, sun porch, office, spare bedroom, master bedroom, and boys' room 
When we get all that paperwork together, I will then take it to our Secretary of State in Lincoln to have all the documents except the pictures apostilled for India. When THAT is done, I will be taking it to Staples to get 3 full copies of all the dossier documents, including the apostille pages. America World will keep a copy of all the documents in electronic file; 2 sets will be sent to India with the dossier, and we will keep 1 set ourselves. 

At that time, if we have because I know we will have the money needed to submit our dossier, we will send it to America World and begin the waiting period.

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Today I Kissed an Angel

Today I kissed an angel. I knew it from the start. The first time my angel smiled at me; I gave away my heart.

Today I kissed an angel; This angel child of mine. Though not of my creation, My child by God's design.

Today I kissed an angel. My heart is dancing wild; Our family, by a miracle; Blessed by our angel child.

All I Really Want by Steven Curtis Chapman