Tuesday, November 20, 2012

adoption update

I haven't written about our adoption process in quite a while.  We are trying to adopt a special needs child from China.  For anyone who has gone through the adoption process, the paperwork required is not for the faint of heart.  And a fainting heart (not literally) is exactly why I haven't written about where we are in the process.

For those who may or may not remember Ryan's response when I asked him whether he wanted a little brother or a little sister, I will remind you of his quick reply:  a dog!

Well, since we already have an amazing dog, we are adopting to get a little sibling for Ryan.

We started the paperwork maze around March and it's been a bit of a roller coaster ride for us with a few bumps in the road.  We have until March of next year to get our paperwork into China before ONE of us is too old to adopt.  We actually have TWO races against the clock.  One race against a March 2013 birthday and one against the six-month expiration date on certain documents.

And in September, we were running behind and I started to panic that we were going to lose that race.  Our doctor reports were going to expire on October 12th and I still needed to get them notarized, certified by the Utah State and authenticated by the US State Department and the Chinese Embassy in Washington DC.  Yes, it is a process.

I'll spare you the details, but I had a harrowing experience at the doctors office with the paperwork.  In the end, a miracle happened, and we got the signatures within the dates.  After a near heart attack, I hand delivered them to the Utah State Capitol for certification with a prepaid Next Day Air envelope and then went out of town.

I calculated that the Next Day Air envelope would be on my desk by the time I returned home.  But, you guessed it, it was not.  After a flurry of calls, we determined that the envelope had left the Utah State Capitol, picked up by UPS and then there was no sign.  The tracking number was never scanned and it was lost.

Had the customer service agent asked me about contents and replacement value, I would have said "15 irreplaceable documents and a failed adoption" which is exactly what it would have been.  I don't think we could have reproduced the documents before next March.

But after several prayers, a phone call or two by my patient husband, and one miracle, the documents were not only discovered, but delivered the next morning.

I overnighted them to our courier in Washington DC who hand delivered them to the US State Department, picked them up the next day, hand delivered them to the Chinese Embassy, picked up the following day and then overnighted them back to us.

Yes, it was expensive.  But it was also worth it.

And now?  Even as I type I am copying those 17 documents (they multiplied) and tomorrow, they are being shipped off to our agency in Colorado.

Do you want to know the truth? 

I'm not sure what is scarier.  The possibility of losing the documents or the nearness of a potential child match.

p.s.  No, those old pictures of Ryan don't have anything to do with the story, but it was too long to not break it up with a few cute pictures of Ryan.

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