Friday, June 10, 2011

yet again...

Omigoodness. This journey is such an adventure. And I do like adventure, but wow. What I think is next often is not.

Case in point...

Remember yesterday when I said I have more to tell?...

Well, I was excited to say that our dossier was officially complete and certified by the Secretary of the Commonwealth yesterday, but alas...there's a snag.

(Virginia's so lah-dee-dah that we don't call ourselves a State, we're a Commonwealth). Who knows.

My mom, Brooks, Jackson and I went downtown yesterday to get all the documents certified. I parked at a meter after driving around the block several times to find the building. My mom agreed to wait in the car with the boys unless I called her and told her it was going to take a while and then we'd get out and stroll around. Our goal was to have them certified while we waited. A friend told me they did it in 15 minutes while she waited. That wasn't my luck. The woman acted like I was crazy when I implied such a possibility. She said I could come back at 2 o'clock to pick up the documents. It was 11 AM. Oh, and by the way, she said the Secretary can't certify documents from another state (our birth certificates and marriage license -- we're so green at this!...what do we know?) and one of notarizations is incomplete. For the love...

So, I succumb to the knowledge that this is definitely not going to be done in one day. Off we go on the rest of our errands...

Fortunately, the notary who notarized a bunch of our documents is one of JD's co-workers so I called him to say we need the notary block added. A couple hours later, I'm able to run that one document over to his work and we literally have the notary/co-worker sign the notary block as she's on the elliptical machine during her lunch break! I then head straight back downtown, do the same U-turn, park at the meters, walk a block or two in the squelching heat, go back through the medal detectors, have my purse and bursting-at-the-seams-adoption-binder scanned for contraband and I'm back in front of the same receptionist. She hands me all the certified documents. I hand her the formerly rejected one and she certifies it on the spot! A check is written for $80 and I'm outa there!

Woot! Woot!

But, what about these out of state documents? Upon further inspection, we realize both our birth certificates have certifications attached from their respective Secretary of State (ahhh...I knew there was a reason we requested that they be appostilled). However, our marriage license is literally the one we were handed when we got married. No certification. Yes, a wimpy seal thingy, but I can tell just by looking at it that this ain't gonna fly. We plan a call with our dossier specialist with WHFC. She says we should definitely get our marriage license certified by Tennessee's Secretary of State.

Funny she should mention that because I already ordered it in April and never got it. It just occurred to me a week or two ago that we never got it and I should call and get our money back! And since we've had a marriage license and it seems to have been working so far, it was not on my radar to follow-up on why we never got the one I ordered. Well, now it was.

I call VitalChek who I ordered our marriage license from (and our birth certificates from). Right as it's dialing, I remember that a woman from Vital Records in Tennessee had called me many weeks ago to confirm that we wanted the marriage license appostilled.

'Yes, we do. Thank you.'

Weeks and weeks, nothing.

My email confirmation from them was dated April 14th. And the $30 had been debited from our account a long time ago. But no marriage license.

The man says, "Oh, well the woman you spoke with never moved it out of the 'needs attention' status to the 'submit for processing' status."


Folks, I know the Holy Spirit dwells within me, but these are the moments that Fleshy Heather wants to rudely shove that gentle and loving Spirit aside and fuss at someone, 'Excuuuuse me!?'

He says, "Yes, your order's just been waiting for someone to process it. And it's a good thing it wasn't processed because she put in here that you didn't want it appostilled."

Okay, so there is a bit of blessing in here. JD and I are now abundantly clear about what documents need to look like and how official they need to be for a China dossier. So, I change my order to two copies ('cause you just never know), both appostilled, and ask if they can absorb the cost of overnighting them because, well, they screwed up and that's the last document we're waiting for. He says they will do that. Big sigh.

So our final document should be here by late next week. We've been in touch with the courier who will submit everything to the State Department and Chinese Embassy. Perhaps that can happen the week after next.

Oh, and you won't believe all that's involved in that. Good heavens. I'll fill you in later.

Again, thank you to each and every one of you that have contributed to the 'Bring Sweet Baby James Home' fund. You are truly walking alongside us! Thank you.

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