Sue and I have completed the home study!
No, really, we have; I mean it this time. Honest.
Well, okay, it is semi-finished. Marla told us that we were approved and that is good enough for me. She emailed us the draft, we made a couple of corrections, clarifications & explanations and now Madison has it. Last we heard they had sent it back for further edits; hopefully not involving further interviews with us; I mean, we like Molly, but each time she has to return it seems like the most grueling part of this process so far will never end.
Sue has been prepping all the documents needed to file for our I800; she also set up a FedEx account for the documents that are best hand delivered by a courier instead of just trusting the regular mail to get them where they need to go.
Some of the documents have expiration dates, like birth certificates, so she needed to get them, or at least hers, to the Chinese consulate before that date which was fast approaching; if she figured it right, she will have just squeaked through in time.
We ended up filing for a new birth certificate from New York for me; which turns out to be a good thing, because what they originally sent us might not be what we needed. The first document we received seems to be a certified record of my birth, not a actual certified copy of my birth certificate. That document we now do have since we re-requested one which was exemplified and a very nice gentleman from the office contacted us to 1 – let us know that there would be a delay in processing our request because the check we sent to cover the cost was from an out of state bank (they have to wait two week for it to clear) and 2- ask us to clarify just what we meant when we asked for it to be ‘exemplified’; turns out that means, to them, authenticated.
This document came from Nassau county, we now have to send it back to another office in Nassau county for it to be authenticated. And then, as I understand it, we have to send it back to New York again to get the authentication authenticated <roll eyes here>.
I have to say though, in this whole paper chase, we have become acquainted with some really nice people; for instance Otto Frizzell, the Town Clerk, as well as Joan George, the administrative assistant to the Mayor, who have been notarizing documents for us at the Town Hall. We have too just started making visits to the local branch of the State office in Springfield where we need to have documents certified (those documents which a notary certified we signed in front of them then have to be certified by the State, then sent to the Chinese consulate so they can certify that the State office was certified to certify that the notary was certified to certify us <groan>). Having a office 10 minutes away in Springfield means we won’t now have to send the documents to Boston which is a real time and money saver.
On the State office’s web site it stated that walk-ins would only be able to have something like 3 documents certified while we waited, with any others mailed to us later, but the gentleman there took care of all of what Sue had brought with us; maybe because it was a slow day, but he could have been a stickler for the regulations and made us wait to have those over the stated limit taken care of.
Sue too is happy with her recent discovery of a Facebook page dedicated to people who are in the midst of the international adoption paper chase; finishing their home study and now tackling the I800 and such. It appears to be a growing but active page, we became the 96th & 97th members, and Sue jumped right in with an introductory post as soon as she was accepted (it is a closed group). I do need to point out though, male ego being what it is, that she discovered the Facebook page on the China Adopt web site that I found. Me, I found it.