Saturday, August 17, 2013

An Adoption Update!

A little over a month ago, we sent off our paperwork to be apostilled. This means our paperwork that was notarized at the county level is now made official at a state level. I mailed it while on our trip and had the return envelope go back to my mom's so while we were visiting family this summer I could still be working on adoption stuff. I mailed the paperwork off on July 3rd. By the end of the next week the envelope had been returned with a rejection letter. Our notary had not properly worded the documents, which were random documents, like copies of passports, applications to the country, etc. These documents did not have a place for the notary to swear by etc. and date with the place. So she signed, stamped and dated. BUT apparently more was needed. And now I was stuck. We were ten hours from our notary and Nathan and I were not even together, so we could not redo all this paperwork. We had to wait. Another month of delay.

The day after we got back from our trip we were on our way to get all our paperwork notarized properly. We then had to get paperwork from different notary our case worker had used for our homestudy. We also had biometrics finger printing in Fort Smith, two days after getting home. We covered the notary and finger pringting that day. The banker who was the notary advised that what we had our notary add on was not sufficient and we should really redo it all. So after much "ughing" we decided to just attach an affadavit to the paperwork. I made several calls to the Secretary of State and spoke to the people who do apostilles. They assured it me it would be fine. So within four days of getting home, it was all back in the mail. I got home and started making lunch and realized I forgot to include a letter stating what we need the Secretary of State to do with the documents. It was just this envelope with twelve really important documents and a check. So I quick loaded up kids, ran to the post office and got the envelope back. We carefully opened it and slipped in a letter with a request for them to apostille the documents and PLEASE call if there were any problems.

A couple of days later my phone rang. One of the documents was missing the notary's seal.  I thanked her for not sending everything back. I raced over to get the paper re-notarized. Over to the post office and within the hour it was on it's way.

Then, the next day, I read a friend's blog. She is adopting from the same country as us and had heard all these things about how they are going to be reinforcing this six month time period. If a family did not have their paperwork in, in six months, they would be unmatched and there were no exceptions. Our six months was up a couple of weeks ago. I started to cry. I cried because I love Hamilton, even though I do not know him. In my heart I am already his mom. I cried because I would be okay with being unmatched, sad, but okay, if it meant there was someone else who would adopt this little boy, but I do not think there is anyone. We had first inquired about him last May and in January he was still waiting. Waiting for us it seemed. It is frustrating.

But I am a mom, and you really do not mess with a mom. The next morning I called the Secretary of State to see if the document I sent had arrived. I was told the person handling my paperwork was out of the office until Monday and her desk is such a mess no one could find anything on it. I proceeded to tell this woman, "You are not being very nice right now." Then I told her I really, really need this paperwork. She assured me she was not trying to be mean. She checked the desk, and no new paperwork had arrived. I thanked her and hung up. And cried. I kept thinking if this was one of my biological kids, and I was hearing there was a possibility that they were not going to be mine anymore, what would I do, ANYTHING. So I had Nathan call, because I was too upset. He called to see if I drove there that day with the document that was needed, would they be able to apostille all the documents. They said yes.

SO, I quick ran to get that document re-notarized, hopped in my car, and drove the four hours to our state capitol to the secretary of state's office. Praying, the whole way and feeling sickness just spread over my body. Aches and chills were coming on quickly. I kept driving, drinking as much caffeine as I possibly could, thinking I still had to make this drive back later that day. I arrived at the Secretary of State's office and a man who does apostilles informed me that he had no idea what I was talking about. He said, I really cannot find anything on that woman's desk, and she will be back on Monday. I looked this man in the eye and said, "Yes, I have heard about this woman's desk. But I have driven four hours. The documents are there. I need you to go look!" He went and within the minute was back, with all my paperwork in hand. I gave him the last document and he informed me it would take an hour or two to get this done, depending on how many phone calls he would have to answer while trying to do this. I thanked him and let him know that was fine, I would come back. At this point I am so sick, all I can do is think to find a place that has ibuprofen to take these aches away. I got medicine and soup and more caffeine. I drove back two hours later and it was all complete. I thanked him again. And headed the two blocks to the capitol where there was a post office. I did not check the paperwork though. When I got to the post office I realized he had only apostilled eleven, he had forgotten one! So I ran the two blocks back to the Secretary of State's office. Where he informed me that he had done them all it was just on a different page. I thanked him again, sheepishly, and ran back to the capitol building, back through security to the post office. To find it closed. I looked at my phone for the time... 4:01. The post office closed at 4:00. My head fell. I said to no one or anyone that would hear. "They are closed!" The security guard heard me and said, "Hey, he is right there." Then talking to the post office worker he said, "Hey, this lady needs to mail something, let her get her thing in the mail." The post office worker graciously opened up, and let me mail my documents. They will be to our case worker by Tuesday he said.

I think maybe, maybe I saved us a week. I do not know if it will make any difference. I DO know that there is a lot of things changing daily with the government there. I also know that my Heavenly Father loves Hamilton SO much more than I ever could. I also know that for now I am going to fight for this little boy. I want Hamilton to know right now that we are doing everything for him, that he has a mom who loves him and will do whatever she can to bring him home. He is precious and loved. And for now I have DONE all I can. So now we stand in faith praying. Trusting that God who is father to the fatherless will fight for this little man.

17 For the Lord your God is God of gods and Lord of lords, the great God, mighty and awesome, who shows no partiality and accepts no bribes. 18 He defends the cause of the fatherless and the widow, and loves the foreigner residing among you, giving them food and clothing.

We covet and appreciate your prayers as we wait for these documents to go overseas and be translated. We are still waiting for our USCIS approval, which could take weeks, I am praying days. We are praying and hoping in faith that there is grace and favor in this process. We are THANKFUL we have the  money to go with these documents. We will need more once our referral is given, but so far God has been faithful through His people and His church. We have seen God's hand in this process and in this adoption. Thank you for joining us in prayer as we work to bring Hamilton home.