Friday, April 28, 2006

Week 7 - Inefficiencies

We finally got D's birth certificate back from the state of New York. Processing time from order date to arrival in our mailbox = 16 days.

Now the certificate goes back to NY county to have it re-certified. Estimated processing time = 14 days.

Then the certificate goes to the Secretary of State to be certified yet again. Estimated processing time = 5 days.

Lastly, it goes to the Chinese Consulate for authentication. Estimated processing time = 15 business days.

So, from start to finish, including a day on each side of the equation for shipping, completion of a single dossier document originating in New York = 60 days if done through the mail (assuming it doesn't get lost in transit on any of its trips).

Dossier completion of same said document by a courier - Estimated processing time = 5 days.

Whatever the courier wants to charge us to not have to deal with New York government offices anymore = priceless.

Friday, April 21, 2006

Week 6 - Still Paperchasing

It's been a quiet week - not too much to report. Finally got a certified copy of my birth certificate back from Texas. Now I have to send it back to the Lone Star State to have it certified that it's a valid certified copy. Still waiting on D's birth certificate to come back from New York. We've heard that New York state offices can be notoriously slow in terms of paperwork. Funny, considering how fast-paced the rest of New York can be...

Thursday, April 13, 2006

Twice the Rice

It's sobering. It's difficult to read in every way. Nonetheless, I think it should be required reading for every adoptive parent who has or is considering transracial, transcultural adoption.
Twice the Rice is written by Ji-in, a 29 year old Korean adoptee. She's sometimes a little angry, sometimes a little bitter, and at all times bluntly honest. Reading about Ji-in's experience coming to terms with her adoption reminds me that "our" adoption is not about us. Our adoption will be about our daughter. It's her story. It will always be her story, no matter how we try to make it fit the tale we would like told, or the happy ending we hope to assign it.

Whether you decide to agree or disagree with Ji-in's blatantly harsh words about adoption, it's important to note that unless you've been adopted yourself, it's virtually impossible to truly put yourself in her shoes. Dismissing her comments as sensationalist or self-indulgent diminishes the absolute value of her personal truth. A verity that Ji-in, judgments aside, solely owns.

Tonight I find myself acutely aware that perhaps an inwardly turned mirror is both the kindest and cruelest reflection of all. I have so much to learn - about adoption, myself, and soon, my daughter. Most importanly, I pray I'll learn to cradle my daughter's truth with gentle hands.

Week 5 - Gathering of Documents

Not too much to report here...just going about the gathering of what seems like a million documents for our dossier. Dropped off our request today for police letters of clearance to prove we weren't serial criminals in a previous life. The USCIS cashed our check this week for our petition to adopt an international orphan, so we know that things are moving along on that front, too. We've finished up our homestudy visits and our social worker is just waiting on me to finalize my job situation before she writes up our home study. Sometimes, late at night, it really seems as though this adoption is finally going to happen. Then I wake up in the morning and it still seems so far away. I know we'll get there...after all - even the turtle can cross 1,000 miles if he just keeps walking.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Week 4 - The Dossier Guide

Yesterday, we finally received the holy grail of the adoption paperchase - the dossier guide. For those of you not on top of adoption lingo - the dossier is a compilation of financial documents, immigration approvals, home study information and other documents that international adoptive families must put together for foreign governmental review.

Since each piece of the dossier requires notarization, certification and authentication from different state, national and international entities prior to being finalized, the dossier guide is intended to provide parents with instructions on what to send where and to whom. Lots and lots of instructions - almost 50 pages worth. Guess I'll be reading more than knitting for the next few days...

In other news we have our third home study visit tonight. Just when we thought things were going smoothly, we have hit our first minor snag. I am anticipating changing jobs over the next few weeks, which will have the effect of slowing down our home study process during the transition. In the meantime we are continuing to collect documents and hope that my situation will resolve itself quickly and we'll be able to move forward full speed ahead!

Monday, April 03, 2006

Webbed Feet

Nature has an uncanny way of opening our eyes sometimes...for us, whenever something big is about to happen, we get ducks in our swimming pool. While we were going through infertility treatment, a pair of mallard ducks would find their way to our pool on the most meaningful of days, as if they knew exactly when and where to pull up a front row seat to watch the latest episode of our personal drama. It has been a long time since we've seen them, and we felt sure that they moved on when we did.

Much to our surprise, on Saturday we heard their familiar quacking. A quick peek out the window confirmed their graceful presence as they tooled around our deep end as if waiting for something. Soon after, our telephone rang. It was our adoption agency, approving our application much sooner than we expected!!! This was the last piece we were waiting on to get the international paperwork started in earnest. Soon after the call, the ducks changed channels and took flight. Maybe next time we should offer them popcorn.