True Confessions

So, here's a dirty little secret of mine. I still have not finished that last details of Zinabu's adoption. You'll be confused when I describe it to you. After all, what could possibly be left? Allow me to lead you through the littered minefield of adoption paperwork.
Home study
Medical check
Financial check
Agency approval
State approval
Country approval
Overseas paperwork
Background checks
Fingerprinting (not once, not twice, but often three times)
Security clearance
More overseas paperwork
Referral paperwork
Acceptance paperwork
Medical paperwork
Visa paperwork
Travel paperwork
Travel immunizations
And probably a hundred more items I forgot.
Then you get home with your child, and there's more.
Medical check ups
Post travel evaluations
Home visits from the social worker
Post placement reports (Several the first year, and one report each additional year until the child is 18)
Application to finalize adoption in our state
Court appearance to finalize adoption
Tax paperwork
Social security paperwork
And a few other odds and ends, but I think you get the picture.
I have done it ALL, three times over. I do NOT begrudge the process. Not at all. I would do it all over again in a heartbeat for every one of my babies. But... can you understand while I've put off one last item? And it's a bit of a doozie. You see, even though Zinabu's adoption is recognized and finalized in Ethiopia, and the United States recognizes and has finalized Zinabu's adoption, he does not have a Certificate of Citizenship. Meaning he's our child but not a citizen. Trust me, the entire process is maddening.
I have not finished the citizenship paperwork for lots of reasons. First of all, I have another 10 years before I need to complete it. Second of all, it's a big fat fee of $500. Third of all, the paperwork necessary is worse than trying to explain the game of Monopoly to my dog. Here I am, a well-educated, English-speaking grown woman and I can't quite figure it all out. Imagine being from another country, where English is not your first language, and trying to navigate our Immigration system. Talk about a bum deal. It would, in a word, suck. So have mercy on me and anyone else you meet that is still working on their paperwork. It's no walk in the park.
I was getting good at putting off this last dreaded task, until last month. I was waking up at night, freaking out, sweating, wanting to wipe this off my to-do list. So I put on my big girl panties and started. I have the photo to show my piles of paperwork (yes, all for the ding-dong citizenship application). I am hoping to get it all in the mail by the end of August. And when I do, I will be popping the champagne!


Bridget said...

Can I drink with you? I think I need to after reading all that. Plus, I like you. and Champagne! ;)

Vivi said...

Wow. That is a TON. I knew it wasn't an easy process, but never knew anyone personally who had to go through it all. Your champagne will be well deserved.

Deirdre said...

Ooh, can we be COC buddies? I have just recently restarted the application for Sidamo and have much of it ready to go, but I still need the photos and some other miscellany. I think what has been especially overwhelming to me is the fact that there was a birthdate discrepancy on some of his paperwork, and that seems to (impossibly) complicate matters. But I guess the process needs to get started regardless. Let's check in with each other to make sure we're staying on track. :-)

Mark and Sarah said...

Oooh, me next, me next. I finished A's about a year ago, but now have B's re-adoption and all the rest . I cannot even think about opening the envelope from the local courts with all the bureaucracy inside it, ugh. I will pop champagne with you from here that night!

Courtney O. said...

Go for it! Maybe you'll inspire me. I haven't even begun Sam's paperwork for getting his Canadian citizenship (b/c Brent is canadian)

Stacy said...

hey i am behind you. sadly. but truely, the day i have an extra $500 will probably be the day i stop paying daycare. so when she's what??? 13?

Chatter said...

Biruk has been home for 2.5 years and we still haven't went through the readoption process. You are soooo not alone :)aQ

Laura said...

Okay, so reading this post has motivated me to do my last piece of paperwork, ordering new birth certificates. We have already had our court date, but I have been putting off spending that $100 that It cost to get the copies of the birth certificates.

When i read your post, I thought, "Wow, what she has to do is way harder than what I have left. I should really get it done."

So, I am pretty sure that wasn't your purpose in posting and it may even irritate you that my task was easier and is done, but I have to say, "Thank You!!"

Melodie Monberg said...

And if I were you, wait a little longer. Colorado has misplaced Desta's birth certificate four times now! Yep, that $500 check was cashed SEVERAL months ago (April) and we still are waiting! So just go ahead and wait...maybe they'll get it right in a few years!

Julia said...

What's worse? I HAVE a COC, but it says my boy is a girl. And honestly, I lack the will to fight at this point.