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.
Fingerprinting (not once, not twice, but often three times)
More overseas paperwork
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
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!