Posted by: perchancetodream | February 18, 2010

Three Dead Trees

A lot has happened since I last wrote.  And nothing has happened.  All at once.  Basically, I’ve been alternately (1) swamped at work (2) on a wonderful vacation to New Orleans to celebrate hubby’s birthday (3) getting ready for an impromptu visit from my dad and (r) running around jumping through bureaucratic hoops to finish our dossier.

Work is a story for another day except to say that our already over-worked and over-stressed office is currently short-staffed.  We are also undertaking one of my least favorite things in the world – a strategic plan.  And we have had a change of lay leadership so we’re having to break them in. And we’re looking to redo our website – which is all down to me. And…..yes, a story for another day.

Our New Orleans trip was amazing.  Hubby had never been there and I hadn’t been there since Katrina.  Aside from the fact that my favorite Irish pub hadn’t survived the aftermath, the French Quarter has rebounded nicely. We drank, ate, drank, listened to wonderful music, drank, walked around, took photos and just soaked it all in.  We were also fortunate to be there for one of the first of the Mardi Gras parades and for a pre-Super Bowl Saints parade.  It was a wonderful time and as with everytime I’ve ever been there, I can’t wait to go back.  Someday.  My big souvenir this trip was a mask made by one of the artists currently working for Cirque du Soleil.

My dad’s visit came up as a bit of a surprise.  He hasn’t visited us here in Music City which is a shame because he loves to travel and I always joke that I keep moving just so that he has new places to visit.  His wife doesn’t like to travel and won’t fly so we knew that if we waiting for them to drive the 10 hours to get here….well, we wouldn’t still be living here so we offered to fly him in and somehow she agreed to let him.  Not really sure what we’re going to do as he isn’t a country music fan and has the most limited food tastes of anyone I’ve ever met.  But it will be great to just hang out.  As an only child, it’s hard for me to see him so rarely.

The BIG news on the adoption front is that we FINALLY got our FBI clearance letters.  It took an unprecedented (apparently!) 12 weeks – which is amazing given that hubby had to get clearance to move to the US to begin with.  But we were up against the holidays, federal closings due to snow, etc….but we have them.

I’d planned to go this morning to have everything apostilled and in some last minute burst of brilliance double-checked the secretary of state’s website to find that I needed to go to the county clerk’s office first so that they could confirm the signatures of the notaries.  So each of our 17 documents is now notarized, confirmed, and apostilled.  We now need to make copies of the lot (hence the three dead trees title and because I know the amount of physical paper being used is making hubby buggy) and mail them off to our agency who will review, approve (I hope!), and send to Bulgaria to be translated.  It takes 6-8 days to get there via FedEx and 2-4 weeks to be translated and then notarized and apostilled in Bulgaria!  They are then filed in the Ministry of Justice and, if all is well, the MOJ issues a letter of registration with 2 months.  So yes, it could very well be May before we’re actually registered.  A YEAR after we began all of this.

I’ve been feeling a great sense of relief today (particularly after the women doing the apostilles said that she wished that all prospective adoptive parents had their paperwork in as good order as we did!).  But I realize that, given the timeline, once we’re registered we need to start looking and which documents will be expiring and start refiling.

As one of my valentine’s day gifts, hubby gave me a proper scrapbook to start an adoption journal.  I’ve always been fairly frightened of the scrap-booking section of our local craft store because I could see getting sucked into it and now I have an excuse!  I just need to figure out which “approval” to start with!

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