I just wanted to post the insanity of this past week regarding our paperwork. A friend of mine who also adopted her children from Russia perfectly stated what this process is like: "Just remember this is your equivalent to labor. Only you don't get the benefit of an epidural." Now I have never given birth and we may be talking about different kinds of labor, but this week was quite the painful experience.
Monday: Our agency wrote an email apologizing that they just realized we needed to update 39 documents that had expired in our dossier. They needed them notarized, apostilled, and in their office by Thursday so they could send them to NY to a family that would hand carry our docs this weekend. For some this isn't a huge deal, however we are a 1.5 hour train ride from Chicago so I had to take a day off of work. Luckily I had Monday off and their was an open bank that notarized for us that night.
Wednesday: I took the 9am train to Chicago with all the documents. I stopped at Starbucks to get a hot chocolate for the train ride and I should have seen the signs then. They gave me a caramel machiato (sp?) and it was terrible. So got downtown at 10:30 and walked the 6 or so blocks to the apostille office. Handed everything in and then all hell broke loose. The women at the counter informed me that our notary did not stamp one of the docs. I wanted to scream I was so mad at myself. I checked every document, or so I thought, as the guy signed them. Then she tells me they can't apostille copies of our marriage certificates and that I will have to call MN (that is where we got married). I now am really sweating and freaking out. Original marriage certificates from MN can take up to 4 weeks to get plus I would have to send them back for the apostilles. Then she goes on to say that she can't apostille copies of the deed to our home because they are signed by a state official. We will have to go to our county court house and get a certified copy. So now I am beyond freaking out. I walk away and call my adoption agency. The main problem is that they are in IN and we are in IL therefore different apostille rules. IL is so much more difficult and strict about everything when it comes to adoption. Of course my agency is also freaking out and they ask me to beg them one more time and if they say no to get them to write down that they would not do it. I guess they thought that the judge would maybe be more considerate if she saw we were working on things? Well of course they said no and wouldn't write anything for me, they just gave me a flier about their office. So at this point I luckily went into thinking mode. I called my mom in MN and in under 3 hours she had 6 marriage certificates picked up, apostilled, and fedexed to our agency. I took the train back home and went back to the bank. Of course the notary that we used had called in sick that day and they would not stamp the doc with his stamp. So I went home and printed a new one and headed to the county court house. I picked up the certified copies of our deed and went to fedex. I sent everything other than the deed and the one unnotarized document to our agency. I then met my husband at the bank where we got the document notarized. At this point it was 5:45 and we headed home. The next morning Joe got up at 4:45 and got on a train to head downtown to apostille the deed and the other doc. He then fedexed the docs to the family in NY that is hand carrying our documents tomorrow to Russia.
So in the end it is an absolute miracle that all 39 of these documents are heading to Russia tomorrow!!!! Our coordinator is taking them to the judge on Tuesday so hopeful we will hear something soon!