Passport Attempt #1 – The Phone Call

phone call

In case  you haven’t been following along on our passport drama for kid two here’s the skinny:

  • We move and misplace original birth certificate for our daughter.
  • We ask adoption worker for another copy of birth certificate and she says no.
  • Adoption worker says we can get a passport without a birth certificate.
  • We finalize the adoption.
  • We apply for passport with birth records.
  • We go on staycation and place mail on hold. We get an email saying that we were receiving a letter from the passport folks. We return and get no letter. We tell USPS and no one cares. We end up calling the passport folks.
  • We speak with a customer service rep who tells us he can’t tell us what was in the letter but he’ll have someone from the office call us to chat.
  • We miss the call.
  • We return the call and no one picks up. We leave a message.
  • A woman returns the call and tells us that 1) the laws have changed and you do need a birth certificate to get a passport and 2) we need to sign a declaration saying that she doesn’t have a social yet.
  • We’re waiting on the letter to arrive in our inbox so we can get the birth certificate in the mail.

Ugh …..

 

 

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Second Adoption: Finalization Date

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This is why folks don’t like working with the county: no one knows what anyone else is doing.

We received an email from our daughter’s social worker saying that she needed to come by the house for May’s visit. At the finalization paperwork signing, our adoption worker told us that there would be no more visits from the social worker and that we’d be dealing with her from here on out. In the email, she mentioned that finalization was “around the corner” but we didn’t have a date yet. Huh?

I forwarded the email to our adoption worker. Her reply was that finalization was scheduled and the social worker needed to visit again. My guess is because she’ll be on vacation?

Anyhoo … in a round about way, we found out our finalization date, that she won’t be able to attend (again) and the social worker that I wanted to punch in the face will be there. Ah …  friggin’ … some!

 

 

Finalization Paperwork Complete!

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We drove down to our adoption worker’s office (this is our second adoption from foster care) and signed the paperwork. She matched us with both kids and has been around for the last five years. We enjoy her personality and it’s always a pleasure to see her.

We took both the babies. There are rooms that you go into that have tables and chairs, a couch, and toys. I think the rooms might also be used for visitation. Anyhoo … the rooms mean that we don’t have to leave the kids at home when we need to meet with the foster care or adoption people.

At the first signing, we got lots of information about our kid’s family. It was all medical, but we found out how many siblings be had and a little about his mother and grandmother. I was looking forward to learning a bit about our daughter’s family because we know next to nothing.

Disappointment.

There was a huge stack of papers, just like last time but ….  all the slots on the paper said, “unknown”. We did find out that there are siblings, but we don’t know the birthdates or ages. There was no medical information other than her mother has a history of back pain. Most of the pages were from our daughter’s birth and had stuff about her birth. It’s good information to have but ….  I’m a little sad that there wasn’t more.

As usual they asked if our daughter’s mother was to have another baby that came into care, would we want to know about it/be asked to match ….  the adoption worker reminded us that her mother is still young and another baby could be born and placed. We looked at each other …….  we checked “yes”. It doesn’t mean we’d automatically match but we at least have the option. Knowing our child had a siblings out there that she could possibly grow up with ….  whoo …  that’s powerful. I don’t see how we could say that we didn’t at least want the opportunity to see if our home would be a good fit.

Anyhoo …  the paperwork is signed and now we’re just waiting on a finalization date.

=)

Date for Signing Placement Paperwork Set

Calendar

This morning we got a call from our adoption worker saying that we have a date to sign our placement paperwork! I was hoping it was going to be this week but it turns out that it’s a few weeks away.

If you’ve adopted from foster care then you know that this is the last thing that has to happen before we can finalize the adoption. Last time, we got a finalization date a few weeks after our signing. We’re hoping that the same thing happens this time.

=)

 

Adoption #2: Legally Free for Adoption

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Just got the news that the appeals period is over and the baby is now legally free for adoption. The next step, I think, is getting a date to finalize the adoption.

We were matched in July and it’s looking like we might be finalized by February! It’s been so long that I’ve been trying to remember how it goes: matching, placement, termination of parental rights, appeals period, sign adoption papers, get a finalization date, finalize the adoption. Whoo! It took 13 months with our son. If things keep up at this pace, it’ll be 7 months for our daughter.

She’s only been here a few months but I can’t imagine our family without her. Now it looks like I won’t have to.

=)

 

The Adoption is Final

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I made the sign with a girlfriend using a Cricut. There wasn’t enough room to space the words, but you get the idea. =)

It’s done.

The journey we began in 2012 is come to it’s legal end. We are now proud parents. We finalized the adoption of our son.

We weren’t sure what to expect the day of finalization. We brought my parents and his parents. The court was doing adoptions and juvenile justice cases. We had to wait in the hallway for a woman that we’d never met before (our adoption worker couldn’t make it). She found us by walking up to our group of eight and saying, “You’re not here for adoptions”. Way to start it off! Lol

She said that she was doing three other adoptions and we’d have to wait an hour or two (my mom swore she heard her say, “Or three”) until she was done with the other ones. Fortunately, the judge felt differently. Our case was called and we all entered the court room. We sat at the table with the baby and everyone else sat on the back bench. The judge asked where our social worker was and we told her that she was down the hall. After calling the other court room, the judge decided that we’d start without her. YES!

She walked over to the table and asked us to say and spell our complete legal names. Then she asked each of us if we wanted to adopt and if we were okay with our spouse adopting. If felt like getting married all over again. I started crying and He misted up a bit. She said her spiel about us officially being parents and then we took TONS of photos. Our judge was so cool!

She gave the baby a teddy bear, let us hang our two HUGE pennants (thanks Circut!) across her desk and had her staff take photos. We got group photos with the judge, group photos with the family, photos with each set of grandparents and photos with just us and the baby. The judge smiled just as big as us. The finalization was quick and painless.

After that, we all shuffled into the hallway to await the official paperwork. The social worker said it would be at least twenty minutes and while she was saying that, our names were called. The judge had her staff submit our paperwork while we took photos so by the time we made it into the hallway the paperwork was done!

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Yum!

We arrived at 7:30am (we were told to arrive by 8am) and were walking back to our cars by 9:30am. It was too early for lunch, so we headed over to His parent’s house and ate a delicious (and huge) breakfast prepared by his dad.

We took off that afternoon to celebrate with a staycation. It’s strange that things changed legally for our family (and it was an emotional rush), but nothing changed. It’s been us three for the last year. I can’t wait for the next fifty years!  =)

Adoption Finalization Poem

I keep seeing all of these super cute wall hangings and with our adoption finalization (can you believe it’s been a year since we were matched with a newborn in foster care?!) coming up in a few weeks it seemed like a good time to make a new wall hanging.

I found this poem, “We Were So Excited” and it seemed like a cute rhyme to hang up, but it didn’t quite fit our family so I made a few tweaks:

Adoption-Poem-Elephant-Image.fwIt’s definitely not as cute as it was, but it really fits our unconventional family. I wish it flowed better, but I’m not a poet. I guess this is just one more example of how I’m not perfect, but I try very hard.  =)