However. As Georgia (the nice lady in charge of state certifications in the Secretary of State's office) looked through our papers, she pulled out one document - a reference letter - and said, "The notary on this one is expired."
What?! No! It's not possible! I checked them! I double checked them! I sent them to our adoption consultant to check them! I...
I almost cried. I mean, we drove an hour to get this stuff done so that we wouldn't have to delay getting on the waiting list by waiting on the mail and now we had to get a new letter with a new notary's signature and get that letter back to the SOS office which means delays and waiting and BAAAAAAHHHHHHH!
But I should have known. I should have just prepared myself to have something not be done. Because that's how this whole process has been! Everything just takes so much work and has to be just so and there are so many humans involved in each document so the possibility for human error just climbs and climbs. I'm not complaining. Well, maybe I am. But I'm not suggesting it should be any other way. After all, this is a child's life we're talking about here. So I'm glad there are so many checks in place to make sure that our child will be placed in a safe and loving home. But still...BAAAAAHHHHHHH! It's just infuriating when you think you've done everything right only to find out that you haven't. ONE. MEASLY. LITTLE. DATE. can ruin it all. Can knock back your schedule by a week or more.
But no use bemoaning what's done. It's really no one's fault. At the time of the signature, the notary wasn't expired, but the notary has to be valid through the date when our dossier is reviewed by the Ethiopian Embassy so our agency suggests all of our notaries have expiration dates at least six months out. I should have caught it. But I didn't.
On the bright side, it was only one document. And it was a reference letter from my sweet friend, Kathleen (also known as Baby Ruby's Mommy - that's what Lila calls her) as opposed to a medical letter from our doctor that would have involved a lot more people and more money. So Kathleen graciously took time this morning (even though her mom is visiting from out of town) to get the letter re-signed and notarized. Lila and I picked it up and the Husband will drive it to Topeka on Monday. We could mail it, but the earliest we would have it then would be Wednesday. This way, we'll have this document back on Monday and be able to mail our completed dossier overnight that day so it will be in St. Louis (where our agency is based) on Tuesday.
UPDATE: The Husband just called and he left work early today to drive the letter to Topeka tonight! Then we can be done-done-done!
After that, our adoption consultant will review our dossier and if everything looks good (please, LORD let everything be good!) she will send it on to the courier in Washington DC to have it authenticated. I don't know what "authenticated" means nor do I care. All I care about is that it is out of my hands. No longer will it be possible that I can delay the day that our baby comes home to us. After it is authenticated by the U.S. Department of State, then the courier will pick it up and bring it to the Ethiopian Embassy in DC to be authenticated again by the Ethiopian government. Once that is done, our agency will be notified and we will be put on the waiting list. This all should take 2-3 weeks so our realistic hope is that we will be on the waiting list by the end of February.
The last email we got from our agency said that there are 94 families on the waiting list and there hasn't been a referral since December so that means there are still at least 94 families ahead of us. Eek. But we know and trust that the timing will be perfect. The Lord knows who our son or daughter is even now - just as He knew Lila even before she was conceived. We have to view even little hiccups like the expired notary as intentional stalls to get us where we need to be to be matched with our son or daughter. We have to. Otherwise, we'll go crazy. Well, I'll go crazy. Eric is usually the sane one of the two of us. Usually.
In other news, we did get our passport photos taken on Wednesday so that's one more thing checked off the list.
|The Husband is actually smiling in his photo. I was giving him grief because he usually looks so depressed/angry in photos for things like this. I think in an effort to look cool or something. Grumpy does not equal cool, Husband.|
|She's been putting her hand in her mouth when she's self-concious. It's kinda cute, kinda gross.|
Also, I bought this hardcore contraption to keep our documents in:
I wish I would have bought this at the very beginning of our adoption process. It would have prevented many unnecessarily dramatic gasps, panic attacks and Husband scoldings when our flimsy folder was put in harms way. For whatever reason, the only one big enough to hold our entire dossier came with a calculator. I find this hilarious. And awesome.
Here's hoping our next post will be titled: Dossier MAILED! Stay tuned...