Friday, June 03, 2005

In which we are certified and apostilled

Keith and I went yesterday afternoon to get our dossier documents certified and apostilled. The process goes like this: each document is completed and signed, and then notarized. Then they go to the County Clerk’s office of whatever county that notary is licensed in. The County Clerk certifies it (checks the notary’s license and makes sure it is legal and current), and staples a piece of paper to it with their stamp on it, all for a low, low per-document fee. This fee varies county to county. Keith and I used mainly one notary, a friend of mine here at work. We only had two documents notarized by a different person, and they were done at the sheriff’s office stating that we are not convicted felons. The sheriff’s notary is in a different county, and the fee for her county is $4/document. The fee for our other notary, the one who did the majority of our documents, is only $2/document. Thank goodness we used her! We cut our certification fees in half by using a notary from the cheaper county. SO – after certification, everything goes to the state capitol (luckily we live right here) and is apostilled. Apostilling is when the Secretary of State puts a little shiny sticker on the certification, basically certifying the certifier. For another $2/document. Our dossier is 19 documents, so it adds up over time. The good news is, our dossier is done! Except for one teeny little document, our marriage license. I have a certified copy of it, and since we were married in Arkansas, it was certified in Arkansas. So we have to mail it to Little Rock for apostilling. It’s being overnighted today; hopefully we’ll have a response from them by mid-next week. And can I say I’m glad we’re not living in Arkansas right now? Getting documents apostilled in the state of Arkansas is $10/document! That would really add up. To at least $190, which is more than we’ve paid here in the Volunteer State.

The best part of the dossier completion is just how easy it was. We heard so many horror stories about these government offices, waiting four or five hours, having all sorts of issues. We were prepared for the worst. But we were in and out of two county offices and the state capitol office in around an hour and a half. It was wonderful.

All that’s left now is that one pesky document from Arkansas and then putting all the dossier sets together. We have to send in one original and two copies, and keep a copy for ourselves. Because I’m thorough, I’m keeping two full sets for us. I made copies of everything (approximately 800 copies, seriously, and that’s not including the ones I messed up) and now I need to buy 3-ring binders for them. I intend to get really pretty ones, probably purple, and not just plain boring ones, because I think Eva would like it that way. After they go in the binders, all those little dossiers are going right into a box to be overnighted to our agency in Wyoming and then on to be translated into Russian.

Owen asked me yesterday if, when Eva comes, she will have a mouth, and will she talk to him? Although I was thinking, "Yes she’ll have a mouth, but probably won’t say much, less because of the language barrier and more because you won’t possibly LET HER GET A WORD IN EDGEWISE," I just said, "Yes, baby," and I hardly said that before he started talking over me again, something about his backpack and a Wal-Mart bag, and I’d be lying if I said he didn’t lose me after that.

As an aside, surely I am not the only one who is skeeved out by a woman playing Peter Pan in the musical. I know he needs to sound all pre-pubescent and all, but it just seems wrong.


liz said...

I just want to tell you how excited I am that you've come so far with the adoption process - and seemingly pretty quickly, too, from what I understand. Congrats and I'm looking forward to hearing about all the future exciting moments.

Aitch said...

A woman playing Peter pan in the musical? This is not new news, that is tradition. Have you not heard of Sandy Duncan? She played Peter Pan on stage a number of times and she was excellent might I add!