Sunday, March 15, 2009

Fun with documents!

Lately we have sent in several new documents for tier 2 of the dossier. Notarized letters of employment (3 changes until correct), notarized medical insurance letters, I-171H notarized as a true and exact copy, a certified warranty deed (this is being returned to re-do), and a notarized residence verification letter.

The residence verification letter was a challenge! It had to be on notarized letterhead from our Mortgage lender – but the wording was such that they were unwilling to be of assistance. Both Bill and I have worked in the mortgage industry and neither of us could blame them for not being willing to do it. So the other option was to ask a Realtor to notarize the document. The Realtor had to sell in the state of Tennessee. My brother has his Realtors license in Texas, and my best friend April is a Realtor in Missouri – but alas, we don’t know anyone in Tennessee that would be willing to sign/notarize a document with the extensive information/wording required. The third possibility was our Credit Union. We were not sure if Russia would recognize a Credit Union as a source, but Jessica (our fantastic Case Worker at WACAP) said it should be okay. I went into our Credit Union with a copy of the deed in hand, and some photos of the home and the letter complete for them to make them as comfortable as possible. All we needed was for them to put it on letterhead, sign and notarize (like they wrote the letter - gulp!). I spoke to the VP of the credit union, and at first she was hesitant - but after we talked awhile, I found out that her son recently lost a baby (he lived only a few hours after birth) so she was luckily willing to help us out. I walked out of there on cloud 9! We sent all these documents FedEx to Jessica that day.

So our next two documents are a challenge as well. We need a medical letter and a police clearance. Both of these are time sensitive, so we are doing our due diligence so when the time comes, we will know exactly what to do. On the medical letter, it is a requirement that the doctor fill in the information on each of the 7 blocks and sign his/her name on each block as well. The signature must be an exact match as his/her medical license. This must be on medical practice letterhead, and must be notarized with the same date that he/she signed the document. We also need a copy of the medical license. Jessica suggested that we contact our physicians to ensure they are willing to do this, because this form in particular has proved to be very complicated in the past. My doctor’s office says yes – I have it in writing!! Bill’s doctor’s office said yes, but after much explanation – his doctor wrote a letter and said that Bill was “fine” and notarized it. The form letter was nowhere to be found! Of course, we told them that it’s very time sensitive and to not do anything right away. What makes this funny (well, kind of funny), is that we also received a bill in the mail for his services! Ha! Let’s see closer to time how this form unfolds.

Lastly, a state wide police clearance is required. This is also time sensitive. Since I will be in Virginia during the entire month of April, I was hoping that before I left I could get this done (at least my part) – knowing that more than likely I will have to do it again in May. It is going to be very difficult to take time off to go get this done after I officially start the new job. We need to save our time off for traveling, when our bundle of joy is sick, etc. Bill’s time is fairly flexible, so this will have to be a task we do separately. To make a long story as short as possible, we cannot figure out how to get a Tennessee state clearance. We had a local police clearance (also previous states we lived in) for our homestudy, and we had an FBI clearance for our USCIS docs, but this is different. Tennessee is not willing to notarize any forms (of course, a requirement for Russia), so more than likely we will have to get fingerprinted again (already 5 sets of fingerprints between the two of us!). To make the matter even more exciting – the fingerprinting probably has to be done in Nashville again (long drive from Virginia). Nashville doesn’t accept appointments, and just sends out a letter that says we have to come in at a particular date/time! Jessica is going to make some calls on Monday, and Pam (and her wonderful assistant Brittany) from Harmony have been making some calls as well. Tuesday we will have a generic conference call with Jessica, and I am certain this will be a topic of conversation!

Bill and I are so fortunate to have such good agencies on our side. We really did a lot of “shopping around” and talking to agencies in detail. So far, this has proved to be the most important thing we have done during our adoption journey. After we submit our documents, Jessica still has to send them all over the country getting them apostilled in different locations. Thanks to both Harmony and WACAP!

We are looking forward to getting the next two requirements complete! Until then, we are trying to learn some phrases in Russian (the Judge likes to hear these in court), still working on the baby room, doing research online, reading books, etc. We want to be as prepared as possible for our chid(ren) to come home!

1 comment:

  1. Hey if you come to the Nashville area let me know! I will meet you somewhere for lunch or something. :) I also posted on the big Yahoo board and asked about the state wide issue.