Loving Husband and I have recently put in the paperwork to adopt again. We adopted our first son from Russia. He is absolutely perfect, in every single way. Well, there's that annoying screaming and no nap thing, but I digress...
Yet again, we jumped through all the flaming rings of red tape that are the Russian Adoption Process. We wrote autobiographies, we did financial statements, we got criminal background checks, we got referral letters from friends and family. We got all this stuff notarized. Then we got all this stuff apostilled (a fancy term for "we don't believe your notary is a notary, so we make you get the Secretary of State to staple a piece of paper on top of the document and then we believe you"). BTW, apostilling costs $10 a document. Can I get an "ouch"?
Finally we had a critical mass of documentation. And I do mean "critical". Our dossier (a fancy term for "great gob o' paperwork") would break your foot if dropped upon it. We were issued a I-600 form to complete, then instructed to turn it in at CIS (previously known as INS) and get fingerprinted.
Our first appointment consisted of getting turned away at the door because we did not have a copy of our adoption agency's license. Huh? With our first adoption, we did not need that. Guess what? They changed the rules. Damn bureaucrats! Can you still call them that if they're Russian?
Could we call and have them fax a copy of the license in? NO. They did not have a fax machine for that purpose. HUH? Doesn't everyone with a pulse have a fax machine? I could probably send a fax on my phone nowadays...if the touch-screen would work. ...but there I go digressing again.
Anyway, we made another appointment, and with license in hand, we got in and got fingerprinted. It went so smoothly. We should have known something was up...
We recently got a nice, official-looking packet in the mail. It is from the American Consultate General. It contains a "welcome to the adoption process" letter, and application for visas for us to travel, and a nice map to the consultate office overseas.
One problem...it's from China.