The list of documents we need is…significant. Twenty-four different docs, multiple copies of most of them, all notarized, then all authenticated by the state that issued them. (Having a document authenticated/apostilled is just having the state confirm that the notary is valid and put a seal on the document stating such.)
I am proud to say that we have apostilled copies of our marriage certificate!
And that is it. We can cross that one off our list.
Despite that, we have gotten a lot accomplished and are on the cusp of getting a number of essential documents apostilled up in Helena. We have gotten notarized proof of home ownership and mortgage*, copies of our passports, power of attorney letters and child specific placement requests (I half made that up…I only really know that doc as a “csp”). We have a copy of our doctor’s medical license and once our bloodwork comes in, we’ll have him sign our medical forms and have them notarized so that will be done too. Our social worker arranged to get our state police clearances for us and those came in all notarized correctly which is quite a feat (Oh yes, and we are clear from criminal background!)
And the best news: our homestudy report is complete! We got the draft a few days ago, made some corrections and edits so that it’s accurate and clear, and it should be in the mail to us today, along with multiple copies of our agency license, social worker licensing letter and state police clearances! This is an accomplishment because the homestudy is the first big thing that needs to get done and it can take a LOT of time. Thankfully, our social worker was amazing and here we are, just shy of a month into this and it’s completed. Once we get that we can attach it to our USCIS (United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) application and get that in. That is the other step that could potentially hold this process up for a while. USCIS can take 3 weeks or 8 weeks (most often it’s 8 weeks.) Hopefully the medical expedite letter from our pediatrician will encourage our officer to move quickly.
So that is where we are! The paperwork really isn’t that bad, but you’d be surprised how difficult it is to sign your name without messing up when you have to notarize like 10 documents in one sitting. One slip up and we have to redo the whole doc (and the same goes for the notary…so we’ve learned to bring extra copies of everything) We are trying to pace ourselves over here…
*For anyone considering adoption, you don’t have to be a home owner, but because we are, we needed to prove it.