Big sigh, then “adopting … takes … FOREVER!” Calista is known to say this weekly, if not daily.
2 weeks ago, Brian and I sat down with a pile of papers, a glue stick and many documents from Mark Ritchie (our MN Secretary of State.) I even “posted” on Facebook that we were moments away from shipping off our Dossier.
Bigger sigh. Never mind.
We started reading the fine print and “6 months” and “expiration” kept jumping off the check list. Brian and I finally surmised that many of our documents had “expired.” Our birth certificates, proof of employment and 4 other items needed to be redone and re-requested.
Without throwing the Secretary of State office or our adoption agency under the bus, suffice to say that we are learning the hard way about documents and certification in Chinese adoption papers.*
Brian and I were so upset. I was trembling. Crying. Brian was so angry he stopped talking to anyone. He was also packing to leave for 19 days and could barely remember to pack his razor. It was ugly.
We had a babysitter due to a feverish Elam and while she thankfully (YAY Kaelie!) invested in our kids, we fell apart, made phone calls and piled up our 4 copies of dozens of papers for the recycle bin.
After a few deep breaths, a few days later and a many phone calls with our agency, Brian and I got a little Ratatouille “perspective.”
Imagine what orphans go through every day. What the birth parents have suffered. Imagine what heart ache and injustice they face. This miniscule “first-world problem” called paperwork is not hard. It does not give my children nightmares (may give us some!). It does not rob us of our dignity.
Paperwork is a small thing. Jesus told us that “The one who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much; and the one who is unrighteous in a very little thing is unrighteous also in much.”
I am trusting we can be faithful with these small pieces of paper and be faithful with the large job of raising this child at the end of this sea of papers. And hey, who doesn’t need some extra copies of their birth certificates and marriage license lying around the house?
* Our agency is crediting our account to help pay for the cost of redoing paperwork.