Thursday, August 16, 2007


All I have to show for a year's worth of paper chasing is a FedEx slip. This single piece of paper with a tracking number is supposed to keep me from falling off the edge of the world with worry. At least that's what the guy in the purple shirt told me when he wrenched the envelope from my hands.

I'm not superstitious, but I figured if I stopped writing, "The apostilles should be back before the end of the week so we can send everything off to Ukraine", maybe they actually WOULD show up. And wouldn't you know it, they did. The last set of apostilles came in the mail a few hours ago. I decided to scan every single seal and notarized paper (just in case) before carrying it to the courier office. My oldest son watched me curiously as I placed each paper on the glass screen.

"Mom, what are you doing?"
"I'm scanning the paperwork, honey."
"No, I mean why are you doing it . . . like that?"

I was a little confused until he mimicked the motion of me delicately taking each paper, arranging it on the glass, and gently closing the cover. I guess I must have looked like I was handling the Dead Sea Scrolls. But come on, you PAP's know that this set of paperwork comes in a close second to sacred writings!

Sam accompanied me to the FedEx office. I seriously thought about taking my camera with me, but I didn't want to freak the workers out. The Eimers have the best pictures of their family sending off their dossier. I took the international shipping bill and filled out each line as legibly as I could. Under "Value", I paused to think about what I should write. In a tangible way, this stack of paper is worth a lot to our family. Looking at it, an outsider would guess the whole dossier could be put together in a matter of a month or two. But the choreography involved in getting every signature, date and form in place tells a different story. If you go back through each letter we've written, the paperwork that had to be done and redone, the emails, phone calls, and sheer time we've invested, the value of a dossier would be quite high. When we consider what this dossier will bring us to, it is in fact priceless.

"I'm not sure what I should write here under 'Value'," I said to the man behind the counter.
"What's in it?" he inquired as he turned the package over in his hands and placed it on the scale.
"Our adoption paperwork. A year's worth of sweat and tears," I replied.
"Well, then, its worth quite a lot. But we'll call it $2.00," he smiled knowingly as he placed an extra strip of tape across the seal.

He input our information into the computer and informed me that our paperwork should find its way to Ukraine by next Monday, my birthday. After a moment of panic when I couldn't find my credit card, I paid the clerk and headed out to the car. As of 6:00 tonight, I can begin obsessively compulsively tracking the envelope. That poor website is going to get more hits in the next week than Google.

So, nothing left to do now. Welcome to the waiting game. I hear I'm in good company.


The Clinging Vine said...

Oh my! I perfectly understand how you feel. ;-)

Just wait till it's time to go. I went through my packet of papers over and over again, and once we set off, I refused to leave them. Where I went, the binder went with me. Here's a photo of me with a friend at Stone Mountain, Georgia the day our flight left for Russia (it was an evening flight, and we'd arrived in Atlanta the day before, Just In Case, so had all day to fill):

Yup. Me. Brad. And the paperwork.

What? Leave it in the CAR? What if the car were stolen, eh?

Not on your tin-type, by golly.

It was all but crazy-glued to my fingers until we were home.

Praying your paperwork arrives fast and with no trouble, so y'all can get Kristina home ASAP.

Anne in Fort Worth (mother to Dmitry, adopted from Russia in Oct. of '03, and whose 17th birthday is today)

Tami said...

Oh that's so awesome!!!!! You are in very good company, although you need to come over to my blog and check out my new news! :)

Tami said...

Oh...and I've brought a big bucket of Blue Bunny with two spoons. (I always come prepared! :)

Nataliya said...

Oh, I can relate :) It is indeed like the "Dead Sea scrolls", that's for sure! A good idea to put just $2 worth - otherwise it would be delayed at customs in Kiev.

The Hale Family said...

All those cliches about letting go hit home now! Just think, you don't have to feel guilty anymore about what you haven't done. Now you can begin thinking about how to skillfully prod Oleg to get your appointment!

Leslie said...

LOL! Jim, if you have any suggestions to that end, I'd pay good money!

CZ said...

YAY!!! I'm so happy things are progressing. And I'm REALLY happy you're back in contact with Kristina- I was kind of stressed about that and instead of comforting you, I think I stressed you out more about that. I miss you! I just caught up on your blog for the past month. Thanks for the props earlier on- if only all of my Starbucks trips were so altruistic! :) Lots of love!