I actually have something to report! We have reached a milestone this week. Our collection of dossier documents is complete. Several of the documents have been notarized, it has been certified by the Oregon Secretary of State, and now needs to be authenticated and legalized. What does that mean? Basically it's a series of confirmations by government entities, vouching for the previous entity and acknowledging our petition to adopt from Thailand.
I know you're wondering, so here's the checklist (that I've been staring at for the last 5 months) of things included in the dossier:
1. Certificate of Documentation
2. Assumption of Responsibility to Administer Postplacement Services and Approval of Family for Adoption
3. Notarized True Copy of H License
4. Notarized True Copy of Direct Service Agency License
5. State Approval Letter
6. Letter from Direct Service Agency
7. Adoptive Home Study
8. Reference Letters
9. Financial Statement
10. Federal Income Tax Statement
11. Statement from Financial Institution
12. Verification(s) of Employment
13. Husband’s Birth Certificate
14. Wife’s Birth Certificate
15. Marriage Certificate
16. Health Certificate(s) for every member of the family
17. Copy of Passports OR Social Security Card
18. Royal Thai Government Application for Adoption
19. Four passport photos of each spouse
20. Child opinion form
21. 8-10 family photos of family and dwelling
22. Agreement to complete adoption
23. Letter to Thai DSDW
24. Criminal background checks
Sidenote: I would just like to point out that some of those things (like the health certificates from each of our doctors) were incredibly difficult to procure, and one little item on a checklist just doesn't do justice to the amount of work that was put into obtaining them. And some of them represent a form to fill out that is 6 pages long. Just, you know, for my martyr points.
As I mentioned, several of the documents had to be notarized, especially the top page, the Certificate of Documentation. This was the one step done without a fee, thanks to a sweet friend. :) Then we took it to the Oregon Secretary of State, where they (for a fee) certified it with a special seal and signature, basically vouching for the notary. Then, tomorrow morning, we will Fed Ex it to a courier service in Washington, DC, where they will (for a fee) hand-deliver our precious documents to the US Department of State, where Hillary Clinton will (for a fee) sign and seal, or authenticate the top sheet, basically vouching for the OR Dept. of State. THEN, the courrier will pick up the dossier from Hillary's office, take it across town and hand-deliver it to the Royal Thai Embassy. The RTE will then (for a fee) legalize it with their own signatures and seals. Then the courer service will (for a fee) send it back to us.
I'm very nervous about this entire process, especially having someone else be responsible for such important paperwork! Plus, the wait time on all these agencies is pretty vague. Your prayers are welcomed. I can't wait to blog that we have it back in our grubby little hands.
THEN, when we have all the stamps, seals and signatures we need, we send the dossier to Holt (along with the $3000 we raised during the yard sale!). It will be approved and translated, then sent to Thailand.
Once Holt has our dossier, we enter: THE WAITING LIST.