Tuesday, June 28, 2005

OK! I made copies of everything needed for the dossier. Garry dropped them off at the agency on June 9th for Chris to take a look at. Chris wasn't there and for whatever reason, the aforementioned not so kind individual went through them. She called here during the evening the following Monday while Garry was in Dallas and by the time she was finished I was in tears. Her first two points were HIGHLY valid and I'm certainly glad she pointed them out. The first was that the amount of Garry's salary on our financial form didn't match the amount on our 1040 form. That's pretty important, and very easy to correct. The second point was that I needed to add 3-4 little words to our letter asking to adopt which meant "as healthy as possible". (China now has a special needs program which wasn't in place when we adopted Hope.)

The next item she came up with was REALLY reaching in my opinion. Instead of copying one passport per page, just turn it the other way. Two will fit on an 8 1/2 x 11 piece of paper. I assured her I knew this and had done so on the copies for our home study. I also told her that we had been told to put ONE passport on each copy. She wasn't dissuaded.

Her final concern was the one that sent me over the edge. She implied, without ever implicitly stating such, that the people we had chosen to be our girls' guardians, were too old. She gave me an age range that the Chinese officials "like to see". I told her that these were the same people we had appointed as Hope's guardians and that they didn't meet that age requirement last time and nothing was ever said. Again, she wasn't dissuaded. She said, "Hopefully we can just let it slide. Your home study has already been forwarded to CIS and the Secretary of State. I'd hate for you to have to make any changes now...maybe no one will notice...but it's best to get these things corrected before the papers get to China. We don't like getting calls from China!" She then went on to tell me that I should expect our I-171H in mid-July. ( I guess this should've been a clue that I shouldn't have put too much stock in what she was telling me.)

As soon as I hung up with her I called Garry. He wasn't very happy with the news I shared with him. He called this individual back and by the time they had finished the conversation she admitted that she had no business even MENTIONING the age thing before she checked on it with Chris. She suggested that we just put "anybody's" name on our guardianship letter as it isn't a legal and binding document. Garry told her we weren't going to lie to the Chinese officials. She didn't seem to think that what she was suggesting was lying OR that what she had told either one of us was cause for concern. Here's *my* big concern with that. What if the Chinese officials pull the documents from Hope's adoption and see that Claire's guardians are different from Hope's? Somehow I don't think they would look upon that as favorable.

Garry spoke with Chris the next day who said, and I quote, "There is NO problem with the ages of the appointed guardians." She had just finished going through our papers and mentioned the salaries not matching, and also placing the additional statement into, what is affectionately referred to as, "the suck-up letter". She had one other thing concerning the financial statement that she wanted Garry to add...nothing was mentioned about the passport copies. She also said that the next time I see their number on my caller I.D. to let the machine pick up. If it is anyone other than herself we are to listen to the message, jot down a few notes, call HER and she will tell us what is really going on. That woman is an angel I tell you, an ANGEL! Not everyone likes her...and she doesn't like everyone either! ") But Chris is one of those incredible souls who "what you see if what you get"...she is very REAL and I love her to pieces.

Our corrections/additions were made and Garry faxed them, along with our long awaited health insurance form and our I-171H on the 24th. Chris called him yesterday. The Holy Grail is on it's way to the Secretary of State for certification and everything else is ALL GOOD! YAY! Next step is to make an appointment with our attorney to have every single piece of paper in the dossier notarized. Next comes the trip to Columbus to get every single piece of paper certified...then back in the car and off to Strongsville to drop it off. Yes, it makes for a long day...and yes, we could mail it to Columbus and wait an extra day or two. But folks...after all of that work and running around, we don't really want to trust anyone else with getting those papers to and from Columbus! Garry is in Dallas again this week so hopefully, we can finish up next week. In addition to the Dossier, we will be turning in two passport sized photos of each of us for agency use, 12 pictures of the inside and outside of our home, and the dossier fee.

More as it develops! ")

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