The last few days have been a whirlwind of ups and downs . . .
Thursday--Up--getting the packet of clearance letters from BCI and I (Bureau of Criminal Investigation and Identification). DOWN--realizing they'd made Paul 3 years younger than he is, thereby rendering the letter invalid.
Friday--UP--meeting with the County Auditor and Appraisers and ending up basically having a great time with people who had a heart for Katya's needs. DOWN--realizing that because the county assesses square footage for taxable purposes differently than a Social Worker does for living, we may have to have an amendment done to our home study. We aren't sure yet, but that issue is up in the air. (Who wudda thunk that the county doesn't tax closets, OR the dormers OR the lower edges on a Cape Cod style house upstairs? They only tax LIVING space that is standard ceiling height! That is very good for us tax wise--taxes are high enough compared to property values . . . I'm grateful for whatever little break we get! But it has made things interesting for our adoption purposes, because the county info is to match our home study info!)
Friday--going to the Sheiff's office to get the incorrect date fixed on Paul's paperwork since BCI said that they could only print off what they were given. UP--being told they had entered it correctly. DOWN--being told that they couldn't do any thing to fix the issue since it was correct.
Monday we dropped off our children off in two different directions--Todd and Kristina to their friends house and Charity and Chad a little over an hour another direction to Charity's friend--who has a little brother that Chad could enjoy becoming friends with. Then the UP was that Paul and I got to go to Frankfort, KY just the two of us to get our marriage liscenss. The DOWN was that the van's right front wheel bearing started going out about 30 min. before we got to our hotel. The UP was that the coupon for $5.00 off that I had for Olive Garden meant we got to eat there for supper for a reasonable price. (Drinking water and ordering inexpensive entrees helped too.) I'd been hungry for Olive Garden for a long time and we hadn't eaten there for quite a few years so it was a very big treat for me! The UP was that the points we'd accumlated from all Paul's business trips meant we could stay at a nice hotel for FREE.
Tuesday morning--UP was that we got a good breakfast at the hotel and then headed off around 9:00 a.m. to find the Office of Vital Statistics a few minutes away from the hotel. DOWN was getting a call from the Sheiff's offiice that they discovered that they had made an error on Paul's birth date and he would need to come in and start the fingerprinting process all over again this week.
DOWN was that we spent around 30 min. circling and circling the parking lots trying to find a place to park. Finally found a place a long ways away from the building. We walked to it in the drizzling rain. Surrouned by the smells (cigarette smoke) and sounds of Kentucky (fun accents) we grabbed a clip board and filled out our application for our marriage liscenses.
After filling out the form, we turned it in and were told that the paperwork should be ready for us in approximately 45 min--to sit and wait until they called us to come up to the window to get it. That was do-able, we thought, and we settled ourselves to wait. The UP was meeting a nice gentleman there who was a professing Christian and having a pleasant conversation with him.
The DOWN was as we realized that person after person who had come after us was being given their paperwork and sent on their way. Finally, we were about the only ones left--even people who came AFTER us were getting theirs and going on their way. After we had waited for over an HOUR, I finally got up and asked when they would have it ready. They asked how long we had been waiting. I said well over an hour. The lady paged someone and in seconds they showed up with our copies in their hand. (Why didn't they call us?!)
SO, I asked, as we had been instructed to do by the first person we talked to, "Are these valid for an international adoption?" The lady got a angry look on her face and said, "NO! Why didn't you tell us that you needed them for that?!" I said, "I tried--the lady said she didn't know any thing about it and I'd have to ask you when you gave them to us."
The lady got a mean look on her face and in her eyes, and started to boil, but the lady who had given me that initial brush-off came and said, "She's right--I did tell her that--I didn't know any thing about it." (Good for her for taking the heat! And I don't envy her, because that lady looked mad!)
Well, BIG FAT DOWN--they had NOT done the certificates so that they were OK for international adoption purposes . . . and so they said they'd have to take them back and re-do them. It would be at least another 45 min. We told them then that we'd go eat lunch and be back by 12:15.
SO we rushed off and up the street to a Wendy's, got the food to go and were back before 12:15. We waited some more, and finally they called us up. I took one look and my spirits sank. Yes, they had properly done the signature now, BUT when they wrote the date by hand they had written it in large letters and numerals in a tiny space--and put about half of each letter and numeral on top of the lines of writing above it, thereby rendering the document invalid for legal adoption purposes! I apologized profusely but told the female (different one than the last time) that it would have to be re-done again! That was a DOUBLE-FAT DOWN.
We had to STAND for over 45 min. waiting AGAIN because the place was packed and there weren't enough seats for even 50% of the people who were there. Finally, right before 1:30 they calle us up there and finally this time it was right as nearly as we could tell. That was a UP!
We headed over to the State Capital building and without too much hassle found a place to park. Tucked our precious documents under our coat and trotted in to the building. Isn't it lovely?! It was a wonderful, majestic building!
We stopped long enough to snap a phot of Paul holding the elusive documents before heading into the building. Look at the top of the photo, and you can see the rain falling!
After being security screened (metal detector etc.) we were given clearance stickers and allowed in. We were concerned that perhaps we couldn't get the marriage liscenses apostilled due to how late it was getting in the day, but thankfully the office was still open. And what a warm reception we had there! The office was pleasant and homey with several desks with cheeful, helpful ladies working. There were plants and just a generally, homey, cozy atmosphere that was a huge constrast to the Office of Vital Statistics. The emotions of the past several hours and the difference in the atmospheres were in such stark, stark contrast! The lady who waited on us was so kind, cheerful, and helpful--and that office was super-efficient! Like Paul said, it was hard to believe we could even get up and leave after about 5 minutes! But weren't we happy to be able to be DONE with what we had set out to do!
Check it out!
We took a few minutes to walk around looking at the lovely building before heading out.
A sample of the art work.
There was a display of dolls representing each of the First Ladies--wives of the governors from the beginning till now. Research allowed them to dress each doll in peiod correct costumes. It was very interesting. These snaps show only a small fraction of the dolls.
All in all, we had a very fun time walking around and using our eyes, (A great big UP!) and then we left to head for home. Here is the view as we came out of the building.
And as we walked to our van, we could see this.
We headed for home in the rain with a stop for supper at Bob Evan's--thanks to a coupon for a free cup of soup we had a reasonably priced supper that was warm and tasty. We got home in time to pick up Kristina and Todd from their friend's house, and were able to get to bed before midnight. It was a long day, but we are thankful for God's help and safety! And I was grateful for the chance to spend some time with my hubby even if it was sitting around! There is no one I would have rather spent a crazy day like that with than him, so it was good we were able to go together. ;-) And we were very grateful for friends who baby sat so the children didn't have to go through all of that sitting around! Their baby sitting was very helpful and needful to our adoption process--thank you, friends!! Thank you also to those who prayed for us, esp. the friend who got a phone call after they took our documents back the second time to try to turn out a 3rd correct set!