Saturday, August 28, 2010

It's all in the timing

As mentioned in a previous post, we are very close to having our dossier finished for our Bulgarian adoption. As of mid-week, we only had a few more documents to notarize, certify and apostille, and of course, the still outstanding FBI clearances which we believed to be at least four or five more weeks out. It would have seemed that we had more than enough time to tie up any loose ends while we waited on our clearances.

But, things are not always what they seem, and as anyone who has ever been through an international adoption can tell you, things can change on a dime. For all of my Star Wars loving friends (myself included), our adoption was put into hyperdrive this week when we received an email forwarded to us from our caseworker. Bulgaria had contacted our agency's home office regarding our progress on our dossier, and the email stated that they were "very anxious" to receive it.

Before replying to our caseworker, Rob called the FBI to get a best estimate of when the clearances would arrive. The FBI office in West Virginia informed him that it would be another two to three weeks, which was actually several weeks shorter than we had originally been told. Our agency, at the behest of our caseworker, began trying to contact the office in Bulgaria to see if they would accept the dossier with the FBI clearances pending. If they would, then we would need to have everything else completed, notarized, certified and apostilled in the next two to three days! Yes, I said days!

And, did I mention that we would also have to have our home study amended in that time as well? Rob just took a great new position at a new company which meant that all the work information on the home study and the work references were old. His new boss would have to fill out the reference forms and then our caseworker would do the amended home study. Finally, the amended home study would have to be notarized, certified and apostilled.

So, what do I do? What I know best of course. I am an editor by trade which calls for paying close attention to the details. I sat down with a co-worker who is also an editor and went through the dossier check list. Together, we devised a color-coded system for what was outstanding on the list and what government body needed to put its stamp on each document. I then planned out my day as follows: drive to downtown Nashville, pick up last minute documents from agency, drive to Davidson County clerk to certify documents, drive to Brentwood to notarize more documents and then drive to Williamson County clerk in Franklin to certify more documents. If there was time, I would go to the Secretary of State's office in Nashville to apostille said documents. My plan of action would take place on Friday. In the mean time, I prayed that God would somehow speed up the FBI clearances.

On Thursday night before my adventures were to begin, I came home to find a package from UPS on my doorstep and a door tag from FedEx on my front door stating delivery of another package had been attempted. The UPS package was part of a Home Depot order that I had made a week earlier, but what was the FedEx package? At first, I assumed that it was the remainder of my Home Depot order and that the company was probably sending it by FedEx because the boxes were so large. I had ordered some patio furniture on end of season clearance. But, the more I thought about it, the more I began to think that the package could have been from someone else. Rob thought so as well, and on Friday morning, he called FedEx and the company confirmed that the package was coming from West Virginia and it was from the FBI!
It was our FBI clearances and not a moment too soon!

It has only been three days since Rob had called the FBI to inquire about our status and they had said two to three more weeks. What timing! Once again, God answered our prayers, and once again, he proved to Rob and I that he is and has always been in the driver seat on this one.

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