Last week, I had our medicals updated for Bulgaria and then notarized at our doctor's office before I left the building. This process took five minutes. I had actually expected it to take much longer since the original medicals that we had done for our dossier took over a month to get completed due to the fact that mistakes were made (meaning there had to be a do over) and it was difficult to get our doctor who is very busy together with the notary.
Today, we went to our local police department to get our criminal background checks updated. When we did this last year for our home study, the process took five minutes. Today, the process took most of the day. I had contacted our local police department yesterday to make sure that we could get the background checks done this morning and to make sure that they had a notary on staff who could notarize the documents. I was assured that they could do both. However, after Rob and I arrived at their offices this morning, I was told that they could do the background check but they could not notarize it. Yes, the notary was there, but the police captain had told the staff not to notarize the document. We were told instead to try and get a TBI (Tennessee's state version of the FBI) background check and they would notarize it.
The TBI background check could take weeks, and as always is the case with international adoption, we don't have weeks. Rob and I were determined that we were going to get this done today no matter what it took. First, we called the sheriff's department in our county to see if they would do the background check. They said they would, but they did not have a notary on staff. We then called our county clerk's office who told us that the police department should do notarize the document. A woman at the clerk's office put Rob on hold while she called the police department and discussed the matter with them. Rob was told to return to the police department to get the background check and to then get the document notarized at city hall after the police department affixed its stamp to the document. So, off Rob and I go to the police department again. I am happy to report that we now have our criminal background checks done and notarized. I am sad to report that I think if I had been a criminal who committed a felony that I would have gotten better service today at the police department.
Rob and I grabbed a quick lunch after this and then Rob headed to downtown Nashville to get the medicals and background checks certified at the county clerk's office and then apostilled at the Secretary of State's office. This packet of documents will go to our agency tomorrow morning who will then FedEx them to Bulgaria.
In addition to sending our documents to Bulgaria, our agency is also allowing us to send a package to Aleksandar for which I am very grateful. Vesta has assured our agency that they will make sure Aleksandar gets the package. In the package, I am putting a photo album, a new outfit and a small toy for Aleksandar since his birthday is coming up in March. We also plan on celebrating his birthday at our house even though he is not with us. Julia and I are going to bake a cake and invite Grandma and Grandpa over for the festivities.
March will be an exciting month for us for many reasons. March is also a time of celebration in Bulgaria. In Bulgaria, the people mark the sending off of winter and welcoming of spring by the holiday known as Baba Marta. Baba is the Bulgarian word for grandmother, and Marta is the Bulgarian word for March. One of the ways this holiday is celebrated in Bulgaria is by people wearing Martenitsa bracelets. The bracelets are made of red and white cotton or wool yarn twined together. These bracelets are usually worn and exchanged by Bulgarians beginning the first day of March until the first bud of spring is seen on the trees.