A couple months ago, as I was talking to a friend about waiting for our adoption process to move forward, he asked if I had my passport yet. He and I smiled together as I realized that even if we had all the money and a referral that day, I’d have to apply and wait for a passport before I could travel anyway. My wife went on a missions trip to the Philippines back in 2011, so she’s fine. But I’ve not crossed US Borders since traveling to Israel in 1998.
I needed a birth certificate to begin the process. I filled out the necessary online forms, and paid a bit to have an official copy sent to me. A few weeks later, I was ready – birth certificate in hand.
So I went to apply. It was a frustrating trip. I went to Walgreens to get my picture taken for my passport, and they told me I couldn’t wear a white dress shirt. So I went to the back of the store, put a cheap giant blue shirt on over it, and was given the thumbs up. Then I went downtown to the post office. Walking past a sign that read, “Apply for your Passport Here”, I waited in line through much of lunch. Arriving at the desk, I was informed they no longer process passports at that branch. So I drove across town to another office. I filled everything out, only to be told I couldn’t apply for a passport, because my birth certificate was not acceptable.
My birth certificate was not acceptable?
You see, I was officially adopted by my dad as he married my mom when I was a teenager. Because my name changed, they had to re-issue my birth certificate, and so the date of my birth did not match the date my birth certificate was registered. So I simply needed to prove I was adopted, and document the name change. Easily done, right?
Except after a few days of waiting on the county I was born in to respond, they apologized – my records had sustained water damage in a flood a few years back. They would do their best to rescue and recreate the documents I needed. Several weeks later, I was notified the papers were in the mail. Sure enough, they came and my application was sent in.
In the meantime, I’ve faced similar issues with the USCIS in the process of being approved. I’ve had to re-apply to the county in Michigan, to get copies of BOTH name changes I went through growing up: 1st – when my parents divorced at age 11, and 2nd – when my mom remarried. It’s a bit complicated.
But it’s so very worth it.
I don’t know her name yet. I’ve not seen her picture. We’ve gotten turned down for some grants. I’m jumping through hoops here. But slowly, one step at a time, we are bringing her home. We are rescuing our daughter. Our girls are praying for their sister, in new ways every day. Last week our 4 year old prayed, “And God, please help the big animals to not eat her.” Ah yes..we visited the Lions at the zoo last month. Silly home-school field trip. 🙂
So much I don’t know. But I do know – I love her. Thankful for ways I’m able to act out that Love, even now…
And thankful that if the call came, and the money was there….I’m ready to go. 🙂