|A portion of the paper work from our last adoption|
The first step in a Russian adoption is tackling massive amounts of paperwork. We gather vital documents like our marriage license, birth certificates, and tax returns. Once we've gathered the required paperwork which validates who we are and our ability to care for the new children financially, then we're required to get each document notarized.
Once the forms are notarized, they must be apostilled. Don't bother looking up the word apostille in the dictionary; you won't find it. An apostille is a watermarked certificate produced by each of the 50 secretary of state's offices. The certificate carries that state's embossed seal and is an authentication of the notarization. An apostille must come from the state in which the document or form was produced. For example, we were married in Colorado so our marriage licenses must be notarized and apostilled in Colorado.
After the documents are returned to us from the appropriate Secretaries of State offices, then the next step is to get the paperwork copied. When we adopt multiple children, we're required to submit a stack of the documents for each of the children. In addition, the agency needs multiple copies of every document.
We're just at the beginning stage of the paper chase, but we've mailed our application to adopt three brothers and their little sister. Even that application measured about half an inch. We've already held a mini celebration. The decision to adopt has been made. The application has been submitted.
Best of all, we've received word from the agency that will prepare paperwork to be submitted to Russia that we can use the same Iowa social worker that we did two years ago during the last adoption. Janette will prepare our home study. The confirmation was an answer to very specific prayers. Janette is a Christian who understands God's call on our lives to bring orphaned children into our family. We have our first homestudy visit on Wednesday. And then... more paperwork.