August 16, 2006
We are one step closer, actually two, to getting all of this adoption paperwork finished and out of our hands. You see, once you get the bagillion forms filled out and notarized you then have to get them authenticated. This means a larger government entity staples a piece of paper to your form that basically says, “Yep, the last person to attest to the authenticity of the signatures on this form is allowed to do that.”
So we had all of our remaining documents notarized last week and then first thing this week we took them to the county courthouses (because we used notaries from two different counties) where people representing the county clerk stapled pieces of paper to our documents saying, “Yep, that’s a real notary all right,” and affixed a seal with a rubber stamp signature of the county clerk. Then, of course, they asked us for money. Today I took all of the notarized, county authenticated documents to our state capital about 1.5 hours away where a very friendly representative of the Secretary of State stapled a piece of paper saying, “Yep, that’s the real county clerk all right,” to each document. Then she asked me for more money. Tomorrow I will take all of these documents and express them to the Vietnamese Consulate in CA along with a money order roughly equal to the GNP of some small European nations. My guess is they will attach a piece of paper saying, “Why, yep, that’s the real secretary of state all right.” I’m just surprised our federal government hasn’t gotten in on the action somewhere between the state and the consulate levels.
So I had to take all four munchkins with me today to the Secretary of State’s office and, I must say, things could have gone much worse than they did. We were in and out in 26 minutes. I was quite impressed. And, though my children were really quite well behaved, 26 minutes is plenty of time for an almost-two-year-old to get into at least a little bit of trouble. He really was mostly good, but we did get into a little parent/child scuffle as he tried to extract an item from my purse. It turned out o.k., but this same scenario has played out several times to one degree or another. So I thought I’d share with you all at least one thing they never tell you before you have kids:
It really doesn’t matter how many toys, books, snacks you pack to keep a toddler happy in a waiting room. It will not work. Unless your toddler is full of Benadryl. Even that doesn’t always work, and I have one child who can prove it. Anyway, I digress.
Your toddler will quickly become bored with whatever you have brought for him or her. He will instead want to run around grabbing whatever pamphlets, magazines, trash he can find. When he finally comes to terms with the fact that you are not going to let him do that, he WILL resort to rummaging through your purse. You will save your cell phone and perhaps your favorite expensive/splurge lipstick from the destructive force that is ravaging your bag, but will then sigh a sigh of resigned apathy and let his purse digging continue. All the while you will have forgotten that one little zippered pocket that contains your emergency stash. You don’t worry about because he is not yet two and it is zipped tightly.
Then your name will be called and you will go up to whatever window you have been waiting to be called to and, just as you begin to explain why you are there, you will hear your toddler scream, “Candy! Candy! Candy!” and you will turn around to see him trying to gnaw open a tampon.
They never tell you this before you have children. None of the books cover it. So, there, I’ve told you. Best of luck.
And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says hello.