Wednesday, September 16, 2009

Passport Woes

Sorry for not posting was a nutty day!

It starts off with issues with our visas. We were supposed to get "adoption" visas. Tatyana, our agencies representative, paid for special invitations so that we can get these "adoption" visas. I remember a conversation in March about getting "adoption" visas.

But when It came time to get the visas, we received the standard invitation from CHI and no mention of the "adoption" visa. Furthermore, the website doesn't offer an "adoption" visa. So, we got "business" visa. Adoption is a business afterall...that was my thought process anyway.

What no one bothered to tell us is that the passport agency, the one that has to issue Max his passport so he can travel with us, only issues passports to adopted kids if the parent have "adoption" visas. Therefor it is critical that we have "adoption" visas.

NO ONE bothered to check our visas until the day we are supposed to get HIS passport! WHAT A CROCK OF CRAP!!! This is such a critical issue and no one bothers to check our visas. They are in Russian....I can't check AND I didn't know it was such a big deal! The minute we got the visas, the were scanned and sent to our representative in St. Louis. She didn't bother to check the accuracy...she had the copies at least 6 weeks before we left! Tatyana didn't bother to check the visas...I'm sure our St. Louis rep forwarded her the copies AND we gave her copies on September 3rd when we went to court. That means she had them for 2 weeks prior and she never bothered to check. But, according to CHI this is all OUR fault. Another stunning example of the ineptitude of our adoption agency. Oh by the way, the city is even wrong on my visa. make a long story short...we got some document from the Department of Education saying that it was her fault the wrong visa was obtained. We owe her big! We should be able to pick up his passport @ 3pm today and be on our train this evening.

Then in Moscow, we work on getting his visa to the US.

Oh...did I mention we picked him up from the baby home yesterday. We spent most of the day in the car obtaining paperwork...certificate of adoption, then traveled to DNO (this is not an acronym, it is the city his birth mom is from) 150 km from Pskov (1.5 hour drive) to get his birth certificate redone with our names, then to the baby home (an additional hour drive there and back) to pick up Max, then to the passport office, then the notary, then to the department of education. What a day.

We were rushed the whole time. Tatyana is from Smolensk...a 5 hour drive from Pskov...and she did not want to spend the night and was anxious to hit the road home. So, she didn't let us see his room or crib or anything. She really pissed me off yesterday. Plus, we found out, the supposed $150 amercian dollars passport expiditing fee, probably ends up in her pocket. We wondered why a Russian government agency would charge a fee in american dollars. Another crock of crap in our opinion.

But...we have Max...and what a different child he is. He was extrememly reserved during our visits. We were worried how he would be taking him from the only place he has ever seen. But...he soaked all the new experiences in. He only cried when he saw Ludmilla and we think that is because he associates her with the baby home. Once we got back to her home, he totally came out of his shell. He play, laughed, screamed with was amazing! He had no problem falling asleep in a strange bed.

Today...he got the other side of having parents. We let him explore...but stoped him from the outlets and banging toys on the furniture. He did not like that. He would throw the current toy in his hand, sit on the floor where he was and cry. It is good to see his personality and I'm sure he will realize that response will not work with Mike and I. He had his first little timeout today...A forceful pickup and seating on the couch with not toys or comfort. The look of shock on his face was priceless. His antics have not been as severe since.

We also had his inagural dump today. OMG...I forgot how bad that stuff stinks. Even though the dumpage was contained in the diaper...the smell permeated into his pants...We had to change those too!

Tomorrow...once we get situated in the hotel...I will get some photos up. Sorry for the delay...I just didn't feel like messing with that on Ludmilla's computer and dial up line.

Thanks again for all the support from you all!!! I can't wait to post photos so you can see him!


Lisa L. said...

Yeah so glad you have him. I'm sorry for all the crap you have had to go through though....I can't imagine. Can't wait to see pics.

jillybean66 said... glad you have hime now, sorry about all the crap you had to endure just to get to this point. Watching and waiting for pictures, and give him a big hug from all your scrappy and cyber friends!!

Tonya Boone said...

gosh this is just horrible what you have gone through.. i can't wait to see the photos.. and to see that you are home safe and sound..

cathy said...

I am so happy that this is almost over for all of you. Start that picture taking - you have a lot to catch up on!! Just think of all the new Scrapping possiblities you are going to have with a boy!! Yea! Can't wait until you are home and we can talk! Love to you all!

The worldwide adventures of mike & ann said...

Your experience with the Russian government brings back memories of us dealing with the Czech government to obtain a marriage license. In the end, though, we did get married and in the end, you too will get Max out of the country and all will be wonderful.

Hang in there!
:) Ann

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