We've made lots of progress over the last few weeks. Bob was able to secure notarized letters from his employer, our housing office, and our bank. Laura typed up several "self-generated" required letters that we notarized this last week, along with our passports. Our agency assured us that they now have copies of our birth certificates, marriage license, and home study agency license all pending apostille. All the really hard stuff, like the home study and immigration application, is already complete. So, in short, the only thing we have left to complete our dossier are medical letters, along with a copy of our doctor's medical license. I already have a notary lined up to be there. We are only awaiting some medical lab test results prior to scheduling this final physical.
We reviewed the completed documents last night. Laura's sharp eye caught a few notary mistakes (missing year digits on dates) that I corrected today. We scanned all and submitted to our agency coordinator for an initial review.
Over the last year of working on one dossier or the other (we started with Ukraine, but switched to Kazakhstan two months ago), we have come to learn that getting the required documents really isn't that difficult. Most agencies will bend over backwards to help as soon as they hear the magic word, "adoption." However, we have come to discover that the hard part is keeping all of the documents fresh and current. Most of the documents have a life of one year from the earliest date on the document, and some have an even shorter life span. Our medical form, for example, must be oven-fresh, less than 90 days old when we submit it to our agency. Therefore, we've scheduled it to be the last we complete.
Our dossier consists of about 17 different documents, each from different sources. We are trying very hard to have them all dated within a 90 day window at the time of submission. This strategy should allow for a long life span once they make it to the destination country, and will help prevent us from being in a constant cycle of updates after we submit the dossier.
We recently met a family that adopted a pre-school boy from Kaz two years ago. By coincidence, they live only a few minutes away in a nearby town. Their son really bonded quickly with our 4 y/o son, and he seems to have adjusted incredibly well. It was very encouraging to see such success, and to hear first-hand some of what awaits us.