Monday, July 07, 2008

The paper chase

In adoption, there's always the paper chase. Getting fingerprints, clearance letters, notarized apostilled papers, and then that "one more" that noone remembered to mention. But more than the 6 weeks of paperwork we did pre-adoption, I'm finding the post-adoption paperwork much more difficult! Here's a brief run down of some things we've done (or still need to do) and what connects to what...

  1. Register the kids with the Ukrainian Embassy
  2. Sign up for Medicaid for all 3 of my kids w/ disabilities
  3. In the paper chase for medicaid I've had to send them copies of our driver's licenses, birth certificates for ALL the kids (even K who I didn't apply for since we don't really need help with his medical coverage...), copies of the court decree, the kids' certificates of citizenship, paystubs to verify our income, and a blood sample and promise to give them one of our toes if we lied on anything. Ok, maybe not the last two... Oh, AND... the kids' SS#'s... which, by the way, the new kids don't have yet!
  4. Drive 1 hour to turn in paperwork for SS#'s for the two newbies (still in progress) in order to finish the Medicaid application-- why can't I MAIL it???
  5. Get pediatrician to sign the application for a disabled parking permit
  6. Make an appointment and get a Florida ID card made for Emma so I can get the handicapped tag
  7. Take the ID, the application, and MY ID to the tax collector's office to get the actual tag
  8. Register for US certificates of foreign birth (haven't figured out how to do this yet, but I understand it's important in case they ever need extra copies of their birth certificates later on...)
  9. Insurance wanted a copy of the court decree naming the kids as ours or else they intended to pass everything off as a preexisting condition.
  10. Fill out annual reports to the Ukrainian government including current photos yearly for ??? years (I forget LOL but I WILL do them!! This is important!)

Those are just a few of the things that are on the top of my head right now. Why are they on my mind? Ah... glad you asked :) You see, in about 1 hour I drove from my house to the tax collector's office to renew my van's registration since it expired on Mike's birthday and we'd just gotten home from the hospital and, well, I forgot (yes, I do this from time to time!). Then after paying the fee (hey, I wasn't too late, I didn't have to pay the late fee until Thursday!) I drove to the OTHER end of town to the pediatrician's office to pick up shot records for the school board exempting Emma from having up-to-date vaccinations (we hadn't finished hers before her T&A and won't be finishing them now until after her open heart) and stating that K's are up to date. At the same time I had the ped sign the application for a handicapped permit. Yes, I caved here. That story in a minute.

While I was getting my car registration renewed I asked if that was where I brought my application for a handicapped tag and she said yes, make sure that I have the ID for the person on the application. AH, FUN. Soooo glad she told me though! I called them at 4:45 and got an appointment... which I expected to be next week... for 10am tomorrow! WOW! And thus my thoughts on the paper trail that we have to do AFTER we get home.

Ah, and why did I cave on the handicapped tag? Well... after a stern 'talking to' by some friends, I realized that yes, it was intended for people that have children with disabilities that don't walk... and yes, at least one of my kids fits that bill (Emma) and in January I will have 2 over 3 that may not be walking sufficiently enough to be able to walk through the parking lot alone. Also, there's the safety issue... When I am unloading my crew it takes longer because they are not at the same pace as a typical child of their ages, and it is a tedious process to get them all out of the car and into the awaiting double or triple stroller. The possibility of someone swinging into an empty spot near the car is a very dangerous one. The fact that sometimes the parking doesn't allow space for the stroller to be next to the car and instead has to be behind it is another concern. And this isn't a short-term issue that will resolve as the kids learn to walk... Emma will forever need assistance.

Also, in the Florida heat the loooong walks from the second lot at Wal-Mart make my little cardiac kid a MESS when we finally make it into the store. I'm sure that's not great for her. So yes, I caved, and we'll be getting a handicapped tag.

Rambling? Yes, I realize it :)


  1. Wow. I was assuming that our paperchase would pretty well be over when the dossier is submitted...sounds like I better brace myself for MORE paperwork. You really are amazing. I can't imagine how you can keep it all running smoothly. God bless you all.
    peace and blessings,

  2. Meredith, Good for you on the handicapped parking permit. I'd give you my space in a heartbeat (though it's not handicapped, lol!) even if my 2 and 4 year olds were with me. You amaze me with your ability to care for all your children's needs at once. I think you deserve every little bit of help you can get!

  3. Wow, I was tired just READING that. :) You are truly an amazing person.
    Should I ask what happened to #10? :P

  4. Meredith - You go girl! Your kiddos are so lucky to have YOU as their mommy :o)

  5. You are absolutely right in getting a handicapped permit. The number of people I have seen parking in handicapped spaces and tripping into stores is unbelievable. I work in a hospital and know of several people that park in the handicapped spots and then work all day long perfectly fine, I suspect they have handicapped relatives that they got it for. We've been home over 2 years and still don't have US birth certificates or passports for our kids!!!!

  6. Meredith....that's not caving in! That's common sense! Someone shoulda convinced you months ago! Think about hospital parking lots!! All those doctor's appointments, now available with closer parking spots!

    I don't know how you keep on chugging onward. I don't think I was born with any kind of organizational genes whatsoever!


  7. Mer-the new birth certificate can be obtained from Vital statistics, but you really need those SS#'s first, you can't do anything without them really. FYI my local SS office would not issue them without seeing the child in person so call about that before you go as they don't take mail in because they want to SEE the person.
    Then after you have the SS# which takes about 2 weeks, you need to apply for the state birth certificate which is really a record of birth in this case of a foreign birth. Some states require that you have a court recognize the adoption first, or readoption and others will issue a new certificate withtout that. Check before you apply. We readopted both kids in our county via mail and then got the new certificate. Both were done via mail.

  8. Oh the paperwork! I'm glad someone put it in order for me so I don't forget something! I have had a handicap permit for a couple of years - when I discovered that pushing Caelia through the grocery store parking lot in 6 inches of snow was practically impossible - can't imagine it with more than one dependent one.