Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Notarization, Certification, Authentication


The day before heading off for our vacation last week, I was determined to get our paperwork as finalized as possible. I wanted what was on my desk out to their respective states and what I had in my court, signed, sealed and ready. I could taste the joy of going to Florida with a load off my shoulders, and coming back from Florida to find some delightful certified mail. So I had hauled our three-year-old to the capitol an hour and a half away to do just that! I was nervous about our first little road trip together, but he was a doll. We went into the government building and walked out half an hour later, papers in hand! 

I excitedly told him, "we did it!!!" 

Puzzled, he asked me, "we did what? Did we get Silas? Did we get Silas?" Heart. Broke. 

"No, baby," I said, scrambling for how to explain this process to him. "We can't get Silas yet, but we got permission from Minnesota. We have to ask a lot of people for permission. And Minnesota said we could... we're ONE STEP CLOSER!"

He didn't seem amused. He got nuggets and a nap and was content.

Welcome to my world the last year! This makeshift table helped me regain my sanity.
So, let me explain it to you! Three key words for now: Notarization, certification, authentication. Those three words are the three steps that all our US documents have to go through before heading to China. Each stamp of approval pushes that paper up the next round of approval, inching us closer to "getting" Silas!

So… this is where we are:
√ All Minnesota & Texas documents have been notarized
√ All Minnesota & Texas documents certified by their Secretary of State
*Still need: One document from Puerto Rico to be authenticated in D.C. (it's a special, extra step. My aunt is on it.)

Then….
We send these three chunks of papers (from MN, TX, & PR) as one united stack of USA documents to the Chinese Consulate in Chicago for their authentication. Basically, the Chinese Consulate here will vouch for the validity of these documents before the CCWA in China sees them. 

After we get those back, we send Our Dossier (what's listed below) to our agency for review and translation:
  • Consulate-Authenticated stack
  • Some family photos & IDs
  • Chinese Police Report {*Still in transit here}
  • A big check

And they'll send it to China!
Once someone in China touches our dossier (within 2-3 weeks), it will be Logged-In. This will be a great day, it is our LID (our Logged-In Day) which gives us a marker of 4-6 weeks for when we'll be traveling! 

The highlights above are of papers that are not in our hands at the moment. That's your wink and nod to pray for these arrive safely and quickly so that this timeline moves forward.

January 18 marked the beginning of our 90-day extension to have our papers LID! Factoring in those 2-3 weeks plus transit time makes it feel more like 60 days or less to get it shipped. 

Getting a handle on the lingo?

Thank you mucho!!!!
A


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