Today was a monumental day for our family. Odette is now officially our daughter according to the state of Indiana!
Because we didn’t travel to Congo to see Odette before the Congolese portion of the adoption was complete, we needed to “readopt” her here. It was something I put on the to-do list for the summer and as the summer is drawing a close (for us teachers anyway) Jeff could tell that I was starting to stress about it not being done yet. Being the awesome (seriously) husband that he is, he took it on. Earlier in the summer I attempted the process by googling “readopt + indiana” and asking in our Indy Congo FB group about it. I heard that an attorney could do it for you for hundreds of dollars or that it could be done yourself with some effort. I have to admit five hundred dollars or so seemed like a drop in the bucket compared to everything else so I was ready to call someone and say pretty please do this for us.
Thankfully Jeff was more persistent in the search and tracked down exactly who we needed to talk to. He got the forms, and in a matter of less than an hour they were completed. It was really complicated and looked something like “Legal jargon…..(insert child’s birth name here). Legal jargon…(insert adoptive father’s name).” Ya know, dummy proof. He had to make copies of the act of adoption, Congolese birth certificate, US visa, and alien registration form. He had the forms notarized, picked up two certified checks ($20 and $18), spent about an hour at the city-county building and left with papers confirming our petition to recognize the foreign adoption and name change. (She now has our last name!)
I have to admit I was a bit sad when he called afterwards to say that everything was done. I imagined us going back on another day, getting dressed in our finest garb and venturing as a family to see the judge. I wanted to hear him congratulate us and welcome her as an American citizen. I wanted the picture most people seem to post on their blogs of them standing next to the friendly judge as he is holding the newest American citizen in his hands. I had none of that. In fact, this all took place was Odette was at home napping with me.
To make up for the lost photo-op I created my own representation. Enjoy.
Thanks to my wonderful hubby, we saved bookoo bucks and should receive her Indiana birth certificate in 90 days!
Hmm, what else happened today?
Oh, we found out Odette’s stool came back positive for giardia. (I can’t wait until this blog no longer discusses poop!) I was very surprised. She didn’t have the typical (ahem…runny) symptoms. She is now on medicine three times a day for 10 days. I got a call from the health department about it. I thanked her for her concern and shared that I was pretty sure she brought it back with her from Africa and that she didn’t need to come test my water. She pressed for information about the orphanage, etc. in Africa, but I kindly informed her that I wouldn’t be sharing that information with her. Now if I was convinced the Hamilton County Health Department was going to improve water quality in Congo I might have, but really? None of their business.
Then later, on our way home from working in my classroom for a bit, this crossed the road in front of us.
To make my mom proud I slammed it in park and took Odette out to see it.
It was huge!
Odette also wrapped up her swimming lessons tonight. She “passed” the first level and is now a yellow cap. I was a proud momma holding that first report card!
P.S. And that, my friends, is two blog posts in one day.