Is anyone out there still? I doubt it, but why not try...
Things are going wonderfully with Munchkin. If you can believe it, he is approaching his 2nd birthday. He is truly the cutest kid in the world and I know you think I'm biased about this, but I am telling you it is a verifiable fact. So there. He talks constantly about puppies and buses and trains and owies. And mommy and daddy of course. He can actually throw a football with one hand (not well, but hey), kick soccer balls (quite well), and recognize the letters 'O' and 'I' and 'E'. He has the biggest smile with these precious dimples you can stick dimes into.
I am so glad we had the opportunity to adopt him. I marvel at how amazing it is that in today's world, a childless couple can be matched with a family-less baby boy, and that together they become this wonderful family.
Adoption Rules. Whoever invented it is a freakin' genius.
Believe it or not, though, we're still working on all that adoption paperwork! We're getting toward the end though.
After his adoption finalization hearing in December 2007, the court officer sent put in the paperwork for him to get an official birth certificate from the State of California, with T's and my names listed as his parents.
Getting a new birth certificate is very odd to me. I'm sitting here reading the birth certificate and it totally looks like I gave birth to him --, hence the "BIRTH CERTIFICATE" printed on the top -- while on vacation in Korea on his actual birthday. No mention of being adopted or of his biological parents. The paperwork is deliberately misleading in other words, and I can't see why we do this in the year 2008.
Anyway, this birth certificate did not arrive for 4 months, in April. The State of California is super speedy, wouldn't you know.
Once the birth certificate arrived, within 24 hours I sent off his application to US-CIS for a N-600 Certificate of Citizenship. Now, some people go get the social security number first or the passport, but I figured it would be much easier to get those other two pieces of identification with the N600 in hand. Plus I could just mail in the N600 and the passport and social security card processes require I wait in line at an office for a bit while trying to entertain a baby.
Anyway, said N600 form is a bit of a bear, and there is some debate as to how much supporting documentation you need to send in. I sent it all in so there would be no way they could reject it. I'll list it here because I know people will end up on this page via a google search for "What documentation do I need to send it with N-600".
- N600 form filled in and signed
- 3 passport photos of Munchkin, with name and alien registration number in PENCIL on back
- photocopy of child's green card
- photocopy of child's new birth certificate (as issued by State of California)
- photocopy of Adoption Order as proof of the adoption finalization, issued by our county court
- photocopy of mother's birth certificate
- photocopy of father's birth certificate
- photocopy of child's foreign passport, in our case the one-time use "Travel Certificate" issued by South Korea.
- photocopy of the IR4 visa stamped within the child's passport
- Photocopy of parent's marriage certificate
- Photocopy of driver's license of mother
- photocopy of father's driver license
- A personal check drawn on a US bank for $420, payable to Dept. of Homeland Security.
- A cover letter telling them to find child's original foreign birth certificate and certified translation in the original immigration file already in US-CIS's possession.
4 months later, we received the N-600.
So then this weekend we applied for the passport.
Once that arrives, I'll apply for a name and citizenship change for Munchkin's social security number (he is listed as Korean and under his Korean name in the SSN database currently).
And then, at long last, we'll be done with the paperwork. It'll only take 3 years.
Hope you are all doing well. I am thinking of making a come back and writing about adoption again. But this time for from a "how to adopt" informational perspective rather than a mommy blog. What do you think of this idea? Or maybe there are plenty of other sites that fit this need by now (there weren't back in 2005 when I started writing).