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I am a wife, daughter, mother, bilingual teacher, poet, author, women's Bible study teacher, world traveler, orphan advocate, and an adoptive mother.  Our adoption journey has been filled with a lot of hurt and loss, along with even more hope, grace, and healing.  Through it we have experienced more of God than we ever bargained for and have watched Him miraculously redeem our story when we surrendered all the broken pieces to Him.

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Friday, June 21, 2013


After yesterday's integration meeting, I asked our lawyer one last question.  "When can my husband leave to go back to work?"  He told me that there was still one more paper to sign before he could go.  He said he'd send it to me via e-mail, we'd need to print it and get it notarized.  It's a paper that gives me permission to take Juan David out of the country (home) without Mike being with us.  Basically, without that document, Mike can't leave.

So, our plan today was this:

  • Get up, eat breakfast, walk a few blocks to the internet cafe to print off the document.
  • Take a taxi to the notary building (we just went there on Tuesday to sign our power of attorney for the lawyer)
  • Walk a few blocks to a location where we could grab a bus to the school so we could call the U.S. at no charge to change Mike's flight
  • See Julian on his side of town before he went to work at one o clock
  • Head back for a late lunch at home
  • Rest while Mike packed to go home tomorrow
Here was what our day actually looked like:
  • Mike and I got up and had coffee out on the balcony together
  • Mike made a great breakfast while I set up an account on rebtel.com so Mike can call us frequently while we're apart for the next few weeks.
  • Our lawyer called to say just how important it was that this document be absolutely perfect, so he asked that we please take a picture of it for him to verify before we got it notarized
  • Juan David and I walked to the internet cafe to print off several copies of the document in case we made any mistakes (white-out is not acceptable--one mistake and it has to be redone completely)
  • I fill out both papers, and then we have issues getting the picture sent.  Finally, it sends.
  • Our lawyer calls me to say that I messed up one of the passport #'s.  
  • On the fourth try, I finally have one with no mistakes.  Sent the picture of it again, call the attorney, and he says it looks good.
  • We grabbed a taxi to the closest notary and wait in line.
  • The man at the front tells me I need Juan David's birth certificate or he is not authorized to notarize it.  However, Juan David's birth certificate with his new name does not exist yet.  Nor does his passport. They send me to another line to talk to someone else.  He insists that he can't notarize it, but he sends me upstairs to talk to someone else.  She is empathetic and helpful, but she still insists that she can't notarize it.  We have nothing to prove that Juan David Alspaugh exists (because technically, he doesn't yet).  I offer to call my lawyer so they can talk to him, but she acts like she'll work with us.
  • She calls another man over, he remembers us getting the power of attorney notarized just a few days ago, so he authorizes for it to be notarized.  They send me back downstairs to wait in line all over again.  
  • I get to the front of the line, and the guy still won't notarize it.  He sends me to talk to another lady.  She flat out refuses.  How can she prove that the child in our custody is the same child as the one with the new last name on the document.  I pull out our temporary custody paper that we signed the very first day we got Juan David, proving to her that this child is in an adoption process and will take on our last name when the the court process is finished.
  • Another guy sitting at a desk nearby is watching the whole thing (he remembered us from a few days ago, as well).  He interrupts, tells her that the guy upstairs already authorized it, and tells us to come with him.  He finally notarizes the document for us.  
  • It's far too late to get to the school or to see Julian, so we grab a taxi back home.
  • I call the lawyer and tell him they gave us a ton of problems, but that it finally got notarized.  He tells me to guard the document like a treasure and says that Mike is free to leave the country now. 
  • Our friend from the school suggests that we find a local place to make international calls, so we head right back to the internet cafe to call the airline.  There are no walls in the front of these little places, so it's super loud with everyone talking inside or just from the traffic outside.  Thankfully Mike has better hearing over the phone than I do.  He waits on hold for a long time while waiting to talk to the right person, but he finally gets his flight changed after probably 20-30 minutes on the phone.  We print off his itinerary while we're there, and then we decide to look for a local pizza place.  We are all absolutely famished.
  • We look across the street to find something, turn around, and find that we're standing right in front of Dominoes Pizza.  We enjoyed a really nice meal together as a family, which helped relieve all the many stresses from the day. 
  • We walk home and veg for the rest of the day while Mike packs to go home.
All's well that ends well. :)

Photo: A long, frustrating day can only lead to one place.  :-) Comfort food.

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