Friday, May 29, 2009

Dotting the 'i'

To celebrate - I am officially old enough to adopt from China. I passed my thirtieth birthday last Monday in the company of my husband at a good local restaurant.

To rue - We are still struggling with the first phase of the dossier. The homestudy, the major part of the dossier is as of yet incomplete. It continues to bounce back and forth between agency, social work and us. Voicemails and emails are not returned as quickly as I would like and the problems rest in limbo.

A couple of months ago the agency sent back a stack of paperwork to us claiming it was incomplete. I fumed that most of these things had either failed to be mentioned prior to the original submission or were finding nonexistent problems with the papers.

An example of the latter was my employment letter. The agency requests the letter state a promise of continued employment or states that its against policy to make those promises. The women in human resources wrote that, “her employment is continued and current”. That seemed quite fine to me and the person who wrote it, but was apparently not what the agency wanted. There was also the issue of the hours I work, which upon my second visit to the HR department I learned was firmly against the policy of County.

Only it wasn’t.

When I asked the supervisor to put this policy in the letter she added, “Well, it’s not a written policy so I can’t say that we don’t make statements about the hours you work. But I can’t write that you work a certain amount of hours a week, because you might not work those.“

I suppose it was my mistake thinking that the HR department of the County was there to help me - an employee. I did get the letter, despite the migraine caused by puzzling out the logic of the supervisors unwritten policies which prevented her from typing anything I needed the letter to say. And the joys of government employee logic continued as I dealt with the next item of paperwork, my birth certificate.

Apparently some government employee working for the State of Florida had decided that I didn’t really need two middle names. I never even noticed that my name had been shortened when I’d sent the certificate off to the agency. With the number to the office of birth and records of Florida found on the internet I spent a delightful afternoon trying to my have birth certificate fixed.

“Do you need them?“

“Pardon?“ I asked, a bit stunned for anything more eloquent.

“Do you need both middle names?“ the bored voice in Florida asked.

“It. Is. My. Name.“ I tersely replied and before I could utter another word was disconnected. I’d spent almost forty minutes on hold before I’d managed to get through. Redialing I began a mantra that whomever answered this time wasn’t responsible for the rudeness the first time. And indeed the next person I spoke to was apologetic and remarkably helpful, they sent me three copies of the corrected document and at no charge.

Well, that was two down. We just needed to arrange for a notary to stamp a few more documents. And there was something arising with a discrepancy of numbers between a couple of forms. The biggest of our paperwork headaches was just around the corner.

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