Just as the dust began to settle from the Gladney application process and home study, things picked right back up again yesterday as our 61 page dossier manual arrived in my inbox. I laughed when I read the very first sentence of the manual:
“You are about to embark upon the most frustrating, challenging, and ultimately rewarding experience of your life.”
Now, that’s a bold statement, but judging what other adoptive parents have said, I do not doubt that it is not that much of a stretch. Here’s a bit of dossier background…
- Dossier is pronounced Dah-see-ay. It’s French, and I feel very distinguished when I say the word. Like I should be sipping on espresso and daintily dining on a scone. Instead, I’m downing Great Value Crystal Light and eating stale pretzels.
- Merriem-Webster defines “dossier” as “a file containing detailed records on a particular person or subject”. Tell me about it. This is about as detailed as one can get. I feel like I’m applying to be in the CIA or something.
- Speaking of which… I get to be fingerprinted twice! This is really quite thrilling for me, as I always feel like I’m an episode of Law and Order when I have to do this. I’m not entirely sure why both the FBI and the US Bureau of Citizen and Immigration Services need our fingerprints. Wouldn’t one think that there would be one central fingerprint clearinghouse? Guess not.
- Each and every document that will go in our dossier must be authenticated by a notary, the Secretary of State from where the document originated, the Department of State, and the Rwandan Embassy in D.C. This exhausts me just thinking about it.
- The dossier involves a lot of paperwork, a lot of money, and a lot of time. I think I’m going to get a picture of sweet little Rwandan faces to plaster to my computer desk to remind me exactly why I am expending so much energy on this.
When I found out that our program caseworker graduated from UVA (she lives in Texas, mind you), I sent her a really dorky email out of sheer excitement that “ohmygosh, you totally lived in MY state and I went to this school and my husband when to that school and wow isn’t Charlottesville so pretty”. After I sent it, Matt reinforced the fact that I’m a huge nerd. Whatever, she totally appreciated it. And Matt should be basking in my nerd-dom as I diligently make lists and file away paperwork, taking one baby step after another toward getting the dah-see-ay complete.