Saturday, June 13, 2009

Battle against bureaucracy, part 378

Just when you thought the battle was over... we have been trying to get Paul a passport so that we can safely travel to Canada this summer. After collecting every piece of evidence that we had to prove Paul's existence, US citizenship and family legality, we trucked ourselves down to the airport post office (the only one with reasonable passport hours) and waited behind all the other fools who put their passport applications off to the last minute (new border rules went into effect June 1). The helpful man behind the counter took what he needed, leaving us with Paul's green card and Korean passport. Both had expired and he assured us they were not required. 5 weeks later we received a letter in the mail stating that further proof of citizenship was required. I called the passport office in Charleston and waited for a ridiculous amount of time before actually reaching a human. I explained our situation and she said she thought all they needed was his green card. She wasn't 100% sure and said someone from the department would call us directly with the answer within three business days. That was Friday. On Thursday the next week I sent in the green card, figuring no one was ever going to actually call me. The following Monday I received a message from the passport office. Hmm... guess "three days" really meant six. She said we also needed to send his passport and the original adoption decree from the court. I told her we sent in the only thing the court gave us and that we were told the passport was expired. Send it anyway she said and sent me a Fed Ex airmail envelope. Two days later I dropped off the passport at Fed Ex and the following day received another phone call requesting the final adoption decree. When I couldn't be reached, they called CJ who also told them that the only paperwork we received on our court day was already in their hands. Not enough he was told. So he called the courthouse and requested that they send us any and all paperwork associated to our case. They required a notarized request accompanied by a photo copy of his driver's license and told him that they may not be able to release it through the mail. Keep in mind that we lived in a different county at the time and picking up the paperwork would require a 4+ hour round trip drive. That is a lot of gas for one piece of paper. And I can only imagine that they will probably just give us another copy of what we already have and have already sent in to the passport office. Sigh. Meanwhile, every time he sees a commercial for Marineland he asks, "Can we go to that zoo?" Someday, buddy. Someday.

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