Monday, June 29, 2009

O Canada

Last Thursday our order of adoption arrived in the mail. Wait, let me back up a minute. On Tuesday I got a phone call from CJ saying that the courthouse couldn't read the faxed copy of his license and could I please re-fax it. Odd that it took them about a week and a half to figure out they couldn't read the fax, but whatever. So I faxed another copy of the license and received the order on Thursday. Friday morning I called the passport center to double check their address. I spoke to the same woman who has been dealing with our case these past few weeks and she assured me that this was the last piece of paperwork they needed. We could expedite the process if we needed to travel in the next few days (translation: send us money and we'll try to work slightly faster than a snail's pace); otherwise expect the passport in 2-3 weeks. Okay. Off I went to the mailbox to send in the order of adoption, the piece of paper that was of complete and utmost importance in order to process Paul's passport. Later that day I went out to get the mail and almost fell over when I saw what was inside. Paul's passport. No lie. Guess that super-critical piece of paper really wasn't that critical.
All sarcasm aside, we decided to celebrate with a trip to Canada this morning. CJ is off all week for the holiday and the weather was perfect. Upon arrival at Canadian customs I was confident that we would have no problems, and I proudly passed over our fresh passports. The woman looked us up and down and inquired if we were mother, father and child. Yes. And the boy is adopted? Yes. Do you have his adoption paperwork? Well, no, it is currently down in Charleston at the passport agency. It was required to acquire his PASSPORT. Ya know, the thing that proves he is an American citizen and will allow him to travel to different countries. Well, she says, this proves his citizenship but it doesn't prove that you are his parents. Perhaps the fact that we all have the same last name (which isn't exactly common) or the fact that we had to go through hoops to prove we were his parents in order to receive the passport??? You really should carry his adoption paperwork, she says. If he was older I could ask him questions, but he is too young for that. (Funny, the boy can recite his adoption story pretty well.)
Eventually she decided to let us into the country with a warning to carry his paperwork in the future. CJ & I were pretty ticked about the whole experience. We were discriminated against and antagonized because we are a multiracial family. If our son was white, his legality in our family would not have been questioned. Usually it is just me who gets my feathers ruffled about these type of things, but my darling husband had to agree this time. Needless to say, we had no trouble at all getting back into the United States. The customs agent was very sweet and friendly to Paul (who was a bit grouchy by then and needing a nap) and didn't seem to have any problem with our non-traditional family unit.

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