Adoption Paperwork Fail

To know me is to know that I try really hard to be responsible with money. (With the possible exception of when we’re on vacation…then all bets are off).

I don’t mind spending money on quality items or with good companies, but I CANNOT STAND to waste money. It literally makes me feel sick.

To date, one of the biggest waste of money happened a few years ago when we were in Europe. Our plans slightly changed and we needed to call the places where we were going to be staying. We didn’t have cell service, so from a train station in Austria we called our hostel in Switzerland and then our hotel in Germany. Each call lasted less than two minutes…and they cost $70. I almost died.

I had that same feeling yesterday.

It’s no secret that international adoption is expensive. It sucks, but I get it. There are social workers to (minimally) pay, orphanages to run, translations that must happen, government fees to pay, travel vaccinations to get, not to mention the travel itself. I can’t say I enjoy paying for all of these things, but they are necessary and I definitely don’t feel like we’re wasting money. Usually.

When you get papers processed for adoption, they follow a pretty ridiculous process. First, they get notarized. Then they get state certified- which is basically the state saying the notary is legit. Then they get authenticated at the national level, which is the federal government saying that everything has been done correctly. And then they go over to the Embassy of Ethiopia. To get all your papers authenticated costs $98 (only a small portion of that actually goes to the government- most of that is to the courier that hand holds them through the process). The Embassy of Ethiopia charges $94.80. We recently sent in our updated paperwork….and yesterday realized we left out two documents.

I frantically called my contact that does the authentication, hoping she could just slip them in and bundle them with the rest of the papers. She couldn’t. We had to pay both fees again. Plus the money order fees again. Plus the postage again.

I cried.

Epic fail.

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