Friday, October 06, 2006

Checklists, Binders and Stars

We received the Taiwan section of our Big Adoption Binder today. When we originally signed up with our agency, we were issued a Generic Adoption Binder (GAB), with an empty tab pending our country selection. For the last few months, the country section of our GAB sat empty. Meanwhile, we learned that our initial country of choice, Kazakhstan, required us to engage yet another agency. Although our agency handles all aspects of China and Taiwan adoptions, Kazakhstan is a little different. So, we signed up with the new agency and began fumbling our way through our new KAB (Kazakhstan Adoption Binder).

My favorite page in the binder is the checklist. This is the page that tells me exactly what I need to do in order to get our baby and let me tell you, checklists are my thing! (just ask my husband or my mom...if it involves a checklist or the potential of earning a gold star, I am unstoppable)

Immediately after receiving our GAB in June, we promptly drove from the agency to the nearest police station to pose for our first set of fingerprints. For the rest of June and into July, we worked those checkmarks relentlessly...fingerprints? Check! Birth certificates (me)? Check! Birth certificates (hubby)? Check! Marriage certificates? Check! Guardianship letter? Check!

Imagine my delight when I received a Kazakhstan checklist in our KAB! My delight quickly turned to frustration as I realized our Kazakhstan agency wasn't nearly as organized as our home study agency. Instead of one clear checklist, they had several and with no obvious correlation or hierarchy. As if things weren't difficult enough! Undeterred, we worked our way through the checklists (yes, ALL of them!) and, miraculously, it seemed, completed our entire Kazakhstan dossier.

That was when we decided it just didn't feel right, so we called our home study agency and gave them the news. We were switching to Taiwan!

It was very exciting to transform our GAB into a TAB (Taiwan Adoption Binder). It feels more complete. More personal. We've got our new (and, we hope final) checklist and we are unstoppable!

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