Friday, January 12, 2007

Who are we?

Well, I can tell you exactly who we are! In fact, We've got so many government agencies asking us to prove who we am that I'm pretty sure postman is wondering what's going on (tip to the red-head on that little joke).

We've got some government agencies asking us to ask other government agencies to prove who we are. Then once we do that we have to ask another government agency to authenticate the proof we just obtained from the second agency. Later, well send the proof and authentication to the first agency.

In one case I ordered a document online (way to go technology!) - then I FedEx-ed it back to the EXACT SAME OFFICE BUILDING to be stamped by a different agency within the same branch of government. Why? Well, because one agency is responsible for issuing the document, and the other is responsible for authenticating it. The document requester is the only one who can request authentication, which can only be done after the document has been delivered to the requester. Got all that?

Something tells me these folks have never heard of concept of Business Process Management - much less put any effort into improving those processes. As silly as all this is for us - I can't imagine how crazy it must seem to an insider. I will say this, the absolute most efficient agency by far has been the Department of Homeland Security. They turned around our request around in less than a week. OK, enough of the PM soapbox for now.

QUICK NEWS FLASH (literally after having seen a delivery reported via FedEx tracking)- the update portion of this post is that we've successfully obtained ALL of these documents. This is a major hurdle early in the process.

Here's a brief list of the ways in which we had to prove we exist, prove we are healthy, or prove we were not frauds.

1) Birth Certificate (one for each) - newly issued - proves we were born.
2) Marriage License - proves we were approved to be married.
3) Marriage Certificate - proves we actually went through with it.
4) References - I suppose these prove we know at least a few people who feels sorry enough for us to write something remotely nice about us.
4) Affidavit of names - lists all the names we've ever been known by (think all nicknames and formal derivations of names - this is a lot harder for married women). No, doufus and geekwad are not included in my list (Neither is Pat Sajak or Wink Martindale - hehe only some of you know what that's all about).
5) Medical report - proves we still exisit today. Actually, it's to show that we fooled a doctor into believing we're healthy.
6) HIV test - The interesting thing here is that I cannot actually find any document that says we would be disqualified if the test had come back positive.
7) Drug test - proves we don't eat poppy seed bagels or train with Barry Bonds.
8) Criminal background check - proves we never got caught.
9) Child abuse clearance - not going to make a joke here.
10) Employment letter - proves someone doesn't pay me enough for all my hard work!
11) Photos - yup pictures of ourselves and our home. This proves we are not Amish or Hobos. The coonidence of those 2 words in the same sentence may have never happened before in the history of the English language. That fact is not to be construed as me insuating the are related.
12) Passports - this essentially proves nothing given all of thee above!
I'm sure I missed something!

That's it for now - our social worker from Bethany will be visiting next week. Soon after that the dossier will be complete, and we'll be getting finger printed, and creating the formal packet to send to Guatemala. We're looking at 1-2 months before we get on the waiting list though -so let's not get ahead of ourselves!

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