I greeted the receptionists who now all know me and smile at me with a mix of sympathy and annoyance. This office is so huge. The front desk has 4-5 receptionists and billing agents working simultaneously and they service five different providers who each have a head nurse somewhere in the catacombs behind the main desk. Typically I arrive and announce that I'm hoping to pick up a paper from my doctor; they call back to her head nurse who tells them it's not ready, and they pass that on to me. Despite being there every day, I had not even seen the nurse since I dropped the forms off last Monday. I have not seen the doctor since the February medicals. I've been in tears in this office several times in the last month and today turned out to be more of the same.
The receptionist popped back to the nurse's desk and then back to me: "She'll call you when it's ready. It should be today".
I was told this Wednesday. And Thursday. And Friday. I missed work all three days waiting waiting waiting because once it was ready I didn't want to lose a minute.
"Is the doctor actually here? Is the notary in the building?" Yes.
"Well, then, I'll just wait. I've already taken the day off of work and I want to get this to Albany yet today."
And I cried a little. This process has left me so raw I am constantly in tears.
And wouldn't you know it, the nurse immediately called down the notary, who popped out of the elevator 5 minutes later and walked back with the nurse to see the MD. Five more minutes passed and the nurse came out with signed forms. Not so happily, but done. There was scowling and some "No more, right!?" grumpiness. No matter, they passed inspection and I left. I cried again in the parking lot, because OBVIOUSLY I'm going to cry in the parking lot. 11:30.
Home to pick up the rest of the documents and confirm some details, then back out to the county courthouse for county seals on all of the notary signatures at 12:15. Twenty seven documents (at $3 each) were not quick, but the clerk was an incredibly kind woman who is a foster mom to a precious 16 month old boy and I just barely kept from crying some more as we discussed this process and her process and kids from hard places. THANK YOU, new friend, for a far more pleasant desk experience than I've had for the past 3 weeks with this medical letter. Done at 12:50.
Aren't they pretty? That is 112 full sheets of paper, plus 31 slips with county clerk stamps. $394 worth of fancy stickers and staples. Five months of blood (tests), sweat, and tears. And lost sleep.
I was told there was a post office diagonally across the street in the capital building. And there was! But it closed at 4:15 and I got there at 4:20. Luckily, there was another about 2 blocks away that closed at 4:45, so I scurried.
Got to the post office at 4:25. Said a few prayers over the whole giant bundle and attempted to shove it in the mailer.
But in the end, it shipped out at 4:32. It should get to our agency by mid-day tomorrow. They should be able to look it over, add the two documents that are already in their hands, and get the whole bundle en-route to Ukraine. It should arrive by the end of the week. Our agency representatives there already have the scanned version of everything and have started translations, so once it's all in hand they can print and bundle and submit to the State Department of Adoptions. Possibly yet this week, otherwise next week.
And then I drove home. Two and a half hours where the skies were as unstable as I was: sunny, downpour for 45 seconds, sunny, drizzle for 2 minutes, sunny... all the way home. Meanwhile, I laughed, cried (of course) and felt the fifty pounds of stress lift off of my shoulders. It's as done as we can do it. Now we wait and pray and focus on the really important stuff: the kids, M's arrival in 18 days, family, and work.