Friday, March 13, 2009

Friday, the Federal Building & Our Great Big Adopted Family

After our fourth visit to the federal building, Karina has her "second name" as she calls it.  She kept asking why she needed a SS # and what it was for and after the explanation she began calling it her second name.
Why four visits?  Because we did not know everything we needed... and no employee at the federal building could tell us what we needed... they just knew that what we had was not enough and they were not sure how we could get what we really needed unless we paid them lots of money.
So, we asked our great big adopted family out there - those of you reading this blog who have adopted or are adopting - and you came through for us.  We received comments and emails outlining everything we needed.  Thanks so much for all the help.  
This is what happened on Friday at the Federal Building:
Sheila said it was my turn to go so Karina and I took off for downtown and entered the parking garage at 1:14PM, walked down stairs, crossed street, entered building....
Karina sets off metal detector - it was her belt.
Went up to the second floor and...
there was hardly any one in the room!  
If you need to go work with the government, go on a Friday afternoon, just before Spring break, when it is pouring down rain outside.
We took a number and sat down in the empty room for...
less than one minute!
We were called to window A and I handed the lady these items:
1.  Karina's birth certificate
2.  Adoption court decree
3.  Karina's passport with visa and stamp from Homeland Security
4.  Certificate of Citizenship
5.  Letter of school enrollment from our home school
6.  SS # Application
7.  My driver's license
Within just a few minutes she said, "Sign this."
We were done... so we walked out of the room, out of the building, crossed the street and exited the parking garage about 30 minutes after we had arrived.
Sheila tells me, because of her experience earlier this week, that she is more sanctified than I am because of what she had to go through.
So, thanks to all of you who have done this before, for those of you that will need a SS# in the future, the above list is what you need.  Your local SS office may or may not know what you need, as in our case.

On another note, today, as I was going through some of the paperwork from the adoption I came across some papers that I could not recognize.  I handed them to Karina and asked what they were.  Her eyes got real big...
"This is my biological mom and dad's birth certificate... my dad born in Russia... I know that... but my mom... I never know this... she born in Russia too!  And my dad has no citizenship record."
There were some other things she learned about them and she told me,
"My mom did not tell me this... my life has been crazy... my name is Greek, my parents are Russian, I was born in Ukraine and now I live in America!"

I could tell that she was disturbed by some of the things she learned and she was quiet for a while...
she seemed to be processing  a lot after looking at this paperwork...
this evening she still seemed to be thinking through all this and I asked her if she was ok.
She said she was, gave us a kiss and told us, "I love you."


  1. Congrats on an easy visit. I too know the surprise of "extras" in the documents sent home. My advice is to get them all translated. We took the medical in Russian to our neurologist who is Russian and she told us many things that were not in our English version!

  2. We're glad you guys finally got through the SSA. You have been such a blessing to us these past few weeks and we love keeping up with Karina. Please tell her we love her and send her big kisses! Dasha of course can't wait to talk to her as well!

  3. I am so happy that you are finally finished with applying for the social security card! YAY!!! I will have to come back to this when we are ready to do it.

    I am sure seeing this was hard for Karina. She is such a special girl and she knows how precious her life is now. She knows how much you love her. I know there will be pains of the past that come back. She seems to be doing so well despite all of it.