One piece of paper.
One small piece of paper.
In the adoption game, paper is everything. You need paper proof of your birth, your marriage, your health, your finances, your background, your fitness to be a parent. Your life is neatly summarized into a pile of paper.
You are judged on that paper. Are you good enough to be a parent? What do the papers say?
Paper can make or break you.
Your child is referred to you based on the paper you.
The ministry approves the referral based on the paper you and adds one more piece of paper to the mix.
The court finalizes the adoption based on the paper you and the ministry's approval.
Travel is approved based on the paper you, the ministry's approval and the court's finalization.
You can then finally hold your child in your arms while you wait for the final piece of paper to be issued, a visa allowing him to come home to America.
Paper is everything. The paper trail you build leads to your child. If everything goes smoothly, the paper trail is easy to walk. It takes time but there is an ending point on the paper trail.
Paper is everything. Every piece of paper is important. If one piece of paper is missing or misplaced, this paper trail becomes a roller coaster ride.
If a piece of paper is missing, your court case gets adjourned one, maybe two times.
If your name is erroneously put on a piece of paper you are informed you passed court when you did not. You are so high.
When the paper error is discovered, you come careening back towards earth at 100 miles per hour.
When the misplaced paper is found, you are notified that you have passed court. Your travel is approved. You have climbed so, so very high.
When a piece of paper goes missing, maybe the same one, maybe another, the ministry refuses to issue a birth certificate or a passport for your child. Your travel is revoked. Your euphoria is gone. You only have the terror of crashing back to earth.
Paper is everything.
One little piece of paper can unite you with your child.
One little piece of paper can keep you from holding your child in your arms.
One little piece of paper can break your heart into a million pieces.
(About two hours after I published my last post about bringing Lion home, we were informed that another piece of paper had gone missing and that our travel had been revoked. We will not be leaving in two weeks. We do not know when we can see our son.)