This morning I called the Secretary of State's office in Columbia (where the Apostilling magic happens) and I asked if I hand delivered our Dossier, could the docs be certified that same day, instead of sending them through the mail and waiting several weeks for their return? Answer: YES! So I hopped in the car (sans GPS, which I have become quite dependant on but was accidentally left in my sister's car) and made the 96 mile trek to our state capitol. Did I mention alone? Usually Chad drives me everywhere, I'm a bit of a nervous traveler, but he was tied up at work and I was highly motivated! So off I went- to see the Wizard. I had to drive in inner city traffic, parallel park, figure out how much money to put in a parking meter (I put in 50 cents and then realized it was 30 minute limit parking only, which only costs a quarter) and got followed up the steps by some skeezy bums trying to hit on me (Yikes) and wandered around a cement jungle peeking in buildings with no names on the front- just looking all "governmenty". It was totally deserted in the "inner sanctum" of the capitol buildings. It was kinda eerie- it went from city hustle and bustle to abandoned courtyards surrounded by grey stone buildings. I wish I would have had my camera to take a picture or two for you....It reminded me of Narnia- When the children venture back to Narnia to find it deserted, but just as magnificent and daunting. Statues lined the walkways and footsteps echoed in the air. Can you see it? Anyway- I finally randomly pick a building and open a door. Inside there are security guards and metal detectors. The guards look surprised to see a "human" but point me in the right direction- stone building number 3 on the right.
I enter through the doors that weigh 5 tons, go up an elevator and poof- there she is, the woman I spoke on the phone with. She says "Sarah?" Yippeee!!! She also says she has our other documents C.W.A. sent and asks if I would like to take those with me as I go too. YES!!!! I have our entire DOSSIER IN MY HANDS! I have a seat and she starts stamping away. In 29 minutes I am back to my car. I had a whole minute to spare! The bums have deserted their bench (Sigh of relief) and I am on my way up the happy bean road.
I made such good time in Columbia, I think to myself.... I could make it to Flat Rock (North Carolina) by 4:30. So I drive another 150 miles to our agency. Upon arrival (with 25 minutes to spare) I took advantage of the sweet receptionist and ask her to make some copies for me and took up residency in an empty conference room to get everything in order (copies, originals, our copies, C.W.A.'s copies) and walk to the front waiting area. THEN I HANDED OVER OUR DOSSIER (with home studies enclosed) CAN YOU BELIEVE IT? Just like that...4 hours of driving and 1 hour of paper processing later, I am on my way home, with our Dossier Apostilled and this huge step completed.
I started out today stopping to get gas on the way to work and ended the day by filling up my tank again after a multi-state trek! I'm just like UPS, but faster. However, I am absolutely exhausted and I am on my way to bed RIGHT NOW..... I hope this post makes sense! On Monday, I made an appointment for Chad and I at Immigration at 8:00 to file our Petition to bring an orphan into the country (I-600A). There will be no dust settling on us!