Thursday, May 17, 2012

Xian's Hurdles (getting closer)

Ok, ok, we were a bit premature with The Girl is Ours... post. We cheered. We toasted. And then, we found out that the process was just inching forward. Just over a month ago, Xian's initial decree of adoption was issued and we were told that it was the final. The "initial" is a ruling from the Court that moves the adoption forward but gives a bit more time for birth families to reconsider (yep, we were still chewing on our nails for a bit longer). Finally, the time period passed and Xian's legal adoption process was complete! Yay!

Still loving books
We received the final paper on Saturday. It was a one page document with five lines of writing.It seemed a bit insignificant but who are we to say what the characters mean. On Monday, we raced out of work to the local office of household registration to continue the paperwork. Let me digress a bit here in an attempt to explain this system (I may be completely wrong.) Each Taiwanese person is registered to a household. Foreigners are not part of this system but Xian is since she is of Taiwanese birth. Unfortunately, since we are outside of the system, Xian cannot get transferred to our household. We have been told that we could get a Taiwanese friend to register Xian under their house... It's complicated.

So, our goal was to get a note put into the system that Xian was legally adopted by us and to obtain her ID number (like a social security number?). At the household registration office we found out that we were missing pages from Xian's adoption - remember the initial decree? Yep, those pages were needed so we raced to the lawyer's office to pick up those papers and returned just before the office closed. Here's one of the tricky parts. Even though the documentation is electronic, the original office of Xian's registration has to be involved. They happened to be closed on Monday afternoon.

Hanging with Mom
We decided to take most of Wednesday off from work to chase down all the requirements. We needed the time! After teaching first period we headed south and into the mountains. There, the people in the household registration office were extremely nice. There level of English was low and our Chinese was lower but lots of smiles and laughter (at one point five people were trying to help us) kept us going. It turned out that they could change the registration but not her name. Off we were again to another district and another office of household registration. Success! The next step....getting Xian's passport but that's for another day.

So, Xian is officially official! She's eagerly waiting for her sister's process to also be finished.

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