Dossier en route!

Finally the dossier is on its way to Ukraine and should get there this Monday. We had 20 documents apostilled: 18 in Texas and 2 in Florida (marriage certificates). This was the most expensive shipping charge I ever forked out: $125.64 with "UPS Saver". DHL was quoted at $340 and my eyeballs almost popped out of their sockets! I could have used regular mail for around $20, but then it could take about 2 weeks to get there and I didn't think it was worth it.

I left our house this morning at around 5:30am and it wasn't easy to get myself out of bed since I went to sleep quite late (so, what's new?!). I was very paranoid last night and had to triple check everything to make sure all documents were in order and that I wasn't forgetting something that could ruin my trip. Lori and I went through all the different documents and created forms for each notary (9 different ones). Now I understand why we were encouraged to try and use the same notary! It would be in one's best interest to do so with the documents that you're responsible for.

I got to Austin in about 3 1/2 hours and only because I deviated from the map and then had to turn south again, getting stuck in the morning rush hour traffic. It was about a 170 mile drive one way. By 9am I was parked with 30 minutes on the meter, as I only had a few coins in my wallet. I rushed to the Secretary of State office, went in the basement and there was no one waiting. I was thrilled, sat down and we got started. My excitement quickly turned to fear and stress.

Some documents were done wrong. Basically in Texas, a Notary Public cannot notarize "recordable" documents such as copies of passports or other documents issued by specific agencies/jurisdictions/departments. So my heart sank at the idea that I'd have to defer mailing and having to drive back to Austin again to complete the dossier. But they were really nice and closed an eye on one of the "irregularities" and had me redo the other three documents. I basically had to do an affidavit and have the Notary Public witness my signature, which made it possible for those documents to get an Apostille. So they told me where to go at the UPS store down a couple of blocks and I ran there. My meter was expired but I didn't care. I got the documents done in a few minutes, broke a $20 bill and ran to the meter to put in 4 quarters. I was 20 minutes late, but lucky enough not to have a parking ticket! So now with an hour on the meter, I ran to get the rest of the documents Apostilled, went back to UPS and got the package mailed. Mission accomplished with no parking tickets!

In Texas, Apostilles for adoptions are $10 each, compared to the usual $15. They also cap the cost to a maximum of $100 per child. Since we don't know if it'll be one or two, they charged us only $100. Thank you Texas!

Later in the morning I visited the Austin office and worked there from the break room via wireless. I had a great chat with my friend Chester (obviously about Revit!) and lunch with Bill and Bob. I left the office around 5:30pm and made it home by 8:30pm after finding a better route from I-10 to Hwy6 via Grand Parkway. I can't believe it took me this long to connect the dots! Overall, it was a great day and now we wait to see whether to expedite the translation or not...and wait for hurricane Ike! As of now it's headed straight for us and we're on the "dirty" side, very close to the eye. Hopefully it'll do the same as Rita 3 years ago and take a turn away from us into less populated areas.

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