Today Steve and I went to CIS (Customs and Immigration Services) today to have our fingerprints taken for our Immigration forms for adoption! Yes, I know, you're probably thinking to yourselves, "Haven't you already had your fingerprints taken and completed somewhere around 50,000 forms?" Well, yes we have, but those were our fingerprints for the FBI background check, which is completely different, of course, from the CIS fingerprinting. Don't try to apply too much logic to the situation, you'll only hurt your brain.
So, after we get back our 171-H, which is the form that we'll receive back from CIS (hopefully soon!), we'll have received our last bit of paperwork! Hooray! When we get our 171, we'll then just need to get our Utah paperwork apostled and then our dossier is complete!
"What is apostling?" you may well be asking. Another great question. Basically, it's the State Department saying to the foreign government (in this case, Kaz) "Yes, these documents are legitimate." It makes a lot more sense if you see it from the Kaz government point of view. So, they require a form from our doctors saying that we're in good health. But how do they know that we didn't just fill out the form ourselves? Well, that's why we bring a notary with us when our doctors sign the forms, to verify that the doctors indeed are signing. But how does the Kaz government know that we didn't just buy a snazzy stamp from Office Depot that looks like a notary stamp and fake all of the forms that we're completing? That's where apostling comes in. Apostling is a process that any Hague Treaty-complaint nation has agreed signifies that a document is legit. It's where the home government validates the notary information and attaches a letter with the state's seal to the document to show that it's legit. Yeah, it's a really cumbersome process, but as long as we keep it in perspective - this is the Kazakhstan government making sure that we are who we say we are for the protection of our daughter - it doesn't get too overwhelming. Plus, it means that all of our documents have a lovely shiny state seal on them, and that's fun in its own right. Of course, we have to pay for each of those lovely shiny state seals... but nobody said that kids come cheap :)