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More referral stuff & Passport Services secret decoder ring
Saturday, July 28, 2007
First of course some things about the referral.

He's a very beautiful baby boy, 14 months old, blond hair, blue eyes...a Russian movie star in the making (not that I'm biased or anything). We actually were asked last week by our agency if we would be comfortable switching regions. They felt there was going to be a better chance for us to get a referral faster if we moved from the Omsk region to Novosibirsk (which is actually right next to each other so it's not really that much of a move).

Of course the name of the game is to remain flexible so we said "yes". Plus we are currently redoing our dossier because of timing (remember most of the dossier is only valid for 1 year). I believe most of that is due to Russian law. The point of the whole dossier thing is that we must have a new dossier sent to Novosibirsk. But again, since we're in the process of redoing our anyway...no biggie. So we're now kicking that into high gear because we must have the dossier completed to be able to travel even though our old dossier is still valid. Again, different region so different rules.

Now some stuff about the Stef's passport, which naturally is a big part of the dossier since a number of forms need the passport number. She was taking a class for work this past week at like a different company so she didn't have normal internet or phone access. The passport which we had paid for extradited service (which cuts the processing time from about 3 months to just 3 weeks) arrives yesterday with her name spelled wrong. We had already known that they made a mistake because she got an email from them a week ago saying they were processing the passport (and in the email the name was wrong). So she called them on Monday and alerted them. But obviously they didn't even listen to her because they didn't fix it.

So it arrives and I'm feeling terrible because she was so concerned about it. Now, I already had a plan on how to fix it just in case. I was going to literally but refundable plane tickets and then have her bring those in and say "we're traveling in two weeks, here are the tickets". When you do that supposedly they will process the passport in record time and get it to you before you leave. And then I'd just return the tickets and get my money back.

But I call the passport office and of course give the whole "woe is me" and "we can't bring home our child" speech and "oh please help us" and the person I talked to was very nice, very helpful and got me connected to a "specialist" who also was nice and listened to my whole story (embellished of course) and then gave me instructions of what to do. Which is...She is heading to the local main office of the passport services (thankfully we live close enough to San Francisco to make it feasible) and will be having them do a "reprint" of the passport.

This very helpful person told us to have Stef there an hour before they open and just to tell the guards the whole story so that they will let her camp out there. Now, I got to this person again through this other nice customer service rep who told me how to get to the specialist. So I want to mention how I got there just in case anyone has some major problems and maybe this will save you a step or two. Now I think she just put me back into the main menu of the passport phone system (at least that's what I remember her saying) so this should work for you. At least give it a try if you need major help. From the main menu (the toll free number is 877-487-2778) press 3 and then wait and listen to the entire message. Do not press any number they suggest, do not pass go, do not collect $200. You should then be placed automatically into a phone queue for a specialist.
posted by Steveg @ 9:52 AM  
  • At 2:06 PM, Blogger MMrussianadoption said…

    I thought you weren't going to give details about the referral. But I am glad you did. I am sure he is precious. You have waited awhile for this. Congrats again

  • At 2:51 PM, Blogger Steveg said…

    It's so hard not to mention something.


    But we're going to keep the photos and things pretty close to the vest.

  • At 5:37 PM, Blogger Allison said…

    Glad you shared a few details about your referral - it lets me live vicariously through you for a while:)
    And blonde-hair, blue-eyed, 14-month-old boys are my favorite (that is the exact characteristics of our oldest son when we met him).
    Thanks for sharing the passport info. too; it's always nice to have that just in case we need it.

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I'm Steve and this is my wife Stefanie. This is our story, mostly seen through my eyes, of the journey to create our family by adopting a child from Russia.

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