16 March 2008

Here comes the Judge

Posted by BaBa under: Daily Life .

Thursday, we made the trip to courthouse to get Sheridan’s adoption domesticated. Taking on this last step allowed us to get him a State Birth Certificate of Foreign Adoption with us listed as his parents. This will make it much easier for him in later years if needs a copy of a birth certificate for employment, education, travel, marriage and even travel. It also makes it very easy for us to validate that we are truly his parents without having to use multiple documents with translations. The birth certificate alone is worth the effort.


I completed all of the paperwork myself. No attorney for me. $100 versus $1200 to $1500. No contest there. I then completed an updated petition to fix the one error I made, the additional requirement I was unaware of and the information that was there that the law clerk overlooked in doing his checklist. One error on me, one error on him and one additional requirement — really not bad. I filed the paperwork in November of 2007 and got the checklist in January. Finally, today was the magic day for the hearing. We had done this same exact process with an attorney a decade ago at this courthouse with our older son, his wife and grandchildren. On that day in February, he added us as parents and they all changed their last name to ours. My Mom and Dad went with us on that day, but today only Dad could go as Mom has a case of the grunge as well.

In the time since I filed our domestication, I have helped 3 other families complete their paperwork. Cathy has actually had hers completed as of this writing. This is only fitting as they went to Vietnam just before we went to China. Here again they were slightly ahead of us in getting their hearing, but all is well that ends well.

We waited in court for the docket to be called and our motion was heard in chambers. Dad took some of the photos. It was a really special time and much more meaningful than the the consulate ceremony (just an oath) in Guangzhou at the embassy. Judge Vinson asked several questions and was really interested in the answers. He swore us in and then asked about how we undertook the process and why China. He then asked some procedural questions and we were done. You can still tell we are in the deep south, because the judge gave him a small Gideon’s Bible — New Testament with Psalms. Gotta Love it.


Dad took us to breakfast after the hearing and the paperwork was complete. I managed two biscuits as I still had no appetite. We took Dad back home and then loaded up the items to drop at the consignment sale. I stayed with Sheridan on the playground while MaMa checked in the items. We then headed off to Vital Records Office to secure the birth certificate. This was a chase across town, but we did arrive and waited in the cattle lines found at all government agencies. However, we did secure the desired documents with appropriate seals (reminds you of the the first paperchase). We returned home and I collapsed in the chair determined to get plenty of rest to kill this bug with sleep and medication.

Post a note for Sheridan concerning his trip to see the judge. These notes will be something that he will read in coming years, so drop us a comment as he is official every possible way (Foreign Decree, US Decree, State Court Order) — our son, who we love very much!!.

5 Comments so far...

Donna Says:

17 March 2008 at 1:45 pm.

Congrats!! He is the cutest little Georgian around you know 😉 So happy to have you as my personal paperwork guru. Looks like you do good work!

Tina Evans Says:

17 March 2008 at 5:24 pm.

What a wonderful milestone in Sheridan’s life! We’ll be filing the paperwork for Matthew soon! We should be old hats at this but I know there will be something we forget!

Cathy Paulsen Says:

17 March 2008 at 7:02 pm.

I’m jealous no presents from the judge for Lennah LOL. I am glad all went well. Thanks so much for all your help. We love you guys.
Cathy, Keith, and Lennah

Heather Says:

23 March 2008 at 12:13 am.

Yea Sheridan! What a fantastic day for you all as a family.

Cristy Says:

7 April 2008 at 7:04 am.

Wow! I don’t know how I missed this post! Probably because we have been out of town, but a huge CONGRATULATIONS to you all! I LOVE having us listed as parents, worth all the hassle!

And kudos for doing it yourself! Very impressive:)

About Our Family

We have been married for 26 years, and have been blessed with our youngest son from China. Our oldest son is from Nicaragua. He and his wife have given us two outstanding grandchildren. Our daughter is Thai and is married to a wonderful son-in-law.

This is the chronicle of our adventures as a family with Sheridan.

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