Arriving home gives the false impression that the paper chase is over. It's not.
There is the necessary registration with the adoptive child's embassy, adding them to health insurance, getting their social security number, updating their immunizations and so on.
Registering with the child's embassy requires the sending of their actual passports to the embassy that is most likely in another state as well as copies of the ID portion of their passports and yours. You must also send the original court declaration with a self-addressed, stamped envelope for the return of all those important documents. All of this must be done within the first 30 days...which may seem like a long time, but it's not when you are adjusting to a new family structure. The time literally flies by.
When I sent all these important documents off, I stood in the post office, hesistating to seal the envelope, trying not to think of the stories I have heard of postal workers hoarding packages and such. There I was again...the same situation I had been in over and over during the past year...praying over papers going into the hands of total strangers!
But WAIT! Sending off the court declaration before contacting your health insurance company may not be the best idea. I needed to submit a scanned copy (over email, thank goodness) of our court declaration (actual signature page on the original in Ukrainian and the English translated version of the entire document). If I had sent on the original to the embassy before scanning it for my health insurance company, that might have been difficult.
These are questions and situations that can be addressed long before you even leave to pick up your children. You can call companies, prepare envelopes with addresses and find out the requirements so it's easier on you when you get home.
Our health insurance takes 10 days to kick in after submitting the forms, documentation and request. If they decide we don't have adequate information, they can request more paperwork and documentation, extending that waiting period. This registering of the kids with the health insurance company also HAS to be done in the first 30 days after their arrival home.
Obviously, I didn't jump on this as quickly as I should have. I focused on our family and our harvest and all that came with bringing the children home...and put off the paperwork for two weeks. I didn't miss deadlines, but our health insurance still hasn't kicked in yet and I would really like to get them in for their check ups.
Don't put it off. While you're waiting for your travel date, pass the time by getting all the facts up front on all the post-adoption paperwork. Call your insurance company, at least, and get the forms and fill out everything you can. We could have done everything required for health insurance except sending in our court declaration. It would have been so easy to do that small step once we got home if I had had everything else taken care of!