Friday, July 30, 2010

Will He Ever Have The Right Last Name?

And now for the promised continuation of Matthew's Story...

Matthew is two and a half today. I have no idea where the time has gone or how we've managed to get this far. Before I know it my baby will be ready to start school and then he'll be be eighteen and he'll have one foot out the door and I wonder what his last name will be on that day.

Matthew and I on the water taxi last month

My beautiful boy playing with Play-Doh in June 2010

Today, his last name is still the wrong one. I mean he goes by my last name and he was Baptized with my name and even most of his medical records are in my last name but the one important piece of paper, his birth certificate, lists his name differently. Wrongly.

Matthew had the unfortunate luck of being born the day before an election. The day before my lawyer became a minister of something or other. I think it's finance. It took weeks of calling and asking the law firm to send me the release forms for the birth mother to sign. And then it took months before she would come back to town to sign them. (Apparently, she lives in a village in the middle of no where and she didn't want me coming there.)

Finally, they were signed and I stupidly thought things would progress smoothly from there. What could happen to cause any more problems? It was supposed to be a simple, straightforward, adoption.

I took the signed forms to the law office only to be told I'd now be dealing with my lawyer's daughter. Okay, no problem, she's a lawyer too. She looked over the papers, took my birth certificate, and asked me for my passport. It was weeks away from expiring so she said I'd have to renew it before we could continue. I dealt with that and got the new passport in July of '08.

That's when things really started going wrong. We called the law firm only to be told the lawyer no longer worked there. But how could that be since it was her father's law firm and his wife also worked there? Phone call upon phone call and finally we got hold of the wife, I think it was. By this point it was December. I went in and signed my name about a hundred million times and thought okay, this is it now. I also made arrangements to pay in installments. (Previously, we'd go in, get the work done and then get a bill and pay it but no longer.) By January 2009, I paid my final installment.

After that I couldn't get an answer from anyone. I'd email and call and get told, "We're working on it... We are going to go and talk to Human Development this week... We are waiting for this... We are waiting for that... We'll get back to you soon...."

I should have asked them if the cheque was in the mail, too.

Then I heard Human Development was claiming they hadn't received any of the files the law firm sent over. They were sent again. Then I was told my new lawyer, the daughter, was out of the country studying. Then she was back and working on it. Then my social worker told me she hadn't received the file. I told her the lawyers had sent them twice and low and behold they were "found".

Then in March of this year I was told I had to come in and sign all the papers again because they were outdated. So I printed out four copies of the 25 page document, signed them all and delivered them to the law firm. A week later I was told to come in to sign the papers again. I did that. Then it was a different daughter because the first one was still away studying and this one was here on vacation and trying to get this all done quickly so I could get Matthew a passport to take him with me to Jamaica before my aunt died. Needless to say it didn't get done.

Now it's July, the first daughter is back but she's working on her thesis and isn't going back to work until September so we are STILL waiting.

Oh yes, I spoke to her on the phone and so told me I'd have to come in to resign the papers because they are outdated. I swear I nearly lost it on her at that point. I told her I'd already signed the papers twice this year. Then she said okay then she's just waiting to get the report from Human Development. I told her she already has that in the file. Then she said it just had to be filed with the courts then. I told her that too had already been done according to her sister. So, finally she said she'd go into the office and take a look at the file and let me know. Surprise, surprise, I still haven't heard from her.

My mother, thinking she might have better luck than me, called the lawyer and asked her to see if she can hurry up and get this done but of course she got the runaround too.

Two and a half years and one simple, straightforward, UNCONTESTED, adoption can't get done yet. I have lost all patience and am willing to let my mother deal with things for a while because if I talk to any of them I'm going to scream.

I keep telling myself something my mother always tells me my grandmother used to say. "When yu han in lion mouth, yu have to tek time an tek it out." (When your hand is in the lion's mouth, you have to take time and take it out.)

All of this has to finish one day, right?

And to think, I am ready to start looking again to get my girl. God help me!

Cheers :-)
- Rainforest Mommy


Kerri said...

Oh. My. Word. First of all, if that child was any more precious...
What a doll! Is there an American consulate or embassy or anything there? Or an American lawyer even? Do you think that would help at all?

THE most important thing is that he is yours in all the ways that matter. I know it's important to have it on the birth certificate. But YOU are his mother. No one else could ever be.

Besides,when we all get to heaven, we will all get new names anyway!
Hang in there...

CoconutPalmDesigns said...

I've been to the Canadian consulate but unfortunately the adoption has nothing to do with them so they can't do anything to help.

Diva said...

Hi - Visting from SITS - I haven't been by in a while! Your son is looks handsome and healthy, what a blessing! Hang in there on the name change. My daughter is my biological kid and it took forever to get her last name changed after her dad and I got married.

LisaDay said...

I am sorry to hear the drama continues. This sucks.