Adoption - Day 16 - Courthouse

In the US, maiden names are either forgotten or just used as passwords. However, when one is adopting in Colombia, maiden names are very important. We found that out today at the courthouse. Let me explain.

We left our villa in La Mesa bright and early to get to the courthouse. Today is the day all papers were supposed to be signed and the boys would officially become a part of the Duckett family. We were all excited. We were not the only family with a court appointment, so we had to wait our turn. It finally came. We stood in the judge's office, she asked how we were all doing (we responded appropriately), and then she told the boys to love and respect their new parents. She signed the papers. We took a picture. We thought we were done.

Apparently, in Colombia, the papers a judge signs are not actually read until after the judge puts their "John Hancock" on it. We went to get the boys their new birth certificates and it was here that we realized our attorney had left Cherry's maiden name out of the legal documents. In the States, a woman can either drop her maiden name or make it a part of her middle name when she gets married. Hence maiden names drift off into the far regions of our memory banks. But in Colombia, maiden names become part of a person's last name. Therefore, when someone gets married they have two last names and that becomes their legal name. When we went to get the birth certificates, Cherry's maiden name was not in the documents, therefore, they would not create new birth certificates for the boys. 

You would think this was an easy fix. Just pull up the document on your computer, add the name, and print. Colombia there aren't that many computers. All documents are typed...and the lawyer, who created this dilemma in the first place is "unavailable." The problem could be fixed, but we were talking days not hours. Fortunately, our interpreter/guide/the real person who gets the job done when the lawyer is "unavailable" knew what to do. To make a long day short enough to fit in this blog, let me just tell you what she did. She made phone calls, called in favors, twisted the right arms of the right people, got the new birth certificates, and still got us home by 9 PM (by the way...she told us this is the first time in over 20 years of assisting families with adoptions that she has ever had this much trouble). 

It was a crazy day, but a good one! I'm glad it is over. But, I'm also glad it happened. We now have 4 boys in our home. God is good!