One of the little known parts of the adoption process-at least it was totally unknown to us-is the seemingly insatiable need for notarized documents. [Home country] wants notarized documents. The agency wants notarized documents. Everybody wants notarized documents.
Initially, we were discouraged about this because it can be really expensive to have a notary follow you around everywhere you go. Notaries generally charge about $10/signature. Because we’ll need two notarized copies of every form that both [home country] and the agency need, we are expecting to need about a million notary signatures over the next few months. I only say “about a million” because there’s a pretty good chance that we’ll need more signatures than that. Seriously, everyone, this notary thing is crazy. We had to get something notarized so that we could apply for a document that we need notarized.
However, this week Amy learned that the expense is only the beginning of the notary difficulties. The real fun comes in trying to coordinate the notary’s schedule with the schedules of two different doctor’s offices and a husband who is in tech rehearsals. Amy has been amazing at the coordination process. This week, each of us had our physicals and chest x-rays and TB tests so that doctors could sign our notarized health reports. Then, this afternoon, Amy met our notary (he’s really nice-if you ever need a notary, he’s the man) at her doctor’s office. Amy expected to have the doctor come out and sign for the notary at the front desk, but instead the nurses ushered Amy and our notary (who, to reiterate, she had just met five minutes before) into one of the patient rooms.
“We don’t have a record of your urine sample,” was the first thing the nurse told my wife and our notary. “Can you take another one right now?”
“Do you want me to leave the room?” our nice notary asked. No, nice notary, my wife replied. We’re in this together.
But Amy did excuse herself from the nice notary before returning with her sample. And the nurse believed that it was Amy’s sample, even though the notary was not there to witness the sample being given. Because apparently we do a lot of trusting in normal life without a notary witness. Documents were signed. Amy and the notary went to my doctor’s office and had a similar, but not quite as dramatic experience. Then, Amy and the notary arrived at my rehearsal where we signed and fingerprinted in my office while sitting between two kids playing video games as teenagers dressed as zombies wandered through the lobby looking for hand sanitizer to remove the fake blood from their hands. And our nice notary kept assuring us that this didn’t even get to the top ten of his weird notary stories.
By the way, notaries have some crazy stories. You should ask one.