Tuesday, January 11, 2011
We went to visit Andrei’s birth region today. It is in the province of Kherson Oblast which is the same province we are in, but it is in the city of Gola Prystan. It took about an hour to get there, and on the map, it is between Kherson and the Black Sea. The town is also on the Dnieper river. I tried to take some pictures, but we were going pretty fast, so they are mostly a blur.
It is a small town with mostly small homes. It took a while for the paperwork to be completed, since files here are kept with big books, and the birth certificates are typed. (Yes!!! They typed it on a good old type writer!) I think there was some kind of “payment” given afterwards since our facilitator had to go get some extra $ from the bank. These are pictures from his birth town. They are the best I could do from the car.
After we got his new birth certificate, we came back to Kherson to apply for the one day passport, which by the way costs $700. OUCH! This is where things started falling apart. There is only one place to get the passport and only two special printers that could print these one day passports. They called for a “specialist” to come fix it at noon. We checked on it at 2:00, and it was not ready. They thought it could be a computer program issue. Then they told us they would call us by 7:30 PM if the printer was fixed. Praise God, the printer was fixed, and we could pick it up the next day.
For those interested, here is some brief info about the passports. The old passport (red one) does not require a tax ID number and there is the option of getting it in one day, because it is printed in the region where the orphanage is located. There is a limited number of old passports left in each region, and once they run out, they will not be reprinted. The new passport (blue one) could take 5 or more days to receive, because the application is sent to Kiev and the passport comes from Kiev. We asked if we could go to Kiev to apply for it there, but we could not. You have to apply for it in the child’s region. Interesting system!
To make it more interesting, the new passport requires a tax ID number. The ID number given to the adopted child when their name is changed needs to match the old ID number. Somehow Andrei’s ID numbers did not match, and the guy (not sure who he was) said we were going to need a couple of days to have that corrected in his birth city before we could even apply for a new passport. We were so blessed that the printer was fixed, and we did not need to apply for the new passport.