This foster parenting palava is quite the adventure. For those of you who know us and/or follow our adventures via social media, you'll already know that we are trying to get everything organised so Miss 12 and I can go to Vietnam as part of her school's bilingual Vietnamese program.
It will be a wonderful adventure, visiting ancient villages, bustling manic cities and spending a week actually going to the sister school in Nha Trang. It will be so much fun.
But we are coming up against so many brick walls. First was her birth certificate. As we are not yet her permanent carers, it was up to the Department of Human services (DHS) to get this for us and it took a good couple of months just to get it in our hands. Then, I went to submit the passport application and was informed that her birth certificate wasn't enough.. I needed to provide proof of her Australian citizenship. Which meant I needed to get my hands on a copy of one of her biological parent's birth certificates to prove that they were Australian citizens at the time of her birth. Either that or go through the immigration department citizenship office to obtain a proof of citizenship document.
We tried the first avenue and got in contact with her bio-mother. We had arranged for me to pick her up and drive her to Births, Deaths and Marriages. DHS gave me money to pay for it and the plan was that we would then go together to the passport office to submit the form. She wanted to get her birth certificate anyway so it sounded like a plan that would benefit both parties.
I drove across town to pick her up but when I knocked on the door she wouldn't come out. I called her phone and she said it wasn't a good day. Becoming a little nervous that it might not happen, I asked when we could do it.. she said she didn't know. A couple of days later, the DHS worker went to visit to attempt to take her to get the certificate but again she refused. For someone who wants to prove she cares for her daughter, this would be the perfect opportunity to show it, but no..
Next I went to Immigration. The person I spoke to at the citizenship office made it seem like our challenges would end with them. She told me to fill out form 119 and supply lots of certified supporting documents, plus a fee, and we should be able to get a proof of citizenship document. So I did all that and posted it off.. we all kissed the envelope..
I called the immigration department yesterday and was informed that the application was, for some reason, invalid. The operator couldn't tell me why but advised that there was a letter being sent which would explain it..
That was yesterday. I'm waiting for the letter.
For the first time in this whole adventure I am feeling that maybe it is not going to happen. Maybe the stars wont align like I want them to. Maybe our prayers wont be answered.
I sat down with Miss 12 last night and told her what is happening and that we need to remain hopeful but also be prepared for the worst. We need to make a plan B in case it doesn't all come together at the last minute.
Her little face. My heart broke a little.
So that's what is happening for us. If you're a the praying type, please send a few out for us.. if you're an immigration worker that can help us or if you have any ideas, please get in touch.