Its been almost 10 months since Ava was born. Our 60 days ended in February. Our adoption was authorized in court in June. We have hit one delay after another. First our final order was delayed at the courts because there was so much confusion surrounding the child act and the back logs that it had caused. Because of the delay in the courts, there is also a long delay and back log at the Department of Social Development. Add to that, the civil servant strike and here we are almost 10 months later with no official paper work, no birth certificate and no possibility of applying for a name change or a passport for Ava. It has been unbelievably frustrating.
Today I received an email from our wonderful social worker telling me that the woman who usually assisted them at the department of social development had sent her a rather stern email requesting that she stop hassling them for paperwork. That there is a 3 month lead time on all paperwork and she would just have to wait. My very cleaver social worker gave me the contacts details and our reference number and suggested that I get in contact with them because perhaps the more pressure we put on them the faster they’d get to it, that and the fact that the 3 month lead time for our paperwork had past!
I immediately formulated a plan. I am a woman on a mission and I’m also the type of person who, once I set my mind to something, there will be no holding me back. I decided I’d send her an email, act dumb and ask if I could send a courier to at least come and collect a copy of my court order. I’d give her a day to respond and then I’d contact her on a daily basis, alternating between emails and phone calls, until the poor woman felt badgered enough that the only thing she wanted to do was put pressure on her colleagues to get my paperwork done so she never had to deal with me again.
I only got to action the first part of my plan, I sent her the first email and was seriously impressed when, within 20 minutes she had responded, forwarding my details to her colleague and asking him to contact me so that we could make the necessary arrangements. I was further impressed when her colleague, Sidney, PHONED me within an hour of the email, gave me all their address details and informed me that my paperwork was, miraculously, suddenly complete!
This means that by the end of today, I will have my grubby hands on our final adoption order and Ava’s original birth certificate… which in turn means that next week we will be paying a visit to home affairs to apply for her name change and reissue of her birth certificate as well as her passport, which in turn means that in a short while, we will be able to take out a life policy for her, an education policy for her and open a bank account to start a savings fund for her.
At last at last, we are legally her parents, at last at last, Walter is recognized as her birth father and I am recognized as her birth mother.
On a side note, we’ve decided to make a subtle change to her name, instead of Ava Grace van Wyk, she will, as soon as the name change is finalized, be known as Ava-Grace van Wyk! Whatta-ya-think?