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.Β  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?

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  • Reply suestuart

    At last its coming together, I’m so pleased for you all! Love the subtle change, it’s a beautiful name either way.

    October 7, 2010 at 6:55 am
  • Reply ineke1981

    Oh I love her name, it suits her perfectly!

    October 7, 2010 at 8:29 am
  • Reply zamom

    Wonderful news, hope that Home Affairs will be speedy. You know I love the name Ava and I love Grace as well. I presume that’s what you call her, so why not make it official. I have a second name that I only use when filling in forms that I don’t really like. Maybe because my brothers loved to sing Katherine Louise with fleas on her knees!!! Chris has an appallingly long name and Chris is actually part of his second name, Christiaan. For those reasons we opted for only 1 first name for the girls as we felt if you’re not going to use it, why bother giving it (unless there’s some family name thingy going on).

    October 7, 2010 at 8:31 am
  • Reply dee

    Love the hyphen between the names! Wow, what a long wait but the end is in sight!

    October 7, 2010 at 8:48 am
  • Reply ttcnot2easy

    Whoo hoooooo!! What an awesome feeling that must be for you!!

    I love Ava-Grace.. whenever I speak of her to family and friends, I speak of Ava Grace anyway!! πŸ˜‰


    October 7, 2010 at 11:03 am
  • Reply Mash

    I like it. I think of her has Ava-Grace not Ava. Grace.

    I agree on the bugging people for paperwork thing. It’s the only way!

    October 7, 2010 at 11:36 am
  • Reply gailsnail

    Congratulations! That’s great news. Love the name πŸ™‚

    October 7, 2010 at 12:51 pm
  • Reply tzipieastwest

    Congrats on getting those papers !!

    October 7, 2010 at 12:55 pm
  • Reply coachmarcia

    Yay on getting the paperwork.

    As someone who has a hyphenated name, I always said I’d NEVER give my kids hyphenated names as it was SUCH a huge schlep growing up. Having to fill in forms, having to explain to teachers and such that no, it was not a second name, but was in fact, hyphenated. (I think I now have issues as it’s all flooding back)

    but that’s me – you know my feelings. what works for you guys is all that matters.

    P.S. I saw on Dee’s blog your comment about your MIL asking you for FB access. What on EARTH did you say? My MIL told me she’s put ALL the kids’ pics on FB – I am too scared to go look but I don’t like it ONE bit. No more CDs for her πŸ™‚

    P.P.S. Are you going to Toddler Sense on Sat?

    October 7, 2010 at 1:35 pm
  • Reply ldr1604

    Wow, what a big day for your family! Ava-Grace does seem to work very well, IMHO. How about including another second name of someone special?

    October 7, 2010 at 2:10 pm
  • Reply jonivdw

    Hey Honey!! We’re now waiting for Adam’s birth certificate which we applied for in July! Apparently they’ve also got a back log and we’ve been told no passport until we have his new birth certificate! We tried applying for his passport at the same time as applying for his new birth certificate and were told NO! So please let me know if you get it right!

    Something to do with the strike causing the backlog….

    October 7, 2010 at 2:23 pm
  • Reply theresak80

    Love it!

    October 7, 2010 at 7:14 pm
  • Reply pandoragelb

    Isn’t it great getting that final piece of paperwork!
    I must agree with Joni, could also not apply for a passport at the same time, you apparently first need the new birth certificate. We have been waiting about 8 months. I was going to give it 6 months, but then there was the strike, so now I will go check in the next few days.
    Very frustrating, as I want to take her overseas to meet her aunts, uncles and cousins! At this rate she will be 5 before we get her all sorted out with all the documents.

    Love the name, by the way.

    October 7, 2010 at 7:44 pm
  • Reply orbit365

    I love Ava-Grace. And I am thrilled that it is all coming together.

    October 7, 2010 at 7:44 pm
  • Reply lea2109

    Huge congrats to you all!

    October 8, 2010 at 6:03 am
  • Reply mozzie01

    I am over the moon for you my friend! And I simply LOVE Ava-Grace!!! xxxx

    October 8, 2010 at 8:08 am
  • Reply marina1605

    Glad all is coming together, finally!

    October 8, 2010 at 9:21 am
  • Reply trishdg

    Congrats on getting all the paperwork done and it must be a huge relief to get it complete. I like the name Ava-Grace. I would be interested to know what you and Walter plan to do with the savings account. We have them for the boys and the monthly savings is already adding up and we have discussions whether to give it to them when they are 16 to do with what they want or wait till they are 18 and tell them they can use it for a car or wait till 21 and tell them it must be used as a deposit on property or re-invested. Kids are not the most responsible lot when it comes to spending money πŸ™‚

    October 8, 2010 at 9:45 am
  • Reply suecreativity01

    Wonderfule name. I too am in the process of doing a name change thru home affiars – they forgot to add Holly’s second name to her Birth Certificate and have been told by the “ever friendly, smiling, helpful” (NOT) lady behind th counter that is has to go to Pretoria (aka Outer Mongolia you woudl assume) and will take anything from 6 – 12 months at least! nice ……

    October 8, 2010 at 10:27 am
  • Reply little29

    Love Ava-Grace. have always kinda linked them together anyway – its perfect

    October 8, 2010 at 9:36 pm
  • Reply merphin

    Nothing like having a GREAT plan and not needing to use it πŸ˜€ Hope that the rest of the process is as easy, you can always use the email/phone call plan on the next people in the line πŸ˜‰
    I like the name change, I too always think of the wee angel as Ava-Grace rather than Ava Grace.

    October 9, 2010 at 8:06 am
  • Reply Hanneke C

    I love her name (I wonder why? no 2 girl is Grace) but hyphenated wouldn’t be my choice but as I tell my girls, it would be boring to have all the same names! PS again thanks for giving me an insight in the adoption paperwar! How frustrating!

    October 10, 2010 at 7:30 am
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