01 September 2009

placating the paper beast

We have everything. Everything! Everything the judge asked for is ready.

Just to remind you that crazy bureaucracy is not limited to Russia:

The judge asked for a local criminal clearance. S/he said that if I had diplomatic immunity (I don't think I do--no diplomatic passport but some dip privileges) I could get a letter from the consulate instead.

Since I've inquired previously about getting a local police clearance and gotten the run around (I am not registered at an address like all Russian residents and most visitors. I am simply registered with the consulate. So, because I don't have a registered address, I don't have an official police station.) I decided to bypass that and just get the letter from the consulate. I mean, that should be easy.

At a reception with the consul general, my principal asked her about it. Instead of the expected instant affirmative, she told us whom to contact. Contacted that person who told me to get an FBI check. Told her I had that and needed this. She replied with a downwardly-inflected, "We've never done that before." That is very different from an upwardly-inflected, "We've never done that before..." which implies "..but we should be able to. No problem. It'll be fun!" Downward inflection implies skepticism and doom.

Fortunately, it got handed over to (handed off? forced upon as a penance?) to the only non-crazy Ira I know in all of Russia. She's great! She co-ordinates all my travel permissions and takes care of the ex-pats at school. (She just finished renewing my kartooshka or dip card as my "travelling spouse" friend says. She probably knows.) She asked me for some specifics about to whom it was to be addressed. I asked the agency (got one answer) and, on a bcc, my translator (got another). I sent Ira the answer with an example "Kate has been an employee of the US Consulate in St. Petersburg since August 2005. She has no criminal history while living here." that was approved by agency and translator.

Easy, right? Surely you know better by now.

I was hired to teach in Moscow and then was moved to the St. P school. SO, when I arrived, I flew into Moscow. They took my passport to register me. I took the train to St. P. Then it took a month for them to de-register me in Moscow and re-register me in St. P. That means, the consulate only has me living here since September 2005--which won't match my homestudy.

We spent days offering solutions, possible re-wordings, etc. They called the embassy to find out if they had the letter I carried around for weeks while they change my registration. The embassy said just shredded all their old letters this summer.

Finally, this afternoon, I got the news that my letter and my new kartooshka are ready! (Now that the kartooshka is ready, my car can get re-registered and insured and I'll be able to drive again. Yea!)

A week from today I'll be arriving in region for court!


Conethia and Jim Bob said...

Paperwork, paperwork, aaarrggghhh! At least you are ready. Only a week away! I am so overjoyed for you. Many blessings and strength comin' your way from the deep south.

Rachael said...

Yeah for small victories!

Have a wonderful trip next week!

Holly said...

One week. ONE WEEK! One week and Sasha will know what it's like to grow up in a loving home. :)

Melissa said...

Whew! and......YAY!!!!!!!

Barb said...

Now that made me tired! But Yeah for you!! (doin' a happy dance here)

Maura said...

Yikes! I feel guilty for complaining to DH about all the school forms I have to fill out for each child. How soon we forget what a REAL paperwork mountain is!

Congrats on being paper ready - at last! One more week - woo hoo!!!!

The Accidental Mommy said...

unbelievable... but so happy to hear the process part is almost over.
Thanks for asking about Genea's first day of school. I used your heart idea, that was great. I will put up a big post tomorrow about all of it.

Tami said...

AUGH! Yucky paperwork...but YAY!!! Only a week?!?!! SOOOOO excited for you! :)

Pinkie said...

Katie, I was thinking of you today as court is getting so near and I know all about THAT paperwork!! It's true, you do tend to forget quickly!! but I am thinking of you and praying that all goes well in Court.

J. said...

Every time I write September, I immediately think of you -knowing you must be in the "I can't believe it's almost here" mode!
Can't wait to continue hearing about the journey!

Anonymous said...

Wow... a week. One week! You are down to counting days! Yay!

Unknown said...

Oh. my. Gosh. Seriously, is ANYTHING easy? Can't wait to hear about the last leg of the journey! Hugs to you!