I feel like I’ve killed 1,000 trees over the past year. Seriously. Adoption paperwork is nonstop. It’s grueling and arduous; it’s not for the weak. Add to it IRS paperwork and social worker paperwork, and you’ll see how I’ve killed some trees. Just today, I copied and printed over 75 pages of stuff…
1. Joel’s Child Study Update
2. Bank Statements
3. Tax Returns from 2006 through 2010
4. Copies of Checks
5. Home Study
6. Citizenship & Immigration/Homeland Security Forms
7. Jasmine’s Adoption Order
Um, isn’t there a Paperwork Reduction Act? I am forced to believe after my frustrating evening with paper that no matter how sophisticated internet capabilities are and will become, we will forever be dependent on paper. Because paper is proof. I’m in a fight with the IRS right now because of all the new adoption credit tax changes. They make it sound so glorious, but I call your attention to the fine print: “Taxpayers claiming the credit will still be able to use IRS Free File to prepare their returns, but the returns must be printed and mailed to the IRS, along with all required documentation.” I wish they would spell out what “documentation” they wanted. I already sent them a portfolio of things with our tax return back in February. Guess that wasn’t good enough.
See I discovered that the IRS Form 8839 is not well crafted for families who have finalized an adoption and carryover adoption credit each year AND are pursuing another adoption that isn’t finalized. It’s not a clean, easy process. By any means. I called the IRS and waited 15 minutes for them to pick up…then a voice appeared. IRS agent #123456789, or some string of numbers she recited as she identified herself, “May I have your social security number?” We continued to converse for 15 minutes about what I needed to do. She highly recommended a letter of explanation about my TWO adoption situations: Jasmine and Joel, “along with all required documentation.”
So, 75 sheets of paper later, they are packed nice and neatly in envelopes ready to head out on their merry way tomorrow.
I liken this paperwork problem to the time when I was at the end of my pregnancies and couldn’t get comfortable to sleep. I knew the end was in sight but the pains of progress wouldn’t let up. See the IRS paperwork might be holding up our approval of the I-800: Petition to Classify Convention Adoptee as an Immediate Relative. Highly frustrating.
The part of all of this that worries me is that we were going to use our tax refund to help purchase plane tickets. Now it’s likely we will not see any refund until at least September. I place my trust in God, knowing that He is control and will orchestrate the rest of the adoption process in the way that it should go.
I am thankful for my husband, who knows my obsessiveness with paperwork and details, who kindly gave me space (or sapce – inside joke) to breathe, and brought me a glass of wine. I was a fury of paper today but succeeded in pulling together every bit of it that is required.