In case I had forgotten, the Social Security Office in Durham quickly reminded me that adoption related paperwork is The Suck. Why why why cant it be easier? Why why why cant these fancy important places get their act together and properly display their requirements in convenient places (like their website). Is it really that much to ask?
So, I decided to visit the Social Security office to obtain a social security number for AJ. Now that his adoption is finalized and we’ve received his Certificate of a Foreign Birth from NC, an SSN was next on the list. (I’m not sure how it got to be next on the list, my guess is I gathered the list based on what my agency told me was the order of events).
I got there 20 minutes before the office opened because I had heard that no matter where you are in the US, there’s a line. Indeed there was. At least 15 people were waiting before me, and by the time the doors opened, that had doubled. Who knew it was such a popular place?
I took a number, sat down and waited. Number 11. It didn’t take that long for me to be called and I was pleased. Which would mark the last time I smiled that morning (except for the fake ones I gave while trying to keep my cool).
First off, the woman that called my number NEVER looked me in the eye. She took my paperwork and then proceeded to talk to her coworkers, answer a phone call, go get a cup of coffee, talk some more. She never acknowledged me or anything. I began to think I was invisible. Finally, she started typing away at her computer while referencing my paperwork. And three times she asked if I already had a social security number. And three times I said “Well, I do, but this is for my son.” On the third time, I add, “He’s adopted.” And then it all went seriously downhill from there. “Oh, this is an adoption case?” She did a little more typing. “Does he have health insurance?” “Um, yes?” I was really confused, because in all the stuff I read on their website, it never mentioned the necessity for health insurance. But then she let out a sigh, got up and went over to a coworker with my documents in hand. That went on for awhile, with the woman often saying “This is the worst day ever.” Yeah, thanks, not going so well for me either.
After several attempts (by both women) to enter the documents I had provided (The social security card application, the Certificate of Foreign Birth (which is supposed to be the equivalent of a birth certificate) (proof of age) and the Adoption Decree (proof of identity)) they determined that the computer was also requiring proof of citizenship, which I did not have. I did not have it because I was under the impression that a SSN was required to file for a Certificate of Citizenship (and also because their website NEVER mentions it).
They scoffed and told me to go get him a passport and come back. I was SURE, having just obtained our passports last year that an SSN was required to get a passport. I confirmed that when I got back to my office. However, the application for Certificate of Citizenship doesn’t require it, so now I’ll have to file that. I was putting it off, cause it costs $420 and requires a BUTTLOAD of paperwork. And though I was fine with paperwork a year ago, when every piece meant me getting closer to my son; now that he’s here, I’m not a fan. Boo.