Friday, April 30, 2010

Haiti trip part 1

My trip is still about 3 months away, but it has already become an adventure. It all started when I couldn’t find my birth certificate. I tore my house upside-down trying to find it. I found both my sons’ and my husband’s but not mine.

I went to the county court house, to get a copy for $10. When I got there the clerk couldn’t find me. Finally she asked me a very personal question. I could tell she really didn’t want to ask, but had to. Her question was “Were your parents married at the time of your birth?” My answer “No,” I thought to myself “why should that matter?” She told me that in the 1970’s and early 1980’s if parents weren’t married, the birth certificate didn’t get filed with the county clerk. And that I would have to go through the State. She handed me a business card with a phone number and a website.

I called the phone number. Of course I never talked to any one. It was all automated. As I listened to the recording I learned that this was going to cost more than $10. For $26 I could get my birth certificate in 6 weeks. For another $10 the State would send it in 4 weeks.

I got on the website on the card. For $44.50 I could have it in 2 two weeks. So I started to fill out the online forms. Half way through I lost my internet connection. I had just entered my credit card #. So I wasn’t sure if the order went through. I called the first thing the next morning. It had not gone through. So back on the internet I went. I filled out all of the forms this time, but their server couldn’t verify that it was me who was requesting my birth certificate. So I had to fill out a paper form and upload it to their server. I tried this 4 times and all 4 times their server wouldn’t accept it for some reason. I called my husband at work, frustrated because it shouldn’t be this hard! He said he would fax the form for me in the morning. He did.

I got the birth certificate this morning in the mail.

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