momentary freak out

I had to share this with someone. Normally I’d call M at work to tell him this story and we’d share a laugh after holding our collective breath for a minute. But he’s busy. Sorry honey. 

So while I wait for our home study to get going and our potential consultant/facilitator to send us her application, I thought I’d start gathering some of the documents I know we’ll need for the adoption process. When you’re pursuing open adoption, there are so many issues to consider, some of which I’m sure will be the subject of future posts. Soon we’ll have to begin to “package” ourselves and do the outreach and the hard work of waiting. But for now, we’re just completing the busy work.

So this morning before work, I began the process of cashing in my IRA to cover the bulk of our expenses, and started to compile some tax and financial documents. I knew we would need proof of our marriage. No problem. Or was it? 

For our 12th anniversary last month, I shared with you the story of our beautiful wedding. I didn’t tell you much about the man who officiated our ceremony, but he was a wonderful and open minded artist and musician who worked with us to create something personal and meaningful. He sang and recited poetry, played flute and guitar. He made us comfortable. He made us laugh, and cry.

But did he file our certificate of marriage? 

As I searched our records, I found our certificate that had been signed by the county clerk. But the rest of it was BLANK. Gasp! I found our receipt for the license, which I remember getting. I found the rules governing registration, which he was required to do “within 30 days after the marriage ceremony.” Uh-oh.

The first thoughts running through my head were what if we’re not really married? What if we’re married but there’s no proof? What if I can’t get anyone on the phone and we don’t find out until later and it stalls our home study, etc… 

The next thought was could our officiant really have neglected to file that form? And then I got worried. Because, yeah, he could have. He was quite a free spirit, which is partly what attracted us to begin with. I mean, he played the Beatles on guitar during our ceremony! To be honest, when he showed up in an all white dashiki, my mother was a little nervous. Plus, he was headed out of the country soon after, and he has since moved abroad. Oh crap. It really wasn’t too hard to believe… 

So I called the county clerk’s office, got transfered to the recorder, then the file room. I finally got a real live person on the phone. Picture a big room of cabinets and boxes, no windows, only fluorescent lights, papers strewn about — and a big burly happy fellow who might not get much human contact at work…  

I tell him I have kind of a strange question and he laughs hard. I relay the short version of how we need a copy of our certificate but now have reason to think maybe one was never filed. Oh, he says, kind of surprised and concerned. Yeah, oops, I say, kind of embarrassed and nervous. I give him M’s name and he puts me on hold. He comes back and says something like, so I hope you are [luna]? Yes…. You’re good, he says, relieved, it’s right here. Whew. Tomorrow it will be something else, I’m sure. 


~ by luna on July 9, 2008.

21 Responses to “momentary freak out”

  1. This actually happened to some friends of mine. The officiant didn’t mail the license in or something. They didn’t think about until they needed a copy of the marriage certificate and the county said it didn’t exist. And this was five years into their marriage! They had to redo the licensing process, but the county backdated the marriage certificate to the day of their wedding.

  2. That happened to my grandmother’s best friend…she didn’t find out until her husband died…after 63 years of marriage!! At that point, everyone had a good laugh about it.

    Glad you are legit though 🙂

  3. I don’t think we ever had an occasion to check. Glad you got this resolved so fast and with no need for additional hoop jumping.

  4. I remember taking out marriage certificate to the county clerk. I’m glad they found yours!

  5. Oh no – I can only imagine the tense moments when you were on hold.
    Glad this proved to be a non issue. Whew sometimes you get a break.

  6. Yikes! I would have totally freaked too! My funny marriage license story happened the day before we flew out for our honeymoon and we realized that I was technically married to my father-in-law on paper. Yep, the clerk forgot to add “Jr.” to the end of my husband’s name. So after coming back from our trip, we had to go back to the county office and get it changed. I turned to Hubby at that time and told him we needed to go on another honeymoon since technically the first one wasn’t legit. 😛

  7. That is too funny (only because it had a happy ending).

    Part of me is thinking, wouldn’t it be nice to be newlyweds again?

  8. I surely would have freaked, but I’m glad that you got it resolved (and that you’re actually married!).

    I’m impressed that you have the receipt for your marriage license. We lost our original certificate ages ago and I can’t even begin to tell you where our notarized copy is.

  9. Whew! I would have been having a tantrum while I waited and wondered. So glad you’re actually married and that you have the proof!

  10. OK, I would have freaked too… but it is funny to read about!

    I got a copy of my certificate some years back & I remember how weird it felt to actually see a copy of my signature from all those years before.

  11. Well, if something else happens tomorrow may it end as well as this. Congrats on the official nature of your nuptials! 🙂

  12. I would have completely freaked out!

    I did have a friend who discovered hers had never been sent in – she discovered it when she tried to file for divorce! It actually saved her a messy legal battle – they just started fresh as if there was no marriage.

  13. One of my friends performed our ceremony. After we got home from our honeymoon, the clerk called and said “your officiant forgot to sign the certificate — you have 5 days to fix it.” Of course, after our wedding, she had moved to Costa Rica for 9 months — eek! Luckily, she happened to be back in the states for a quick weekend, and with the help of the friendly clerk and FedEx, we managed to become legal. Phew.

  14. OMG! I can’t imagine the thoughts that were running through your head!

    This was SO soap opera . . . the only think missing was your husband’s evil twin appearing, and assuming his identity!

    Glad it got resolved – though I think that with the state you reside in it could have been resolved as “common law” husband and wife.

    Cheers to your VALID marriage, LMAO!

  15. This cracked me up.

  16. That’s scary. I’m sure you must have been very relieved to find out everything was as it should be.

    Another wedding might have been fun though!

  17. Phew!!! Glad you got that sorted out!

    Thanks for leaving a comment on my blog, once I find out more I may be back in touch.

  18. Whew! What an ending! And I’d love to find out how you go on the adoption process.

  19. Oh my goodness. This totally sounds like something that would happen to me! I’m so glad it worked out OK! I can’t believe you were able to resolve it so quickly by just calling the government office. 😉

    Can’t wait to hear more about your impending home study! I am super nervous to schedule ours.

  20. Close call! Glad you really and truley are married and haven’t been pretending all this time!

  21. […] e.g., aside from glaring typos, our wedding date was wrong, despite that she had a copy of our marriage certificate in front of her; even M’s name was wrong (a different M name) in one place, […]

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