Our dossier and adoption contracts were authenticated by the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office this morning. I arrived just as the office opened and anticipated having to wait a while. I had 18 documents to be authenticated. (Authentication is the process of verifying the validity of each notary who has signed each form – for Virginia, the Secretary of the Commonwealth staples a cover letter to each document, which includes an impressive, giant gold seal.)
For adoptive parents who live in Virginia and may visit Richmond to have paperwork authenticated, I parked in the parking garage at the historic St. Paul’s Episcopal Church. The church is located at Capitol Square and is one of the closest public parking garages to the office. It costs $5/hour, with a max of $15 per day.
While I waited for our paperwork, I took advantage of the history of Capitol Square and visited a few sites (see photos below). Even though I have parked at the church before, I have not been inside or learned about its history. The stained-glass windows inside are beautiful.
I had asked the Secretary of the Commonwealth’s office to call me when the paperwork was ready, and they completed it within the hour. (I had been told it wouldn’t be ready until mid-afternoon, but it was ready by 10am.) I think it helped they knew I was waiting and needed only to call me on my mobile phone. A special thank you to my mom for watching my kids for me today, so I could complete this task on my own.