Is it really OK to throw all of this stuff away?

For those of you who don’t know, there is A LOT of paperwork involved in the adoption process. I have a big plastic file box that I kept during Zoe’s adoption process, in addition to a thick three-ring-binder that was like my bible for a few months.

For our dossier and home study, we needed employment letters, letters of reference, medical exams, fingerprints, local background checks, federal background checks, child abuse background checks, government immigration forms, birth certificates, marriage certificate, copies of passports, tax returns and W-2s for three years, etc. Many of these documents had to be notarized, certified by the State of Indiana, and then authenticated by the Vietnamese Consulate. When we traveled, I made extra copies of our dossier and home study, along with copies of our passports, driver’s licenses, credit cards, insurance cards, plane tickets, hotel confirmations, etc. We took one extra set of all of these documents and left another at home in case of emergency. As you can imagine, that’s a lot of paper.

All of that paper has been filed and sitting in the bottom of the closet in our office and I have been afraid to throw anything away. Now that we have been home for five months, I decided I should finally purge. Of course I will keep one copy of our dossier and all of the official documents from Vietnam, but we don’t need the rest of it any more. I carefully sorted it by things that could go straight in the trash and by things that need to be shredded, and it is still sitting on the floor of the office in those two piles. I know that it is safe to get rid of it, but I have this strange emotional attachment to those two piles of paper. It may take me another day or two to actually dispose of it. Wish me luck.

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