Because Texas does more adoptions than any other US State, and many of the adoptions are international (very popular choice for European couples), government offices in that state are accustomed to dealing with adoptions and the various court documents it involves. Generally, it works quickly and smoothly.
Adoptive parents who live outside the US usually apply for a passport through the Houston Passport Center, which processes the applications quickly and efficiently. But we arrived in Texas a few days after Hurricane Ike hit Houston, and closed down the passport center for two weeks.
We ended up having to send our application through the mail and by luck it got sent to the West Coast, where the least number of adoptions happen, international or otherwise. And where staff have no idea what exactly is happening and how things work. Not surprisingly, low-paid civil servants have no interest in dealing with unusual cases and potentially sticking their necks out.
As a result, Global Baby's passport is not being processed because they have never seen court documents such as the ones we have and are insisting upon a certified birth certificate listing us as the parents, which won't happen until after the finalization of the adoption.
Our best chance of success is to have a US Senator (or rather, one of his aides) contact the Seattle Passport Agency on our behalf. If we can manage that, the passport will likely arrive by express mail within a day or two.
If that doesn't work, we could be delayed while we work through the red tape. Worst case scenario, we have to wait until after the adoption is finalized (six months) and we have received the certified birth certificate (couple more months) before we can leave the US with Global Baby.
Which means GLH would have to return to Zurich alone in order to work while I remain with Global Baby at my parents' home waiting for the bureaucracy to slowly grind through the process.
That would totally suck.