02 November 2009

She's Here!

As promised, one last post before I end this blog...

Born October 29 at 3:15 pm.

We have a separate, semi-private blog for family and friends. Please e-mail me at global underscore librarian at yahoo dot com if you would like that blog address.

19 September 2009


As you may have noticed, my frequency of posting has gone downhill in the last year. Global Baby keeps me busy and I just simply do not have the time anymore.

With a second adoption expected in just a few weeks, I think it is safe to say that it could be years before I have time for this blog. So I've decided to just end it.

It was a great ride, but it is time to move on.

19 August 2009

Google Street View

It's not a great shot...

View Larger Map

But that Silver Toyota Rav 4 just ahead of the street cleaner is our previous car. I saw the Google car and wrote down exactly where we were plus what was around us! The photo was taken during the Spring.

29 July 2009


We originally called Continental Airlines in the United States to work out the details of moving the cats from Zürich to Minneapolis. It was a pretty straight forward process. Mostly because the United States doesn't actually require much in regards to importing house cats. (Dogs are a different story if you happen across this blog while searching for pet importation information!) Pretty much the only thing you have to show is proof they are current in vaccinations and, if they are older than 7 years, a health certificate from a vet stating they are healthy enough to travel.

No problems right?

This morning I finally got in touch with the Swiss Pet Service agents for Continental Airlines.

They have given me a completely different story. According to them, the United States require that they are micro-chipped and have a Pet Passport. In addition, although they received the rabies vaccination that is good for two years and I have proof of this, they are unwilling to accept it. So we need to get them revaccinated and then wait at least 30 days before they travel.

I know they have their facts wrong, but the effort of arguing with a Swiss clerk was more energy than I had while also watching a baby crawling about and pulling things down upon himself. So I need to figure out how to get the cats to the vet and get all of this done as soon as possible.

And did I mention that GLH is currently in the US on a business trip, so I've got to figure out how to do all of this with a 10-month old baby in tow!

I have come up with a new motto for Switzerland:

We make things harder than they have to be.

Anybody happen to know how to translate that into Latin?

26 July 2009

One Swiss Mystery Solved

We've run into this on several occasions ourselves and I hear it all the time from other Expats living in Switzerland.

Why do the Swiss require all of our birth and marriage certificates to have been certified in the last 6 months?

It has finally been explained to me!

Here's why...

Apparently these documents get updated. Who knew?

In Switzerland, and in most of Europe, your birth & marriage certificates are kept filed at your Heimat (home town). When you get married, get divorced, have children or whatever, you bring the documentation to the Gemeinde (town hall) in your Heimat (home town) and they make an amendment to your birth/marriage certificate.

How weird is that?

They do not realize that in other countries (i.e. United States), it doesn't matter how many children you have, how many marriages and divorces you have, your birth certificate and marriage certificate will remain the same forever and ever. Therefore, a recent certified copy doesn't matter.

Fortunately, we were able to explain this to our lawyer, who explained it to the Swiss Adoption Authorities. Because getting a recently certified copy of a marriage certificate from a Caribbean Island is not an easy matter and could take months. We cannot just send our parents down to the Department of Vital Statistics, which is what we did to get recent copies of our birth certificates.

And that's why we ordered multiple copies of our marriage certificate right from the start. So that we would have them on hand if we ever needed them. Thankfully, they accepted it...

23 July 2009

Customs Woes

A family friend, who is 15 years old, is currently in Italy on a summer exchange program. Before she returns to the US, she is going to come visit us.

Earlier this week we overnight expressed her train tickets. And, because she is only 15 and will be traveling alone, we also sent my old mobile telephone loaded with a prepaid SIM card and our contact numbers. Just in case.

When we went to ship it, we explained that this was an old mobile, worth very little money and that it would be returning to us in less than 2 weeks. Because, of course, the girl will bring it with here when she comes to visit us.

I'm not certain they believed us. Because we have just discovered that the entire package (including the train tickets) are being held up in Italian customs and they are demanding a rather large customs fee in exchange for its release. The demanded fee is larger than the mobile is actually worth!

Meanwhile, there is nothing we can do from our end. It all has to be handled by the host family. And I feel very bad about creating this mess for them. Which shouldn't have been a mess because it is all very straight forward. All the customs officials have to do is look at the one-way train ticket, which is accompanying the mobile, and see that it clearly states it is a child's ticket cost!


19 July 2009

Leaving on a Jetplane

We are in the process of booking a flight for our cats, Max and Tilly.
We love them so much and we will miss them dreadfully.

But keeping them just isn't fair to them.

Since Global Baby's arrival, they have been getting much less attention. And they are very social cats who need human attention and interaction to be happy. Max especially gets upset and neurotic when he doesn't get enough attention. As evidenced by two emergency trips to the vet a few months back to extract non-edible items he ate. Coincidence that both items were baby-related? I don't think so.

The upcoming arrival of Maybe Baby #2 is coming in just a few more months. We will need to be in the US for 2-3 months due to the adoption process. (Or at least, the babies and I will be. GLH will be traveling back and forth with frequency.) And once we are back, caring for two babies would reduce the amount of time we can spend with them even further.

Not to mention the fact that their former room is now a nursery and, lacking any other option, they have been relegated to the hallway. Not an ideal situation for any of us!

So it is with sadness in our hearts that we are sending them back to the United States, but at least they will be living with family and we can see them on visits home.

I am certain there will be tears at the airport when we send them off. Exact date is unknown, but it will be in the next month or so depending upon when we can arrange all the details.

Thank you to Mom (who is sighing a bit at the responsibility) and Dad (who is doing a Secret Happy Dance he hopes Mom doesn't notice) for agreeing to take them. If they weren't going to family, whom we are certain will love and care for them, I'm not sure we would be strong enough to do it...