I love the Olympics. 
Absolutely love them.
I avoid all house-work, daily responsibilities and my parenting completely falls by the wayside as I can spend hours watching sports I didn't know existed with players from countries I've never even heard of.  I tear up at hearing the incredible stories of the athletes and also at every single medal ceremony...and I find myself more patriotic than I ever knew I was capable of. Poor Bina, she is bound to be forced into a variety of athletics, especially when the Olympics are on and Ben and I can live vicariously through her youthful potential! 
One more thing to be a bit patriotic about is that our little bean is finally a citizen of the United States of America! Hooray! After hours of research, loads of cash, exhaustive forms, more forms, more forms and an interview with the consulate, the US finally decided they would grant her citizenship and she no longer is a refugee! Congratulations Bina, your passport photo looks like a drugged-out-naked baby and you'll be keeping that for the next five years, but who cares because this is a momentous occasion! 
Not that the following information matters, but I'll put it here for future reference; if we have to go through this again I will have something to follow up on...or if someone ever asks me what we needed to do, they can just read this as I will never remember where we even began. 

These are the steps for two American, married, parents having a baby in Queensland, Australia, who will both be present during consulate interview and have no previous marriages. Other steps apply to different circumstances and can be found at:

1. Registration of Birth form received from hospital - mail in immediately, just information and it comes with an envelope to mail.

2. Birth Certificate form from hospital - needs to be notarized with proof of residence/address - took about a week after being mailed in, to receive the physical birth certificate.
MAKE 2 COPIES (one to send, one to save for your records)

3. Take USA passport photo (different size than Australian passport photos) of baby at Ted's Camera or an approved place that specializes in US passport not attempt to take your own photos as they will be returned to you.

4. Sign up for (e-mail) ACS Outreach Program because there is not a consulate permanently located in Brisbane.

5. Get 3 Express post Platinum envelopes from the Post Office 
- 2 must be self-addressed
- 1 is addressed to: 
U.S. Consulate General
ATTN: Queensland Outreach
Level 10, MLC Centre
19-29 Martin Place
Sydney, NSW 2000

6. Get Australian Money Order for $205.00 (or current fees) to be paid to 'U.S. Consulate General'

7. Fill out DS-2029
MAKE 2 COPIES (one to send, one to save for your records)

8. Fill out DS-5507
MAKE 2 COPIES (one to send, one to save for your records)

9. Fill out DS-11
MAKE 2 COPIES (one to send, one to save for your records)

10. Fill out SS-5
MAKE 2 COPIES (one to send, one to save for your records)

11. Mail in the following in the express post envelope that is addressed to the U.S. Consulate:
  1. 2 self-addressed express post platinum envelopes
  2. passport photos of baby
  3. DS-2029 + copy
  4. DS-5507 + copy
  5. DS-11 + copy
  6. SS-5 + copy
  7. Australian Money Order
  8. Original birth certificates for each of you + copy (save a copy for your records at home)
  9. Original Marriage license + copy (save a copy for your records at home)
  10. Original Passports of BOTH parents (save a copy for your records at home)
  11. Evidence of physical presence requirements (you must prove you've resided in the US for some length of time, passports are not enough. Approval for the transmission of citizenship is based upon clear and satisfactory evidence of specified periods of physical presence in the United States. Such evidence may include school/university transcripts, Wage & Tax Statements (W2), military records, census records, employment records, receipts for payment of utilities, auto registration fees, mortgage, and rent receipts.)

12. Do not call, e-mail or enquire. You must wait. They will call, e-mail or enquire from you if you've missed something. They will tell you when/where your appointment is, so be ready to be available, all of you must attend.

13. Go to your interview/appointment and pray to God that you didn't mess anything up. Sign some papers in front of the representative. 

14. Wait for the passport and citizenship certificate to come in the mail to your house. Again, do not call, e-mail or enquire. They will give you the tracking number from the super expensive envelope you sent them and you can track it with the post. 

15. Wait a few weeks and get the passport and citizenship certificate (report of birth abroad) in the mail! Take lots of pictures! Give lots of hugs. Admire them! Book all your trips home! Say a prayer of thanks!

16. Wait 3 months to get the social security card. 



  1. yay!! I'm so excited for you guys!! And can't wait to see you soon!

  2. Bina is so cute. She's a mini Ben-ha-meen, don't you think?


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