**Alternately titled "Our Trip to Be Fingerprinted"**
Well, in between preparations for homecoming and regular everyday work we managed to squeeze in a trip to St. Louis on Wednesday. In case you are thinking it's because we are cool enough to see the Cards game, you are mistaken.
We are not that cool.
We also don't like baseball all that much.
Instead, we were at our appointment with homeland security. You know, everyday stuff. But really, to adopt internationally you are required to get "biometrics" taken by the Department of Homeland Security. "Biometrics" also mean "fancy fingerprinting." The way it works is you mail in your request, they mail you back a confirmation that they received your request. They then review your application and mail you a date/time to get your prints taken electronically. Ours happened to be Wednesday at 10am. Being the flexible people the government are known to be, we didn't mess with them and gladly took the appointment we were given. We made plans, took the day off, and headed to the federal building.
I must tell you that driving in cities is pretty much Hubs' least favorite thing to do. So after twenty minutes of driving around closed roads and one-way streets we found the building--only to find the only option for parking was $15. Considering we would only be there a handful of minutes and didn't really want to pay a dollar a minute, we kept driving. Ten minutes later, we finally found a spot. If by a spot you mean, of course, parking right behind a car that had parked too close to the car in front of it. So this "spot" was not in the yellow but it also wasn't technically metered. Or a spot. We went for it anyway.
The moral of this story: be rich or go to your fingerprinting appointment with a little extra time.
So, we get there and go through security and get right in to the quiet office. No wonder they are appointment here--they like their life of silence and sterility. They called us back about three minutes later and began the diligent process of scanning each of our fingers on their magical computer. They do them individually, together, the whole hand. And this isn't your grandma's fingerprinting center. Unless your grandma recently got a green card. I digress. What I am trying to say is they don't do it with ink: it's all electronically captured. Well not all.
Some people are naturally talented at giving their fingerprints to people they just met. Take my husband, for example. Three minutes later, all his fingers had done their duty and he was back in the lobby. Some people's fingers aren't "ideal" for fingerprinting--they are small and the ridges aren't so ridge-like. This would be my fingers. After minutes and minutes of scratching my pinky with a credit card to try to get my ridges to appear, the nice DHS employee finally decided to go old school and print me with ink. In his words, "you are going to get the full experience today." So here's hoping between the ink and the computer they can figure out that I am who I say I am and my record is fine. Here's hoping. Another trip is not really in my immediate plans.
When they finally finished my fingers, we walked out, crossed our fingers that our car didn't have a ticket (it didn't!!) and headed to lunch. If you believe in coincidence (which I don't) you would say it was quite the coincidence that my mom happened to be in the same city with us for a work gig. So, we met up for lunch at one of E's favorite spots and then headed to another of E's favorite spots, the Laumeier Sculpture park for some good photo time. And good couple time. If you haven't ever been there, it's worth a few hours of your afternoon. A park...with art. Built in. Cool, I say. Here are some of the fun photos we took.
It was a pretty great day overall. We headed to 4th graders from there and enjoyed them as always. If you are wondering, the next step is to wait for our "permission slip" aka the I-171H. Then we mail that, along with everything else, to our agency. And they mail it to Ethiopia. We are so close to ending our paper pregnancy, but no where close to ending our journey.
I'd love to stay and chat but if you'll excuse me, it's the centennial homecoming at my school. You know, the birthplace of homecoming. Have a great weekend and Happy Homecoming to all my Tigers!!