As part of our paperwork we have to be fingerprinted, and I had to call around to find out where we could have it done. The nice lady at City Hall told me that there were two places that did it, the Municipal Building, and the Sheriff's Office, and she told me the address and times they did it. Turns out there are only certain times that one can be fingerprinted, and they are only during the day.
Charlie went down to the Sheriff's Office on his day off, and the address the lady gave me was wrong. Someone directed him to the correct building and he got it all done. I followed his directions to the Law Enforcement Center, which is a dull gray stone building with no windows. I found the building with no problem, but there was no place to park. All the street spaces were taken and the lots were labeled for employees only. I drove around the block three times before I found a space.
When I went inside, I found the correct window easily and stood there. And stood there. And waited while the woman inside went on with her work. For several minutes. Oh, she could see me all right, but she kept on working. Finally, she turned to me and looked up with this irritated face. I told her I needed to get fingerprinted and she asked for my Driver's License. I handed it to her, along with a letter that the adoption agency had provided for the fingerprint agent to read, asking them to fill out several things. She took a cursory look at the letter and shoved it back at me saying, "that's for you to fill out." Now, I had looked at the letter in advance and it clearly said, in capital letters, that were underlined, ATTN: LAW ENFORCEMENT AGENT: PLEASE TYPE OR FILL IN THE FOLLOWING ITEMS. Then it listed all these things that they should verify and fill in. She was not having it.
I gave her my ten dollars (in cash and exact, because that's all they take) and then she motioned me through a set of double doors. The place I entered was so sad. Seriously, it was the most depressing office, with builder beige walls and no natural light. And, the woman was wearing a builder beige sweater and had builder beige hair. She put on some gloves and told me where to stand, and grabbed my hand. She jerked my fingers around and rolled them on the card, while telling me how stupid I was not to know which fingers she needed. She was laughing at me, and I hope my prints are ok, cause they looked a little smeared to me.
Now, I did tell her that I was applying for an adoption. I thought that might make her a little more friendly towards me...that I wasn't a pedophile or some criminal. She just acted like I was inconveniencing her. When she was finished with me, she handed me a baby wipe and reminded me to take my prints with me when I left, and she was gone back to her depressing little office.
Well, since she didn't fill out the things the form asked her to, I had to go home and fill in the information. Charlie came home and said that his fingerprinter told him to fill in a couple additional spaces that the agency hadn't mentioned, so we didn't know which way was correct. So we called the agency and they weren't even sure we were allowed to write on the card after the agent signed it. I didn't want to have to go back there to get fingerprinted AGAIN, so we called the State Bureau of Investigation (who we have to send the prints to) and asked what info they needed. They said we could write on it, so I filled in some info and we finally got it in the mail.
Now, this story is kinda funny, and it makes for a great post, but I just felt so bad that the woman just wasn't having a great day. And if I have to go back there cause my prints are messed up, I am so not going let her push me around. It did make me think about how sometimes we just don't enjoy doing our jobs. She probably sits in that window everyday, in the dingy flourescent lighting, fingerprinting scummy people and I bet most times it isn't fun. But I was nice to her, and she could have responded in kind.
(Oh, I hope you like the new background. I guess my other one wasn't loading right, and since I had light colored text on a dark background...and when the background wouldn't load, you couldn't read the text. Maybe that's too much info, but let me know what you think of this one.)
If you're reading this blog, you might already know that Charlie and I are going through the process to adopt a child. It has been a long road to this place, and infertility is not for the faint of heart. But we firmly believe that God's hand is upon us and that He preparing us for a child who needs a loving home, with people who want nothing more than to be a family. If our journey interests you, read on.