September 17, 2007

Clarification, And Then More Clarification

One process that we've come to know well throughout this whole process is that of clarification. CHI is fantastic at providing lists, timelines, instructions, etc... and we find ourselves double and triple checking them all the time. Even then we've needed additional clarification which we've sought through our adoption consultant at the agency. She always politely answers our questions and doesn't even mention the fact that the answers were all staring us right in the face on page 17 of the dossier workbook. She's fantastic.

Today's point of clarification had to do with fingerprinting. When we were first accepted into the Ethiopia program one of our first to-do's was to visit our local police precinct and have them write and notarize a letter stating that our criminal history was clear of any serious infractions. Of course this type of background check will be done several times by several different layers of city, state, and US governments agencies by the time our dossier is complete, but this was the first. We also had to be fingerprinted which I think the agency used as a part of our FBI clearance but I'm not entirely clear on that one. All we knew (and cared about) was that it had to be done prior to having a social worker assigned, so we just did it. The clarification became necessary when we learned that we will need to be fingerprinted again once we send in our I-600A form to the USCIS for immigration approval. Do we really need to be fingerprinted twice? Yup. We hope the second time around is as interesting as the first...

Our first experience being fingerprinted in New Paltz took place on a calm weekday evening. Seemed simple enough, just go to our local police precinct and give them our finger print cards and 5 minutes later we'd be on our way. Evidently the NPPD frowns on fingerprinting walk-ins so we patiently waited in the small entryway while the evening troops wrapped up their shift meeting. While waiting we were able to brush up on our gang symbols and ways to prevent forest fires at the same time via various posters hanging on the wall. In a town of outdoor enthusiast hippie-types we had to laugh at the dicotomy of the two subject matters. When they were ready for us they called us in one at a time and I went first. One of the officers in the room informed me that he and his wife just completed their home study for their adoption from Guatemala! We chat a bit about the process, our agencies, and then an officer asked me to remove my wedding ring for the fingerprinting. I did what any other person would do, right?

Me: "Slurp"
Officer: "Did you just do what I think you did?"
Me: "Sorry Sir, my wedding ring is really hard to remove."
Officer: "Did you honestly just lick your finger right before I have to take your fingerprints?"
Me: (sheepish grin) "I'm sorry, do you have some soap? Remind me to warn my husband when it's his turn please..."

The officer took my fingerprints and I wished the officer who is also in the adoption process best of luck. I returned to the lobby. Now it's my husbands turn:

Officer: "Please remove your..."
Mike: (before the officer has a chance to finish his sentence and is still facing the wall) "Slurp"
Officer: "You didn't! In 20 years of fingerprinting I've never had one person lick their finger to remove their wedding ring let along BOTH the husband AND the wife!"
Room: Laughter breaks out
Me: I smile from the other side of the door, knowing exactly what just happened. Hard to argue what a good match we make!

Next time we'll bring lotion and remove our rings prior to being called in to the fingerprinting room. Won't be nearly as much fun though!

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