While most of the US was out shopping early Friday morning, Clint and I got to make a journey down to Denver to get our “biometrics” taken.
It sounded super exciting, it wasn’t.
First off, biometrics is a fancy way of saying “finger prints”. We got an official letter from the US government Department of Homeland Security asking us to appear so that the US Citizenship & Immigration Services might capture our biometrics. In bold capitalized letters it sternly warned us “PLEASE APPEAR AT THE BELOW APPLICATION SUPPORT CENTER AT THE DATE AND TIME SPECIFIED. IF YOU FAIL TO APPEAR AS SCHEDULED, YOUR APPLICATION WILL BE CONSIDERED ABANDONED.” And not wanting to abandon our application we planned on appearing to the scheduled appointment.
Also in bold and capitalized letters, the form told us that CELL PHONES, CAMERAS, OR OTHER RECORDING DEVICES ARE NOT PERMITTED. I had no idea before that finger prints were such a highly secretive operation. But clearly they are.
So we got up Friday after I worked late Thanksgiving night and drove down to have our biometrics taken. In my mind I was picturing a government type building that looked official. Since we weren’t allowed to take photos of us actually getting our finger prints done, I thought maybe we could take a couple of photos in front of the building to help document this whole crazy adoption process.
So what I pictured in my mind and what we saw when we drove up were two vastly different things. So much so that we triple checked the address. Instead of grand government type buildings we instead saw a dingy strip mall on east Colfax next to “Smokers Unlimited”. Colfax is known for a few things, first off, it’s the longest continuous city road in the US or something like that. There’s a marathon that runs down it, and having done that marathon (before they changed the course) it literally just goes straight for a very very long way. Besides that little bit of trivia, Colfax is also known for its drugs, red light district and not being the safest area around. Not quite what I had in mind.
Nevertheless we headed inside. We were met at the door by a uniformed lady who was half heartedly checking IDs and forms and giving us more forms to fill out. The room was well lit and there were plenty of plastic chairs to sit on to fill out our forms. To make it look really official, there was a picture of the president hanging on the wall, which immediately calmed my nerves (maybe not so much). We saw a couple friends who are also in the process of adopting there doing the same thing. We filled out our forms and handed the uniformed lady our clip boards back where she double checked that we still don’t really look like our driver’s license photos and we got in another line. From there we were called up one by one to do our “biometrics”.
I was kind of surprised when I walked up to the finger print lady that after taking all that time to fill out the forms given to us when we walked in (ok so really it took all of 5 minutes) she set that paper aside and preceded to ask me the very same questions that I had just filled in while she typed them in. Oh well. She then did my finger prints. It was computerized and told her right away if they were good or not. So despite the title of this post, my fingers didn’t actually become black. She didn’t have to re-do any, so hopefully whoever is the finger print checker guru will approve them and send us our approval paper work.
All in all I think the whole process took less than 15 minutes. And I can’t say that if felt all that official. Even the red stamp with scribbles that was stamped on our paper work didn’t make me feel any better. But it is another step in the process and it means we are moving forward. Just like there were things when I was pregnant with both the boys that I hadn’t expected (ie eating an entire jar of jalapenos in one sitting and wanting more), I had not imagined that I would spend Black Friday in a strip mall next to Smoker’s Unlimited getting my “biometrics” done. But if it means we are one step closer to bringing Edric home, then it was way better then standing in any line at any store that day. (or even home not shopping which is probably where I would have been since I’m not much of a shopper).