Adoption Journey – Day 40
Yesterday, we spent some time hanging out down at the police station.
I mentioned in an earlier post that we have a nice, and fairly new, police station. And also, our Guelph city police have always been, and continue to be, some of the nicest people you’d ever want to deal with. They are always pleasant, efficient, and professional. I have never been to the station to do anything when I have not been given some of the best customer service of any place I have ever been.
So we first went in late in the morning to get some police checks done. We had to get a local police check, to ensure we have not committed any crimes. We also had to get a vulnerable screening report, which checks to ensure we have no record of any crimes against children. Both required us to go in and visit the records office, where we filled in the requisite paperwork and paid our fees. It was as easy as a signature and we were done.
In the afternoon, we had booked an appointment to get fingerprinted. This is done so that we can send our fingerprints off to the RCMP and they can do an Interpol check, in case we are international jewel thieves or some such thing. (We could be law-abiding citizens here, and yet have committed horrendous crimes the world over. It’s possible. Not bloody likely, in our case, but hey, THEY don’t know that.) So we went back through yesterday’s snowstorm for our 3 pm appointment.
We checked in at the desk, where BDH announced we were there for “the fingerpainting class”, and we were ushered to a waiting room. This waiting room has glass walls on all sides, and a glass ceiling. It’s tinted glass, so that if you are inside, you can see outside, but no one can see in, and so that you cannot see into the police station, but the officers at the desk can see you. Basically, it’s a holding area, often times, I would bet, for people on “police business.” There’s a poster on the wall advising you to “KNOW YOUR RIGHTS!” When we went in, there was a heated discussion going on between an officer and a “client”. So, we sat down, and waited. And tried not to look guilty of anything.
This waiting room also has a glass ceiling. And if you looked up, you could watch the snow, swirling and flowing down the sloped roof. It made patterns and swirls across the glass. it was like a waterfall. We were fascinated. So, I am sure, the sergeants at the desk were watching us, two dangerous perpetrators, leaning way back in our chairs, pointing up at the snowfall, laughing and clapping and goofing around… they must have thought we were in being fingerprinted on drugs charges.
Finally, the woman who was to do our fingerprints, Jody, came and retrieved us. (The front desk staff must have been greatly amused by us as we sat in the holding tank, because they had dropped their stern police demeanour of when we had arrived and were now very friendly with us.) We went into a nearby office and we started the fingerprinting.
Getting your fingerprints done is an odd experience. You are told to relax your hands. You are told “don’t try to help”. And yet… when someone is manipulating your hands, relaxing is a very challenging thing indeed. You naturally WANT to participate, to move your hands accordingly. And for whatever reason, the whole process gave me the giggles. I think it was the whole “consciously trying to relax and failing miserably” thing. I was hopeless. And I had to get TWO sets done, so I was just silly by the end.
Also, it didn’t help my silliness that Jody, the woman who does fingerprinting, is a very charming and friendly woman. She was joking with us, and chatting about our adoption. As it turns out, she knows one of the directors of our agency quite well, so she was delighted to hear we were going with them and to hear some of our interest in Ethiopia and our journey to meet Mystery Baby.
But all our silliness melted into a fairly emotional moment when we finished up, as we got our wallets out to pay, she told us it was “on the house” because we had chosen to go with the agency we did. And she asked us to do her one favour — to send her a picture of our baby when we got him or her. I was so very touched. Not only did she save us a bit of money in this very expensive process, but the kindness in taking the time and not charging us and showing a genuine interest in our journey was so lovely. We promised to send her a photo.
As we left, we thanked the desk sergeant. I suppose he overheard most of our conversation in the office. He also wished us good luck. It was very kind of him. It always surprises me how many genuinely good wishes we are getting as we go through this process.
One of the reasons I love living here is the police department, and the pleasant dealings I have had, and continue to have, with them. The police here are fantastic.
One more step in the paperwork road is done. If only all the paperwork could be so easily done. But I have to say, I have been very lucky so far.