Saturday, June 27, 2009


Today was the day..... USCIS "biometrics" testing. Our appointment was at 1:00. We arrived in Charlotte early so we had plenty of time to have lunch and visit a baby furniture store, Bellini. Mom and Dad came with us to Charlotte, so we dropped them off at a nearby shopping center because on the bottom of our official looking appointment card (complete with watermark and "United States of America" seal that was printed in the same "font" they use for money) it said "no visitors allowed inside the waiting room". Anyway, here is a picture of the nondescript government building this time. No signs, no frills, just a vacant looking office space. We arrived at USCIS at 12:30.

This time, I wasn't even allowed to bring my purse inside. The security guard was once again, all business. This time he asked to see both sides of our hands? Hmmm..... Chad thought maybe it was to make sure we weren't wearing "fake fingers" for our printing. I think it might have been to make sure we didn't have any open wounds on our fingers. Either way, we didn't ask Gus the Bus any questions.
Gus: "Appointment cards?"
C&S: "Yes, Sir"
Gus: "Any cell phones, cameras, recording devises?"
C&S: "No, Sir"
Gus: "Passports or other I.D.?"
C&S: "Yes, Sir"
Gus: "Have a seat and fill this out"
C&S: "Yes, Sir"
We fill out a brief form, bring it to Rico behind the front desk. (Who by the way was an excellent stamper. He stamped the dates and form numbers on the appointment card and form with ease.) Chad said "Wow, you've done that a few times before, huh?" Rico: "Uhh Yeah." O.K. Rico and Gus definitely did not win "Mr. Congeniality" in USCIS University. We sit and wait for our number. We barely made it back to our molded plastic, standard government issued oatmeal colored chairs and my number is up. Glenda, who was also a woman of few words, starts entering in my information and scans in the bar code on my appointment card. I stand on this foam mat in front of a computer screen and she goes to work, spraying the finger pad screen with mystery liquid (water? rubbing alcohol? acid removing my fingerprints forever?) working a foot petal like a sewing machine while simultaneously rolling my fingers around in said mystery liquid. My fingerprints appear on the computer screen. I say "Ohhh wow! That is so cool!" Glenda says "uh huh". Ok- I've once again lost the silent game. I never was good at that game anyway. She reviews her handiwork silently, and presses enter. Each print pops up and a little green box highlights a "unique pattern" in each print. Good news, I am not a clone! Each of my prints have a unique qualifier. Cool! I keep my enthusiasm to myself this time.
Chad's number is called, I have a seat and Glenda goes to work on him. His pinky finger on his left hand doesn't want to take. Glenda rolls it over and over again. Poof, he's done in a few minutes too. He was disappointed there was no DNA swab. Personally, I don't want Gus, Rico, or Glenda swabbing anything on my person.
They ask us to fill out a comment card before we leave about the quality of their service. I check all "Excellents" even on the "customer service" question. These people are just doing their jobs, they can't help it that they are one step away from florescent lighting induced insanity. They weren't mean or rude, just incredibly bored. Maybe they should add some color to the walls and pipe in a little "mu-sac" over the speakers to make life worth living. I didn't write that on the comment card.
Anyway, we picked up mom and dad at 12:52. The whole thing only took 22 minutes! We had enough time to spare to visit the Mega-Target complete with it's own PARKING GARAGE! It was like in the Wizard of Oz, when Dorothy leaves the black in white Kansas and arrives in Technicolor Oz. It was like sensory overload leaving drab USCIS to the wonderful world of Tar'get.
P.S.- We also made another very important stop in Charlotte, more on that tomorrow......


  1. Daddy & I are so glad we got to be part of your exciting adoption process, regardless of how small a part. Just being with you brought us much joy. I wish we were closer so we could share more "events". Love, Momma