This is the second part of our most recent Adventure. You can read Part One here.
As soon as I get in the car I pull out the home study because Officer Lovely had asked me if the home study I wanted to drop off had original signatures, I pulled it out and looked at it....DRAT. It does not. I had gotten several copies from our adoption agency, with original signatures, but they all had places to go. I had debated with myself in the morning, before we left the house, between the last original copy or a copy copy. I remember thinking I should take both, just in case. But apparently I made the decision to keep the original and turn in the copy. After all, they do have an original, but they don't know where it is. I place a call to our adoption agency and leave a message explaining the situation and asking for another original or two to be sent to me. I decide to put the copy back in the envelope and say a quick prayer. (we are nearly an hour away from home and the original at this point.) I hope that she can verify with our adoption agency and that the copy will suffice.
So, I mention the name of the street Officer Lovely had told us she was near. My husband sighs and says that is in the direction of the protest march. He is hesitant to go in that direction, but we are SO CLOSE. And we must have this piece of paper. We HAVE TO TRY.
We drive in that direction, and begin to see the protestors....carrying signs, chanting "What do we want?" answer unintelligible; "When do we want it?" Answer unintelligible; and all of that. I'm clear on what issue they were protesting, but I am not clear on what they wanted. I even read several of their signs, and I'm still not sure.
(sidebar: My husband is very interested in history and politics and he has strong opinions on most of the topics of the day. He is what some would call strong willed. I will call him passionate, he is a Scorpio, after all. We don't agree on everything, but we also don't fight about it.)
The focus of the protest is enough to make my husband's blood pressure SOAR. In the past, this day of frustration, obstacles and unexpected changes to plans/errands would have been enough to send either one of us over the edge. (remember, I'm hanging on to sanity by a thin thread.) But not today. We are determined. Focused. And going to do WHATEVER IT TAKES.
Amazingly, I decide not to engage in the rant that is happening in our car and instead nod understandingly while he rants. I figure that it's better to be quiet than to gently remind him that this is America, and people have the freedom of speech and to protest peacefully. Even when we don't agree with their point of view. (proof that God does exist, the fact that I knew enough to keep my mouth shut AND I DID IT.) :-)
Back to the Adoption Adventure.
It looks like we might get to the location where we need to turn left before the long line of people blocks our way. We stop, waiting for the light to change. We might make it. The light changes, we get a green arrow. At that EXACT moment, a police officer on a motorcycle motions to us that we cannot make the left turn and waves us on down the street. (sigh).
So we drive for a while.....and there doesn't seem to be an end of the line in sight. I see a fast food chain on the right-I say to my husband-let's go there, grab a drink and wait it out. It will probably just be a few minutes. He changes lanes and this is what we do. I'm happy because I need to use the bathroom, and I figure getting out of the car will be a good thing. Change of scenery, getting the marchers out of our sight. And besides, I really need to use the bathroom!
We kill 15 minutes, and decide to venture out again. I call Officer Lovely, because she was expecting us in 5. I get her voicemail. (sigh).
So we head back out, and locate the Starbucks. It's a beautiful day in Phoenix and it's close to lunch time, and there was just a protest march. There are people EVERYWHERE. Milling around. Visiting. Eating. Drinking coffee. Smoking. Walking around. Everywhere. People. Everywhere.
I get out of the car and look around for a few minutes. Stand there awkwardly, because I am not sure exactly where Officer Lovely will come from. And, I don't know what she looks like. Hard to find a person when you don't know what they look like. I stood there so long, that a man smoking a cigarette asked me "Are you looking for Immigration?" (what?!?!? how could he know that?!?!) I said "Yes" and he motioned in the direction of the Immigration office. So now, at least, I had a direction to look expectantly in.
After what feels like an eternity, I make eye contact with a woman, and in an instant I KNOW that it is Officer Lovely. She comes up to me, like she knows me (probably that desperate adoptive mom look or smell or vibe or something). I want to give her a hug, but I refrain, because after all, I don't actually know this woman. (Impulse control is a good thing.)
So I hand her the papers, we talk. I ask what happens next. She tells me a bit about the process. She says to me "I THINK I WILL GET TO THIS TODAY." She tells me about the process-sending a letter to me, to the Visa Service Center and to the Consulate. I ask if there is anyway I can pick up my copy, rather than risk the mailing time. She considers this for a moment, and says yes, probably on Monday. Again, the urge to hug (and this time kiss) this woman rises up and again. Seriously, I picture that closing scene from An Officer and a Gentleman, where Richard Gere picks up the love interest (her name escapes me at the moment) in the factory-squeezes her, spins her, and carries her away. Fortunately, I am still on the sane side of things, by thin line, but still, I AM on the sane side.....and that being true, I resist the urge. I have impulse control. I'm pleased with that fact! We talk a few moments longer, and I thank her profusely. And then we are off, on our way.
Especially since we all know that stereotypes have some basis in reality. Officer Lovely has blown away the stereotype of the government worker. And I know this stereotypical government worker exists, because we've had the opportunity to meet her and work with her twice at the local DMV office. Not once, but twice. I'm not going to go into details of our interactions with her, but suffice it to say she is the stereotype to the 'T'. (my apologies to any readers who are or have been government workers).
We enjoy a nice lunch and do some other errands and shopping. We are so pleased and pleasantly surprised by all that transpired. We don't really even think of all the distractions and obstacles. We feel hopeful. We are blown away by God's hand in this-all the details. The fact that Officer Lovely called Friday night. That she was working on Saturday. That she was helpful and willing to come downstairs to meet us (she came down a total of 3 times, while we waited for the protest to be over.) That she explained the process and was just so danged nice. caring. friendly. warm.
The Adventure continues.....
Go to Part One
Go to Part Three
You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your might.
And these words that I command you today shall be on your heart.
You shall teach them diligently to your children, and shall talk of them when you sit in your house, and when you walk by the way, and when you lie down, and when you rise.
You shall bind them as a sign on your hand, and they shall be as frontlets between your eyes.
You shall write them on the doorposts of your house and on your gates.
Lena's (first) mission trip toCan't wait to see what God has in store next.....
Haiti turned into our