Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Close enough, I hope

Right now, I'm lying on the floor next to Sarah's bed, hoping she's finished throwing up. We're pretty sure (after reading Dr. that it's food poisoning. After almost three hours of vomiting, the poor little thing was exhausted and asking to put on her 'jamas and go to bed. Finally, at 9:15, I put her in her pjs, and she flung herself into bed, only to get up 15 minutes later to throw up again. I cleaned her up, brushed her teeth, tucked her back in, and she was asleep literally two minutes later.

But, really, thank God for small favors--I am so glad this started at 5:45 pm and not 2:00am. And so glad that it started at 5:45pm and not 4:45pm, when we were still in the County Clerk's Office.

You see, we FINALLY made it in to apply for the kids' passports today. For those of you keeping score, we went to the Social Security office back in April to apply for a Social Security card for Nick so that I could file our stinkin' taxes. No luck. We need proof of citizenship, which means either a passport or a certificate of citizenship. Since the certificate costs several hundred dollars and doesn't do you much good, we thought we'd go for the passport, since at least that would allow him to travel.

So. Turns out you need lots of paperwork for an internationally-adopted child's passport. And it turns out that both parents have to show up in person with the child to apply for a passport for a child under 16. At this point, we figured we might as well get Sarah's passport, too, for all that hassle. I've had the paperwork together for ages, but I needed to take decent passport photos (the verdict's still out on the decent-ness of the result), and we needed to find a time during business hours that all four of us could show up.

The County Clerk's office closed at 4:30pm today. At 3:15, Mr. X called me to say he was getting ready to leave the office--mind you, he has an hour commute to the County Clerk's office, and it's the day before Thanksgiving. Of course, I was just parking the car at Costco to pick up the photos, so I was no better off. I ran home, relieved the babysitter, convinced Nick to go potty and put his shoes on, picked Sarah up out of bed where she was still napping, and ran them out to the car in their socks. I coaxed them to put on their shoes on the way, called Mr. X to check his ETA, and dashed into the County building at 4:23.

I ran into the passport office, where the poor woman behind the counter eyed me dubiously. She reminded me that they close at 4:30 and asked if my husband was with me, if I had my paperwork filled out, and if I had checks written. Oops. I had my paperwork (I even had it organized in a neat little multiple-pocket folder). But I remembered I wrote the last check in my checkbook the other day. I called Mr. X, who found a single check folded in his wallet. That would get us one passport application, if we could produce $25 cash for the processing fee.

By some minor miracle, Mr. X ran into the office on the dot of 4:30. We conferred, and he thought he might have a checkbook in his car. We had $38 cash between us, but there was an ATM outside the door to the county building. I started going over the paperwork with the woman behind the counter and he sprinted out to the car. I knew he could get in the building, since some of the offices are open till 5:00, but I'd have to let him back in the passport office.

Then the ladies noticed that Nick has no social security number, and said that the State Department might not issue a passport without a Social Security number! You have got to be kidding me.  So I had to write a note saying that I had been turned down for a Social Security number, and they said we'd have to just see what the State Department says. Argh!

Mr. X came back from his trip to the car and ATM, so now we had enough cash for both application fees. And he had found a check. A check I had written to a teenage babysitter. I wrote one of the numbers funny, and she thought the bank might give her a hassle, so I had just written her a new check. Somehow Mr. X found the old one. Technically, as long as I initial any changes, it should work. So I changed--and initialled!--the payee. . . and the date . . . and the amount. My signature didn't need to be changed.

So we submitted Nick's application with a picture that we hope will meet the requirements, a handwritten note about my inability to get a Social Security number for him without a passport, and a perfectly acceptable check. And possibly without a height--I feel like I forgot to write down his height, even though the lady checked over the application and didn't comment on that.

We submitted Sarah's application with a picture that we hope will meet the requirements and perhaps the most bizarre check that the State Department has ever received. (The lady said, "they're definitely going to contact you about this!")

The kids behaved beautifully, mainly because they had a Little T.y.kes table and chairs with an assortment of books, and Mr. X sat with them when he wasn't being asked to promise under oath that this application was correct. Nick provided musical entertainment. So you can see why I'm truly grateful that the vomiting did not begin until we were out of that poor woman's hair! And, seriously, God bless her for bearing with us patiently as her office was closing for Thanksgiving!

It's now been an hour since Sarah fell asleep (though she just stirred a minute ago and said "I done! I done!" . . . which is what she's been saying in the middle of throwing up). I think I'm going to throw in the next load of laundry, disinfect the bathroom, and go to sleep.  But not before I say many prayers that this is just food poisoning and not something contagious!


JellyBelly said...

What a crazy ordeal! I hope that Sarah feels better!

Btw, how are you feeling?

imusthaveprayedforpatience said...

Whew! I hope she's ok now and that you all had a great Thanksgiving.

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