This week we got a letter from our case worker at Bethany letting us know that the State of Washington requires us to renew our fingerprints with the FBI on an annual basis. They used to only have you renew your Washington/other state record inquiry, but now you have to get printed annually as well. So this morning we went down to the City of Lynwood Police Department, where we had them done last March. It brought back memories of high stress and anticipation, a vast and unknown expanse of the world of adoption had been ahead of us. Now, 206 days later, we were back to renew them having a little bit different perspective under our belt.
Going down to the jail cracks me up. They do the civilian finger printing in a small conference room off the main lobby, which is about the size of a postage stamp. There are five chairs. So, it can get pretty crowded, last time it was really crowded, but fairly uneventful. Another man was there getting printed for an emergency foster situation, another lady was being printed for a new job at homeland security. This time, there were a bunch of police matters happening at the same time.
There was a Russian/Ukrainian guy in there looking for the truck he'd smashed into a power pole, on Friday afternoon, only he thought he'd hit a dumpster on Friday morning. The officer helping him was one of the first responders at the scene and was patiently telling this guy he was lucky to be alive, he told him where the truck had been towed, and let him know that the truck's entire wheel had been removed from the vehicle when he'd hit the power pole. I'm reasonably certain that guy was either 1. Lying his butt off in order to garner sympathy, or 2. So drunk at the time of the accident that he has no clue what actually occurred, or 3. He was drunk while standing in the room talking to the officer. I could have sat there all day watching these train-wrecks. Does that make me a bad person? I wasn't laughing at them, I was just in awe.
Another woman, a self proclaimed "Single Mother of Three" came in with her three children, and proceeded to ask about the investigation of an accident she was involved in. While her children were trying valiantly; if not unsuccessfully to behave themselves. The oldest girl, age 8, was in charge of the younger girl, 4, and the little boy 2. At one point the little guy got knocked into the counter by the little girl, and the oldest girl knelt down and asked the 4 year old "What is wrong with you?" I felt bad for her, because that was obviously a parenting technique used in their house often. Awhile later the little boy was looking around the room at people and saying "Hi" to us individually, and we all said "Hi" back. But he looked at Jer for a while and said, "Daddy?". I almost cried and I can honestly tell you I would have taken all three of them home right then if their mother had asked me to.
It wasn't that they were uncared for, you could see that their clothes were clean, their hair was tidy and they were well fed. Even their shoes were new. Mom wasn't dressed to the 9s but she looked ok. It was the sadness. I wanted to fix their sad little lives, where daddy is a nice looking stranger who never comes home and mommy is always angry and sad. I wanted to give them some lifesavers, but I couldn't figure out how to not look like a freak-show stranger. So, I just talked to them a little and smiled at them. That is how you know kids are in an attention drought, when a nice person smiles at them and talks to them, they will stand there and drink it up with big shy smiles on their faces and wonder who you are. "What's your name? Where is your baby? Do you have a dog? What about a kitty? All of these questions I've gotten from children at work and these kids were hoping Chief was in the car. It's stuff like this that gets to me.
I pray for the family I met today, thank you for a glimpse of children in need, I hope and pray that these little ones will grow up happily, that their lives will be brightened by someone who cares for them. That their mother will be blessed, may your love and light shine upon them. Keep them safe.