Some of my readers who follow me on Facebook have a pretty good idea as to what our life is really like. Yeah, it's pretty wild around here. With four strong-willed children, life is never dull. But some days, it is downright chaotic. A week ago, I ventured out with all of our kids to get the apostilles on our dossier so it could be mailed to Carolina's country. Well, one of the documents was a background check, which had to be county certified in the county where it was notarized. So, off to the first city. After about an hour's drive in torrential rain, we arrived in the quaint little town. The court house was easy to find and was a standing memorial to days gone by, with its stately stone architecture, huge staircases, and dark wood galore. Of course, in buildings such as this, everything echoes. I brought four kids. Yeah. Everyone knew we were there. Luckily, the trip was short, even with stopping for bathroom breaks, we were in and out within 20 minutes. But oh the story gets better. This quaint little town has these stone slabs along the sidewalks, presumably to preserve the old fashioned heritage, but they make the sidewalk flood. Most of my kids avoided the water or were wearing boots, but my two year old ran right through it, soaking her shoes. Well...we can't have wet feet now can we? So, she took off the shoes when we got into the van. No big deal. We are on our way to the state capital to get those apostilles.
We arrive in the city. By this time, it is about 3:30pm on a Friday. We find the building and swing around for a place to park on the right side of the street. We pull up to a meter. Said meter has a warning on it that at 4pm, this entire area becomes a tow away zone. Oh dear. We can make it! We begin briskly walking to the building we need. It is still raining. The sidewalk is closed. Yes, really. They closed the sidewalk. I can't figure out why. Some kind of construction but whatever it was, it was not at a stage where the sidewalk really needed to be closed. So our options are to try and go around through a building, or we can cross a six lane road, walk down that sidewalk past our building, cross at the next light and back track to where we need to be. We chose the building. We get to the building we need, and have to sign in....including little stickers on the kids. Alrighty then...off we go. We get to the counter at the Secretary of State's office and begin pulling out the papers for apostilles. There were a lot of them. And then I saw it. One document...the employment letter. The notary who signed that was not commissioned in the county where she works, but up here in the capital city. Oh no. We need this dossier to be mailed. The last thing I want to do is repeat this trip.
"Where is the county court house for this county? It has to be close."
"Here are the directions, Ma'am."
"Alright, I am going to go get this authenticated and I will be back for all these documents." ( As I hand them over 30 documents which need apostilled.)
Back out of the building we go, dropping my visitor's pass with the desk clerk on my way. Back down the sidewalk....ugh, that dumb closed spot! Come on kids, we're just going through it! Great. The van is in sight. Let's get in and buckle up and head to the court house. But little E had other plans as she sat herself down on the wet sidewalk, refusing to go another step. I manage to haul her to the van and put her in on the passenger side. I then went over and opened the door by her seat so I could buckle her in the seat....only to find her bouncing around the back of the van. E was bored and done. I was standing with my rear out in traffic in what was now becoming a tow away zone. I was not amused by this point and I regret to say I was less than patient. With some help from A, we got her in the seat and buckled. Then we headed over to the court house. It wasn't really all that far, but by now, all meters were tow away zones and we needed to find a lot or garage. Finally, we found one, circled back to park in it and began unloading from the van. E at this point refused to wear her wet shoes again and so A offered to piggy-back her. This was a great novelty for her, and so she pleasantly went along. The kids have learned a lot of things in all of this, one being proper use of cross-walks. They were champs. M held onto my hand and R waited for the signals and ran along side me. Into the court house we walked. As with all court houses these days, we had to go through a metal detector. My kids are pros at this by now and ran on through (E in bare feet) while I put my purse on the belt to be x-rayed. The office we needed was 20 feet in front of us...we can make it. And then, the officer says to R,
"What do you have there?"
"A spy toy."
"Wow! That is neat. Do you want to see your toy on the xray?"
"O.k. put it in one of the bowls and send it through. Now, look. It's just a plastic toy. But here's your mom's purse."
"Can you tell what all this is?"
A few things are pointed out, and we thank the young officer, who by the way, looked just like McNab from the show, "Psych"
Now, into the office we scurry...right up to the counter. The authentication takes about a minute. While we are there though, I ask for directions to a garage near the Secretary of State building so we don't waste valuable time looking. It's now 4:30pm. She gives an address, which I type into my phone's GPS and we are off again. Back to the garage, back to the van, load up, seat belts (no one fights this time, they are engrossed in our race against the clock). We make it to the garage without issues and it is now about a block and a half walk to the building we need. A does the piggy back thing again and M holds my hand while R again runs along side. We make it to the building. It is 4:45pm. We now get the stack of apostilled documents back and I go through them while they get me the one for the newly authenticated document and write out my receipt. My kids were sitting in chairs behind me and I was quite focused on these papers, but then I hear it...SQEAK! SQUEAKY SQUEAK! SQUEEEEEEEEK! Yes, my son, R is squeaking his wet shoes on the floor. Now, in all reality this is not a big deal considering our rainy day adventure, but the man behind the desk was just in shock. How dare kids make noise! I'm tellin' ya. I tell him to stop now. He does it one last time to annoy me. I inform him his Nintendo DS is MINE....no more squeaking. Finally, we head out again, saying goodbye to the security guard who was at this door, and head back into the rain. Through crowds of people getting off work, clutching my daughter in one hand, and my dossier in the other, we make our way back to the garage. We load up once more, and pull out into 5pm rush hour traffic.
By this time I look awful. My newly chopped short hair is wet as much from sweat as it is from rain and sticking up and out in all directions. My make up is basically gone, and I am tired. We made it out of the city with only one short delay for merging traffic. By this point E is sacked out in her car seat and the others are not far behind, so it is very quiet. And then dear hubby calls....
"Hey, I talked to our friends and we are going to see the 6:30pm showing of Iron Man 3!"
Oh, and the city we were going to? About 30 minutes from our house...in the opposite direction. And the other couple already has tickets. One of their teens will be babysitting our kids. This is very welcome, but there is NO way I can get home and then over to the theater by 6:30...no...way.
Thankfully, the next call I received said that we would instead see the 7:45 showing....in 3D.
Alright. That I can do. We got the kids home and fed and settled with the sitter, and back out we went...me still looking about the same as when we left the capital city. Oh well. I am not out to impress anyone. My dinner ended up being a coke and some not so great pre-packaged nachos (Why do theaters do that? The old style was much tastier.) Anyhow, I really enjoyed the movie and was very glad we went. It was a very long day, but we accomplished what needed done.
Our dossier was mailed and arrived yesterday in our sweet girl's country. And now, we wait....and fundraise like crazy because we were not anticipating the summer airfare. We should be headed to Eastern Europe in about six weeks to meet our girl and bring her home. Six weeks...it feels like forever on one hand, but considering the amount of prep work that needs done here, I know it will be here before we know it. We would appreciate any help with our upcoming auction and with sharing our cause. We know the need is great and so many people are traveling this summer. We are grateful for any and all help be it financial, logistical or prayers. We are humbled and awed by it all.