Well shoot...no free flight to South Africa....

on the upside I got to come home with my family. At least I think that is a good thing but it's hard to tell with the mood everyone is currently in...

We have had a spate of great, sunny weather lately. I have become accustomed to it and so driving through the driving rain and the low grey clouds today was just about intolerable. E-NOUGH AL-FREAKING READY. Y'know???

This, combined with the fact that I had about half the sleep I usually do (do you all sleep absolutely horribly the night before anything vaguely out of the ordinary happens?) and my children were acting as though we were dragging them barefoot across the snowy plains rather then sitting in a warm and comfortable car watching a (new)DVD and eating popcorn,... all this soured my mood a bit.

Oh and then there was construction and closed roads and standstill traffic. Which is quite trying when you have an 8am appointment with Big Brother (who has a history of being unpredictable and testy). An appointment which you would rather not have to reschedule since it takes 2 hours each way. We were late. Aaron got a GPS for his birthday and it just kept making our estimated time of arrival later and later. Stressful little gadget, that.

When we finally burst through the doors of the (spiffy and new) INS place, Aaron was sent back to the the van because of the lethal little scissors on his Leatherman key-chain. In order to harm someone with those scissors , you would have to ask that someone to please hold very, very still while you painstakingly positioned the tiny scissor blades over their earlobe or nose or other small enough appendage, and then you would need to ask them to continue to stand very still while you sawed away at said appendage for long enough to possibly break the skin.

But you know...safety first.

ANYWAY, then I sat there surreptitiously checking out at all the other foreigners, some of whom looked foreign -like the burka lady who was squinting at us through the tiny slit in her all black ensemble-(I have to say, that is a pretty intimidating get-up...like a ninja, but less sleek), who was sitting next to her comfortably and contemporarily dressed husband, and some of whom did not look foreign at all..like me. I have to say the INS office is a pretty good place for people watching.

After a surprisingly short wait (especially by government standards) I was summoned to the back office where I was copiously finger-printed. I feel bad about my finger-prints. They aren't good finger-prints, they never have been. I warned the disinterested looking fellow about this, to which he cockily replied, "well, they won't be a problem for me". But they were a problem gentle reader, oh yes, they were. The computer kept telling him how horrible my fingerprints were and how the "minutia was insufficient". It was utterly humiliating. Well okay if not quite utterly humiliating, maybe a little weird, intimately clasping hands with a young man for an extended period of time while he rolled and rolled my insufficiently minute fingers. (Ironically I do have smaller then average hands so you would think the minutia would be all there for the printing..)

Eventually the machine said that although my fingerprints sucked, they supposed they would have to do, and I was asked to take a seat. I was zoning for a bit when I realized I was actually sitting in front of a camera lens, and the guy was trying to take my photo. This naturally resulted in a spectacularly horrific photo. The guy even waved me over to look at it (he obviously thought it was spectacularly horrific too) but by that point I was over all of it, and was not all that motivated to try for a glamour shot, so I said, "yeah sure, whatever". He did look a little shocked about that considering I had corrected him when he typo-ed my weight as 9 lbs more then it is. Can't be having that.

I was then ushered to the next station where I was handed my original Green Card with a lovely little sticker telling everyone I was legal for another year (they anticipate it will take that long to process my new card, which will then be good for another 10 years). And that was that.

There are, as far as I know, at least 3 places in my hometown where I could have received the exact same service. In fact due to working in schools, I have recently had my fingerprints taken by 2 of those 3 places. With the exact same machine.

But really, it was a delight to traipse through Detroit's ghettos in the rain, and to get lost with my whiny children on the way home (hooray nifty GPS). I'm so glad we got to do that. It was special.

God bless the INS...or not.

(My apologies to those of you who were holding your breath for my deportation. You know who you are..mom)

PS: Yikes, just received a comment from someone about the hostage/shooting at the INS office in NY today. :( Apparently it could have gone a lot worse for us. How absolutely horrible. My fervent prayers are with the victims and their loved ones.

I'm reading: Well shoot...no free flight to South Africa....Tweet this!


paparazzimom said...

thanks for the comedic entertainment... at least it was good for something! :)

Yes, I immediately thought of you when I heard about the hostages/shooting at the IHN place and paid special attention to WHERE it was ensuring it was no where close to OH.

Denise said...

Glad to hear you weren't deported!

Aunt LoLo said...

Glad you're home safe and sound!

My fingers are the same way. As a missionary, I spent a good 20 minutes holding hands with a nice young man, getting finger printed over..and over..and over...for my Hong Kong ID card.

According to the HK government, I don't have any fingers. ;-)

H.K. said...

Who knew that a trip to the INS office could be so hilarious! I'm sure it wasn't for you at the time, but it was entertaining to read!

(found your blog on mormon mommy blogs!)

Bethany said...

Yay - I'm glad you're staying. I just can't live without my Bestie, now can I? Hmm??? And your post was, as usual, very enjoyable to read. I even went so far as to read it out loud to my husband. Love ya!!!

Mrs. M said...

Glad you're still with us! Sorry you didn't get a free vacation ;)

Gracie said...

Mommy so what at lest your still our mom!!!!!!

Shona said...

Mixed feelings....would have been sucky to be deported BUT I guess there would have been no question about staying in the US - the decision would have been made for you !

Anonymous said...

At last I found the post!! Been searching and searching. You have to give me more training. HOW did that horrible situation occur, in NY, no less??? Think on the scissors???? That is very sad and alarming. I don't understand about security! Well, glad you are all together. They would have paid for you, but what about the chibbies and Babbie??? Their gain, our loss! Marmie.