The other day we passed an important milestone in our clan. We submitted our green card applications some weeks ago (little over a month) and are waiting anxiously for some sign that the application is progressing smoothly.
About two weeks ago, we received letters to have the biometrics done, which is a core requirement for the application. I’m not too sure how long time the process will take from start to finish, but we were delighted.
It’s a bit daunting to think that you have to supply your finger prints to Homeland Security, but then again, we have nothing to worry about. Well, unless they consider stealing apples from my neighbours back home in Denmark, when I was 8 years old. I’m fairly certain that I didn’t leave any finger prints behind.
The appointment letters, as they are called, asked us to show up at the local office at 8am. Now, in most families that’s probably straight forward, but not when you have three kids under the age of eight.
Waking up early is not the problem. It’s getting out the door in time. I had no intentions of being late for this appointment.
Family got fed and we amazingly made it into the car by 7.15am, which left us plenty of time to get to the field office. We actually pulled into the car park with almost 15 minutes to spare.
Having visited other federal offices, such as social security, DMV and IRS, we were expecting to be greeted by an already stressed office workers, who might not be too pleased to see assisting a Looney Tunes family.
We were pleasantly surprised by the excellent customer service. All staff were friendly, helpful and didn’t mind the kids at all – I KNOW! It sounds far fetched, but it’s true.
Anyway. As we arrived, the friendly security officer provided us with some forms to complete and return. It wasn’t much to be completed, but it takes a lot longer to fill in such forms when you have three kids that tend to run off in different directions.
For safety reasons, the security officer kindly asked me to keep the youngest child away from the string controlling the curtains, make sure the middle dude didn’t run off and prevent the oldest from emptying the water fountain … all while we had to complete the forms.
Finally. The forms were ready and I handed them over to the security officer. On the way back to my seat, my two oldest kids were sort of racing, when suddenly my son fell flat on his face. He filled the entire office with a scream of pain, strongly followed by crying.
I gave him a hug to calm him down, only to discover that he had a bloody nose. The staff in the office quickly gathered, making sure he was alright and obviously making sure it wasn’t caused by the office furniture.
Great! Now I had to get my green card picture taken with bloody stains on my shirt, while attempting to smile. Should I do the peace sign just to spice up the picture?
Frantically I ran to the toilet to wash off the blood stain and also get paper towels for my son’s nose. Within minutes my shoulder was soaking wet, but the blood stain had been reduced to a couple of darker marks which might not be visible on the picture. And, thankfully my son’s nose bleed had stopped and there were no signs of bruising either.
Next obstacle was getting the kids to stand still while the friendly staff took their pictures, ensuring that their entire face were visible, no grumpy faces, no tears and no sudden movements. Not to mention attempting to get a finger print of my two year old who obviously thought that taking pictures of fingers were unacceptable.
My son blatantly refused to stand against the wall for the picture, as well as refusing to stretch his index finger for the finger print bit.
My oldest daughter was not impressed that she didn’t have to provide finger prints for all her fingers, as that was clearly against her human rights. The kind lady explained that she will get the prints taken when she’s 14 years old. That calmed things down. Her picture was pretty ok, but it did take her good parts of 4 minutes to get her hair done right.
20 minutes after the bloody nose incident, we walked calmly out of the office, having completed the almost impossible task. All kids had their pictures taken, supplied finger prints and still smiling.
We were done. Now we just have to wait for the next step in the process. Hopefully soon.