or something like that.
What is it about international adoption that brings The Stupid out in people? We went to the Post Office yesterday to get passports for some of the kids (we're still hoping to take the younger ones with us when we travel). Everything was going just fine... until it was Brianna's turn. I presented her birth certificate, just as I had done for the other kids, and I had her (expired) US passport with me, just in case there would be any questions, since her birth certificate says she was born in China. I didn't bring any adoption paperwork, her old Chinese passport, or a COC since I had not needed any of those in the past.
Apparently, I'm stupid; stupid-er than I had previously realized.
The postal worker "helping" us, henceforth referred to as CPW (Crazy Postal Worker), asked me to show her where exactly on Bri's US passport it says she is a US citizen. Well, it doesn't specifically say "I am a US citizen" on it. Neither does mine. It also doesn't have bunny stickers on it, nor does it say, "My mom would like to smack you." It is just a plain 'ol, regular, flippin' US passport. AND it is a US passport previously issued to my daughter. I foolishly thought that a US passport was good enough proof that she qualified for... a US passport.
CPW had to ask another worker "if these people will need to come back with adoption paperwork since this little girl was born in China."
One said yes. Another said no. So, maybe we should "come back with our adoption papers just to be safe," CPW decides.
My eyes were starting to do that cool, Incredible Hulk-I'm-getting-angry-thing.
I gently, ever-so-lovingly and patiently explained that we would not have been able to acquire the documents I had with me if we had not legally adopted her, and we did not need to show any adoption papers the first time we got her US passport. Her birth certificate was all we brought, just like we did for the other kids.
CPW then looks at the form I filled out where I said Brianna had no other names, which she doesn't. Her legal name is exactly what it has always been. The adoption documents in China were filled out with the name we gave her. Her Chinese passport had the name we gave her. That is her name- thank you very much, ma'am (and how did you ever pass the civil service test in the first place?). CPW acted as if she didn't believe me. You could just see she was thinking, "Surely the little Oriental must also be known as Mei Ling, or Connie Chung, or something more exotic-sounding."
CPW asked, "Does she still reside in China?"
My voice said, "Whaaaa?"
My thoughts said, "Whaaaat the %*#$?"
CPW repeats, "Does she still... re-side... in Chi-NA?"
My voice said, "No. She lives with us... Here."
My thoughts said, "Does she appear to be residing in China, you Glorious Dingbat?"
CPW asked, "So you are her custodians, then?"
My voice said, "No. We are her parents."
My thoughts said, "You're gonna need a custodian in just a minute."
CPW finally decides, after conferring again with the other workers, that since the last name and address on her paperwork matches ours, she would go ahead and send in the application.
CPW looks around at the four kids with me and says, "So, are you Octomom?"
My voice said... "HA" (with a big, fake smile- jaw slightly clenched to keep the expletives from flying out).
My thoughts said, "Do ya feel lucky? Well, do ya, punk?"
As we were finishing up, and thankfully almost ready to leave, CPW (looking again at the kids) says, "You have FOUR children with you."
My voice said... "Yeee- esss?"
My thoughts said... "Well if nothing else, we've established that you can count to four. Good for you, you Incredible Dipstick."
CPW explained, "You are only getting three passports."
Oh, now I see. She thinks I'm too stupid to count my own kids. I must not know how many passports I need.
My voice said, "I only need three. This one (pointing to a kid) doesn't need one."
My thoughts said, "Do you have a hammer handy, or some type of blunt instrument? Anything will do, really... I just need to whack something real quick."