Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Stupid does as stupid is...

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.

Um... No.

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."


Chandra said...

OMG, how did you refrain from slapping her around the head! Man I would not have been so cool, what a complete moron. And the crack about Octomom because you have 4 kids???!! Seriously idiotic.

I'm so sorry you had to deal with the imbecile.

Lina said...

Wow, how did you hold back? Seriously - that Octomom comment would have pushed me over the edge. Holy crap. Good for you to hold it in... I don't know if I could have done that.


Anonymous said...

Oh my word! I don't know how you held it together. What on earth makes people think they can say things like "Octomom" to others? I think I would have asked for her boss (AFTER my passports were filed, of course!:)I just don't know why people think they can ask all sorts of questions to people w/adopted children.
I say I come over there and we go kick her heiney together!:)

Anonymous said...

Seriously this is totally how the saying 'going postal' came to be. I would have totally gone postal on her postal a$$. That's all sorts of crazy and that octomom reference would have just SENT me over the edge. OVER!

Anonymous said...

Okay, the situation should be grounds for justifiable homicide, or whatever they call it when you kill someone and it is A-O.K. But the post about the situation??? Gut bustingly funny! And that comment about the Octomom! Over the top, for sure. But I would have been tempted to say, "Yes, actually, and I'm late for my collagen injections. So can we hurry it along?"

Anonymous said...

OH. MY. GAWD. You my friend deserve the Nobel Peace Prize for not going postal on the the postal woman. (and let's face it, if Mr. Gore can win the thing, it's clearly up for grabs). Octomom? Obviously the woman does not have a firm grasp on her vocabulary since OCTO would indicate EIGHT. Yeah, I would have had lockjaw from clenching my teeth together after that interaction, I think.

Anonymous said...

I think I would have had to slap the Crazy Postal worker when she made the Octomom reference, but I guess you were at her mercy. I wanted to slap the immigration worker who said, "Oh, so you must be Brad and Angelina" to Christian and me when we landed in LA and brought Zoe home, but I had to hold back too. Why are people so %^&$#*(@ ignorant!?

BTW, have you ever read Perez Hilton? He call Octomom "Octopussy." Tee hee.

Laura L. said...

Wow, holy wow!
I could feel myself getting more and more mad as I read this. When I read what she said about octomom, I felt I would need to know CPW's address. Maybe it's better if I don't. She'll be safer that way.
That beats all I have heard in a long time.
I'm afraid I might not have been as nice as you were to CPW.

sassy chic said...

Chelle as usual you handled this with the grace that I know you have in every fiber of your being! I do think, though, that you need to let me know which post office you were at so I can turn her in for being to stupid to work there! Oh and don't forget to give me her name! Her behavior was incredibly unprofessional and uncalled for! And for good measure, my cuz thinks, you need to send this postal worker a copy of this post after you get the passports...not a bad idea, I will hand deliver it for you!! *$$ &@!( that she so obviously is!!!

Dawn said...

WOW ~ How did you keep from jumping over the counter and strangling them?! Some people are truly IDIOTS!!!

Heather said...

I think everyone before me has expressed my sentiments... all I can add is that you are a better person than I am....

Tami said...

O.M.W. Insert picture of me here with mouth gaping open in absolute shock and horror. That woman needs to be taken out and strung up by her flapping lips! Absolutely ridiculous how she treated you.
You, on the other hand, were absolutely brilliant. Kudos to you for choosing the high road. Although I'm half tempted to put in a call to the Postmaster General for you to file a complaint.
Of all the nerve.