Thursday, February 7, 2013

So I had a meltdown in the Social Security Office

I wish that statement wasn't true, but.......

It is.  And it was a doozy.

A little background before we get to the juicy details.

During my happy dance at Kroger Tuesday when Shane told me we had our fingerprint appointment he mentioned we needed to bring our social security cards.  That put a little hiccup in my happy dance because that was a bit of a problem.  Awhile back my purse was stolen and along with it my card along with Will and Jenny's. (I know-dumb). I had not ever replaced them because I just didn't feel like going to the social security office.  But now it was imperative!  I knew I couldn't get the actual cards but maybe I could get something proving they were on there way.  It was worth a shot! I was not cancelling that appointment.

So.....I gathered all my documents,  filled out the application and made plans to go to the social security office this morning.  I read that list 100 times to make sure I had it all right.  I had an old card of mine (with my maiden name on it), my marriage license, my much sought after birth certificate and my passport.  I had Will's birth certificate and passport as well as Jenny's.  Ready!

I was honestly nervous about going.  I don't like driving downtown, I don't like trying to park downtown and I just don't like sitting and waiting.  Luckily I drove straight to it and parked along the street.  Whew- that was easy!  Until the security man stopped me told me I couldn't park there and I needed to park in the garage.  Parking garages don't play along well with my dislike of enclosed spaces, but I found my way into the garage and got a decent spot next to the stairs.  I walked to the building and found the right room.  A room slam full of people.  I took my number and settled in.  I spotted a friend from church working at one the windows and waved hello.  Things seemed to be moving quickly and in about 20 minutes they called my number.  This is going ok I thought.  Prematurely.

I sat down and told the lady what I needed and handed over my already filled out applications.  She said, "I need to see your drivers license and their school records or immunization forms."  Um.. no.  I responded, "I have their birth certificates."  She said-and I quote, "You will recall I asked for their school records or immunization forms."  Fabulous.  I explained I had read that form 10 times and thought I had brought the right hings.  She asked did I have their school records or immunization forms.  Again.  I responded I have birth certificates and passports.  "Passports!" she said.  "Passports will work."  Yea!!!!  I waited for 5 or 6 minutes while she typed in all my information and then moved onto Jenny's application.  Wait for it.....the passports are expired.  Won't work.  Sorry.

This is when I began to feel that panicky, vomitty feeling in my stomach.  I have to have this TODAY! I explained.  It's really important.  Tell me what to do so I can come back!!!  You guessed it.  "School records or immunization forms.  Now, let me get your receipt."  And she walked away from the window.  And that's when it got ugly.

Now let me make an aside here.  Adoption is an emotional experience.  Much like pregnancy.  I've held it together pretty well so far.  But it's been an emotional week for me.  Shane and I have had some decisions to make and things to talk about. We've had LONG home study interviews.  It's been a bit of a roller coaster.  This was the proverbial straw that broke the camel's back.

She walked away from the window to get my receipt and I fell apart.  The flood gates opened and the tears began to flow.  I was standing up now, with my little folder of useless document clutched in my hands crying and crying and crying.  Apparently not very quietly because the people at the window behind me kept saying, "Ma'am, Ma'am!" When I finally turned around they were holding a box of tissue.  She came back to the window with the list of instructions so she could personally show me where it says no birth certificates.  "I believe you- just tell me what to bring you!"  I think you know her answer. This is when I really sort of lost it.  "I don't know what you mean by school records.?!?!"  Well, she said, "Do they go to school?"  "YES!"  "Then go to the school and have them print a record."  This did not help the situation.  I verified that an immunization record would suffice (again!) and got the heck out of there as fast as I could.  I managed to not fall face down on the floor of the elevator and raced to my car, sobbing the whole way.

Here's where things go really bad.  I hate, hate, hate parking garages.  I got so lost in a parking garage one time when I had jury duty that I had to find the little man on the golf cart and have him take me from level to level.  Hate them!  I went straight to my car and could barely breathe.  I was in the middle of first class meltdown people.  I pulled out and followed the signs to the exit.  Only I didn't exit.  I went round and round and round.  At least 10 times.  When I ended up at the level 4 elevator for the tenth time I yelled to absolutely no one, "I am going to die here!!"  A few more times around and I finally figured it out.  The poor lady I paid to get out of the garage thought I was crazy.

I came home.  Got a diet coke.  Ate some M&Ms.  Got the immunization forms and headed back.  I put some makeup on too.  It didn't help a whole lot.

I walked back into the office, got my number and sat down.  Breathing deeply and feeling nervous but back in control.  A few minutes passed and they called my name over the intercom.  "Stacy Huff please come to window B."  What in the world?!  That was my church friend's window.  I didn't want to be a line cutter but I was glad to see a friendly face.  I said hello and that I was surprised to hear my name.  I mentioned I had been here earlier, and that I had cried.

 And here is the embarrassing part.

 "Yea, the manager sent around a message that you were coming back."  Oh my word.  He told her I was back and she said to go ahead and call me up.  That's the magnitude of the meltdown-it warranted a memo.   I didn't ask but I'm afraid they sent that memo as a security precaution.  Crazy lady trying to get to China is coming back.  Be on high alert.

Ten minutes later I was on my way with temporary cards and a smile on my face.  Thank the Lord for friends.  I apologized when I left for having a meltdown and he answered.  "It happens."  Giving me hope that I am not the first.

We went on to our fingerprint appointment and it went fine. While Shane may be smarter than me it appears I have easier to read fingerprints.  That boosted my self esteem a little after a day of humiliation.  He got the brains but I got the fingerprints.  I'll take it.

One more step down.

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