With a finger-print and a smile

I realized that I have not blogged about one of our most exciting adoption adventures to date… our FBI finger-printing session.

One sunny afternoon I drove downtown to pick up Calvin from Lifeway and head over to the Davidson County Criminal Justice Center.  I have been finger-printed previously for my teaching license, but that was a measly state check.  The FBI check is a tad more hardcore.  We walked in the building and headed toward the officer seated behind the bulletproof glass, now I hate to feed the stereotype of policemen who over-eat, but there was defiantly some fried chicken aroma wafting out from under the slit which allows your drivers license to pass through for inspection.  We were told to pay the clerk for the finger-prints and then return with the receipt.  We did as we were told, standing in line behind a gentlemen getting his first set of mug-shots, and brought the receipt back to the officer.  After the exchange we were buzzed through a door and escorted upstairs by another officer.  The woman at the desk asked us if we were “applicants” with a somewhat confused look on her face.  I told her yes.  (I thought she meant applicants for adoption, it turns out she meant for the police department)  After that was straightened out I told her we were there because we were adopting a baby, a statement that rang gloriously in the air.  Not that she thought it was glorious.  It just escaped from my lips so easily and hovered in the air so tangibly, large enough to grasp.  Moments like that make this process so real.

We filled out our cards and, one at a time, took our place in the next room where we were electronically finger-printed for the FBI background check.  During the process I was very thankful I had chosen not to commit any felonies in the past, they are a lot nicer to you when you aren’t a criminal.  At the end of the session my inky little prints came rolling out of the state-of-the-art printer and my task was complete.  Calvin, on the other hand, has wacky fingers and his prints kept coming out too dark.  Therefore a sweet little letter stating that “the condition of the applicants fingers prevent passable prints”  accompanied his prints to Texas.   Oh well, at least Calvin also chose to avoid a life of crime.  Although his wacky fingerprints may have given him a leg up.

About the author


Erica is an advocate for simplicity, family time, making a cozy home and loving others well. She is the community coordinator for One Orphan, the orphan care ministry of America World Adoption Association. Erica and Calvin have four young children; Elliott, Charlotte, Lola and Liam. They currently reside in Nashville, TN.

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