Wednesday, February 9, 2011

Fingerprint adventures

Yesterday Wes & I drove to Montgomery so I could get fingerprinted for the 3rd time!

Alabama DHR contracts with a security company (SBCN) to run fingerprints for things like adoptions and foster care. The prints I took previously were with ink & came out blury each time. My options were to drive to Montgomery (1.5 hours away) to do a "Live Scan" or they could do a Name search which could take up to 6 months for the results to come back. So, we drove to Montgomery. The folks at SBCN were very friendly and helpful and recommended, if we could, to drive to ABI (Alabama Bureau of Investigation) in Montgomery

Our trusty GPS guided us to the perfect spot. ABI has 1 little door on the bottom level of a huge federal building. Everything is very secure, even the receptionist has bullet proof glass, a box that you pass things through & will only open up 1 side at a time, they get a little feisty if you don't close the door on your side! I explained why I was there, they don't usually get people in for adoption fingerprints, and it took a little explaining and a few people before they finally understood why exactly I was there. Once we got back to the fingerprinting room, they discussed whether they should do ink or live scan for my prints. We explained again about my fuzzy blurry fingerprints and they decided to do Live Scan. Don't get me wrong, they were very kind and friendly once they understood why I was there, they're just used to doing fingerprints for job background checks etc. & not adoptions!

Insert side note: I'm a task oriented person-let's just get the job done. Wes is relational. I very much admire and love this gift God gave him, I try and want to be more like that-things might slow down a little but it's usually with a smile and a better outcome!

We get to the fingerprinting room and they go to work entering my information and setting up the computer. They started a little small talk and asked us if we were adopting a boy or girl. I told them "twins, a boy and a girl." Wes jumps in with "Want to see a picture?" He showed them the picture and everything in that room changed! We were all suddenly on a mission together! With the Live Scan, you have to hold your hand/finger on the scanner until if gives you a green light. If it gives you a red light, you have 2 more chances to get a green light or it's over. So, with every green light it was a celebration. With every red, it was a careful re-placement of my hand or finger. Once I passed (green light on everything) they took us to meet the Sargent and told him what we were there for. He was very kind an immediately started to make sure that the prints looked good, everything went through etc. He asked us to wait for a bit so he could try to figure out where my prints were declined previously -by the state or FBI. He made sure my prints were clear enough to go through the state system and didn't get declined again, I guess we'll have to wait and see what happens at the Federal level. We are so thankful for their kindness and all their help!

Some details:
  • ladies, if you ever plan to adopt, start making the men wash dishes & do the cleaning! We were told women often have the hardest time getting a clear print b/c of all the washing, cleaning chemicals, paper handling etc. our ridges wear down! WHO KNEW!
  • If you're confused as to what most of this means, that's ok, so am I!

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