Today I herded the four kids into the car and took off for the City Clerk's office. Auburn first, then Lewiston. Birth certificate day! The goal was to come home with multiple (18 total, to be exact) copies of birth certificates for John and the kids.
Auburn went well. The kids were minimally rowdy and got lots of compliments on their behavior from the very friendly staff. Ilse and Dawson did their adorable thing, and Sophia read aloud to Jude, so by the time we left we had made fast friends.
Then we headed to Lewiston. And I should have known to start praying for patience when we got in the front door and saw the giant flight of stairs to be climbed. Anyone who has ever tried to climb stairs with an 18 pound baby in a car seat and 2 year old holding your hand knows what I'm talking about. When hauling an infant carrier it's best to get to your destination quickly. Especially a baby the size of a one year old. Holding Dawson's hand makes that completely impossible.
We finally made it to the top of the stairs and headed for the Clerk's window. Which is the first window in a VERY long wide hallway, perfect for running if you are 7, 5, and 2. I handed over my paperwork for John's birth certificate while trying to ignore the wild children racing to the other end of the hallway. Perhaps everyone wouldn't figure out they were mine??
"I need a copy of your marriage license."
Here's where I started to kick myself.
You see, at the very beginning of this whole thing my sister said that I would need a zippered three-ring binder for all of our adoption paperwork, and to take it EVERYWHERE with me. But since I obviously knew better, I left the binder at home today. I had the form all filled out along with a copy of John's license, so why drag four kids AND a big binder around?
Because then when the City Clerk asks for your marriage license you will have it.
I tried to get around it.
"He signed the paper. AND I gave you a copy of his driver's license. Isn't that enough?"
No. No, it was not.
It was right about then that the steam started to pour out of my ears. And then the clerk offered to mail the birth certificates.
"You can mail them, but not give them to me? Even though the address on my drivers license is the same as my husband's?"
I asked her to wait while I conferred with John .... would he rather come by the office to pick them up today at lunch or tomorrow before work?
"If he comes tomorrow I can't prepare the birth certificates until he gets here. They have to be prepared the same day they are picked up."
Lunchtime it was.
Lesson learned. When Kristin says to take your binder everywhere, TAKE THE BINDER EVERYWHERE.
There were no compliments on my children's behavior at the Lewiston City Clerk's office. There was far too much running and shouting for that. But I didn't lose my temper at the grouchy clerk (and she didn't lose her temper at the grouchy mom), we all survived, and John's birth certificates will arrive home tonight. When they do I will slip them into their sheet protector in my binder. And when asked for my husband's birth certificate I will smile and say, "Of course! It's right here."