They say that if it can go wrong, it will. I must be a secret optimist, because I am rarely prepared for anything to go wrong. And if it does, I am always convinced it can be fixed at the last minute. Hopefully, for my own sake, I am right.

Last week we received our approval from the US immigration office to proceed with our adoption. After six weeks of waiting, I was more then ready to proceed. So after 2 days of visiting what seemed like every courthouse and police department known to man, I had my documents ready for the State authentication. This is done at the Secretary of State’s election division in the middle of downtown Atlanta.

Normally I would wait for a day that David could go with me, because not only am I a complete blonde when it comes to navigating Atlanta’s one way streets, but I am too small to fight off any “would be” attackers and too nice to not give my life savings away to the tragic amount of homeless people. But when I am ready to get something completed, it is hard to talk myself out of it. So off I went this morning to lessen the days that my child will wait for her family.

All was well until I got off at the Hill St. exit. It suddenly occurred to me (somehow it hadn’t before… I don’t really think things out all that well sometimes) that I would need to park my car somewhere where it wouldn’t get towed in downtown. Easier said then done… especially on a Monday at lunch time. Panic welled up in my chest as I found myself on one street after another trying not to get hit, not to hit anyone, not to go down a one way street, and to find a public parking lot that wasn’t a mile from the Capitol or in the shady part of an alley. I finally decided on one off of Pryor street…hey, at least I could see the Capitol from there. I got out and started walking toward what I thought was my destination. Six blocks and 10 street crossings later, I was covered in sweat and walking up the steps of the Capitol building. A kind security officer informed me that my journey was not yet over because the building that I needed was further down the street. Hmmm…all I can say is never pray that God will start giving you opportunity to get your exercise in throughout the day…He don’t play!

I finally arrived at the Floyd West Tower and ventured up to the 8th floor where the office I needed was located. The first thing that the lady that helped me said was that there was a problem with the birth certificate that I was providing for David and that I would have to visit the Vital Records office in Decatur for another one. I almost laughed. Instead I prayed….”God, if there is any way that You can get me out of going to Decatur today, please, please do it!” Well, the answer was a big fat “no” :). I guess I needed more exercise. So I got 15 of my docs authenticated and then headed back to my car six blocks away.

Now I will say a complete miracle happened today…if you know anything about me and anywhere in Atlanta, you will know that for me not to get fully and completely lost, is pretty much a miracle, especially since I had to find I-85 N to get to Decatur. I won’t tell you how many times I turned around or went down the wrong street, but finally I was on the right interstate and eventually in Decatur.

The vital records office in Decatur is actually hidden within an apartment complex, which was completely confusing, but nonetheless I found it and walked in…to a waiting room of people no less. I was given a form to fill out and told that I need cash to pay for it. The only method of payment that I was not prepared for. I took the form and told the lady that I would be right back. She didn’t seem to care if I was or not. I drove up to a gas station and went ahead and filled my tank so there was no chance that I would get stranded in Atlanta (that “58 miles left” goes quick when you have to renavigate streets). Then I went in to use the ATM…”out of service”…of course it was. As I exited to find another gas station, I spotted a Quick trip right up the street… it almost looked like the pearly gates at that particular moment, what a great gas station QT is! I finally got the money I needed and drove back to the vital records office. Within about 20 minutes, I had the birth certificate and was on my way back to Atlanta.

Now I completely know what Paul was talking about when he said to be “constant in prayer”. And as I got off on the right exit and entered the right parking garage, I thought that God must be finally saying “yes”. I changed my mind when it took me just as long to find my way out of the parking garage and across the street to the Floyd West building, as it did when I parked on Pryor St. I was starting to feel the exhaustion as I entered the 8th floor office again, but thankfully within 5 minutes, the form was authenticated and I was on my way home. Or so I thought… I found a short cut from the building into the wrong parking garage. Then it took me 15 minutes to realize I was in the wrong parking garage. And remember all this is going on in 100 degree heat. Finally I find the right parking garage, but I can’t find my car. I am literally wandering through this parking garage wondering if I will ever see my family again. The only way I finally did find my car was to go back down to the entrance and follow the arrows on the concrete until I spotted it. Whew! Ordeal over! NOT! How blonde can I possibly be? I didn’t know until today. I drove around in a few circles and finally found the exit… then I got on the freeway going the wrong way and had to turn around a few times. Somehow eventually I was back in Conyers.

About now this story is getting really long, so you are very welcome to stop reading if you would like. I would actually prefer it. But I find myself needing to get the entire thing out on paper.

So I make my way back into town and decide to go ahead and finish this paperwork stuff and get it out to the consulate. I know I should have had the good sense to go home, but when I start something there is a drive in me to finish it. So I stop at the bank and then by QT to pick up the money orders that I need, then I head to David’s office, because I have to make copies of ALL of the documents before I send them off. This was all fairly uneventful besides the fact that it took over an hour, I had to empty the shredder and made a mess (sorry, mom) and the ink in the copier decided to run low. Finally I got them all done and headed over to Office Max to send them off FedEx. As I am walking into Office Max, the FedEx truck is pulling away from the building not to return until tomorrow at 5:30pm. Shouldn’t have emptied that shredder, I would have made it…Or not. It took 45 minutes and 3 different employees to try to figure out how to send a prepaid return envelope with my docs and even then noone came up with an answer. I finally told them to just ship the packages and I would figure out how to get them back to me later…once again last minute optimism.

I am in my car, finally headed home when I remember as I pass Kroger that tomorrow is Nathan’s birthday and I need to send treats to school. The dreaded grocery store was a must visit. I chuckled out loud as I started pushing my cart… there was something wrong with the wheels and it was probably the loudest one in existence. Fortunately for me, I could care less… I grabbed my items and headed for the checkout… the only one with an old man arguing about his Kroger card balance.

No, I certainly did not catch many breaks today. But as I sit here, finally home, with documents on their way to the consulates in Houston and on track to know who my daughter is in less then a month from now, I cannot help but laugh inside and be very thankful for the adventure of life. I am completely exhuasted, but this country girl made it home safe and sound in time to updater her blog :). Night, everyone!