Adoption may or may not be the best process to go through for those of you who fear Big Brother or occassionally scan the skies for black helicopters. On the one hand, we have had to give our agency, Catholic Charities, and the Guatemalan governemtn a great deal of personal information about ourselves. They will be storing it for who knows how long. Children, it seems, are not just handed out to anyone. At first, this certainly made me a little uneasy. Not because I have something to hide, but because maybe someday I will be important enough to have something to hide. I like to keep my options open.
On the other hand, there are some bright spots for conspiracy theorists. For example, after going through the fingerprinting process, I feel strangely more at ease. You see, part of completing our initial paperwork involves getting fingerprinted four times! And, for some reason, we can't be fingerprinted at the same place. We have been fingerprinted three different places and tomorrow we have to travel to Chicago to be fingerprinted there.
That's right! Even in a post-9-11 U.S.A., our governmental agencies aren't coordinated enough to even have a common database for fingerprints, much less information on your job, family, and what plans you may or may not have to conquer the world.
All that to say, for those of you who live in fear of some sort of ruthlessly efficient government watchdog (a la Minority Report) you can put those fears to rest. Trust me, after working with these governmental entitities, that is simply unfeasible. Here is a sample conversation I had during my third fingerprinting session with one of the employees at the sheriff's office downtown:
- Her (after inking up my left hand and getting each finger's print): OK, now let me have your left hand.
- Me (looking confused, but giving her me left hand again): Um, here.
- Her: No, your left hand!
- Me (pretending to think hard about it): I'm pretty sure this is my left hand.
- Her: Oh, oops, I just ruined the form your wife waited an hour on the phone to have mailed to you via another example of our ruthlessly efficient government, the US Postal Service, which for some reason decided to not deliver your mail for several days last week because, as they explained, they never bothered to check their records to see when they should be delivering mail to you [true story].
- Me (smiling really big): That's OK.
So rest at ease, all you conspiracy theorists...we're in good hands!
Of course, maybe that's just what they want me to think....