Friday, March 24, 2017

The Bureaucratic Machine Has Taken Over

We have been waiting all week.

For one lonely piece of paper.

In the entire scheme of things it's pretty insignificant.

We will look back on this moment in time and will remember it is as a moment of frustration but will also be able to observe it with the perspective that only the passing of time gives us.

Each day I have called the office that holds our paper hostage.  No person answers the phone. That would be too easy. Instead I pour my heart into an answering machine. Pleading for mercy to an inanimate object that could care less. Hoping that someone on the other end will push the button and care.

After days of talking to the answering machine I realized I had two choices. I could pray that the person listening on the other end will do something, or I could forget the answering machine and find someone in that building who will answer the phone.

I chose the latter. I went on the website and hunted and looked and finally I found another number. 

This time I got a real live person. Someone who cared. Someone who listened.  Someone who was rather embarrassed that I had been trying for days on end to reach a person in their department.

Within just a few minutes of talking to a real live person I learned that my paperwork had never made it.  I was dead in the water and didn't even realize it. We would have sat and sat and talked to a mindless answering machine for the next century without any response. 

Thankfully, the person on the other end of the phone kindly forwarded me to the person who does clearances.  And in a matter of minutes I was able to send our paperwork directly to her.

And just like that our moment in time has passed. Our home study should be merrily on its way next week to immigration and then we will wait again. And we will pray. And we will go through the frustration that is inevitable when you wait and wonder and wait some more. Because we are at the point in this process when little is in our control anymore.  The bureaucratic machine has taken over. We are at its mercy.

That's why we pray.

And that's why we make nuisances of ourselves by making calls and talking to machines and being persistent.

Because at the end of it all a little one waits.  Her waiting is very different than ours. Her waiting is the quiet, lonely longing of an orphan hoping that someone out there in the entire world would love her best of all.  Her waiting involves the endless days of the life of an orphan. Her waiting is real waiting. Ours sees the end and we anticipate with joy and trembling. Hers is dreary and sad.

We wait and we fight and we make obnoxious telephone calls and we talk to answering machines and we go through every single hoop required of us because we know that our waiting will end her waiting.

And that makes it all worthwhile.

“Forget the former things;
    do not dwell on the past.
See, I am doing a new thing!
    Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the wilderness
    and streams in the wasteland."

1 comment:

  1. So glad you persisted and got a real live human being who could help you cut through some of the endless red tape! I hope the rest of Mary's adoption journey goes smoothly - and swiftly.

    Best wishes - hope I can see you and the boys - and Mary, too, if we're all lucky! - at the RR reunion next summer!

    Susan in Kentucky
    Cousin to 2 from U.


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