1. There is a $7 parking fee to get into the building. We are from a small town. Pay to park? What's that? Isaac was completely puzzled at how it could COST MONEY to park a car! He went on and on about it all day. "What about that car? Do they have to pay to park there? How about that one?!?" Oy.
2. We got to walk through a metal detector. If you think the "Pay to Park" topic captivated my Isaac, you should have heard him go on and on about weapons in the building! "But what if someone hid a knife inside their boots? And then said it was just the rivets on his boots making the wand beep? But what if someone threw a knife over the metal detector? But what if someone has metal fillings in his teeth? But what if . . . " Yeah. And then the whole "But why would someone bring a knife into this building? What would they do with it? Cub Scouts have pocket knives. Dad, why did you have to leave your pocket knife in the car?" etc. etc. etc . . . . Isaac is so innocent. He could not think of a reason why a knife would not be allowed.
3. They don't actually open the fingerprinting window until 8 a.m. In case you are planning on walking in to the Seattle office, you might as well get an extra hour of sleep. Being there at 7 did us no good.
4. Nobody smiles at the USCIS office. It is a VERY SERIOUS place!
5. We were the minority in the building, being so very white and English-speaking.
6. Other people's kids are a lot better at being quiet and sitting still for two hours than mine!
7. They may tell you that chances are slim of your fingerprints being processed if you walk in early. They may point to the sign that says, "If you are here on a day other than your scheduled appointment day, please reschedule your appointment." They may frown and shake their heads. They may listen to your impassioned plea with a blank look of official purpose on their faces and then politely direct you to the waiting area. They may make you wait and wait, wondering, with your stomach tied up in knots . . .
8. They take pity on people who walk in and beg to be fingerprinted! After about an hour, they managed to squeeze us in, and then we were in and out in about ten minutes!
We love those serious, official people at our USCIS office!
When we got back outside, Josiah ran outside, arms spread wide, and yelled, "Outside!" He was so delighted to get out of that clean, quiet, serious building! Yeah, he's a country boy. Not so big on being cooped up indoors! He seemed surprised that it was still light outside. He asked, "Is it almost bedtime?" It was not quite 10 a.m.
Then, to make the day not quite so boring for our sweet kids, we decided to ride a ferry boat over to Bremerton and back! This was their first time on a ferry boat, and they were so excited! They explored every inch of that boat!
Cool, breezy sea air, seagulls swooping, beautiful scenery, the gentle lap of waves, giggling skipping kids stomping in puddles on the ferry deck, and one giant step closer to getting two sweet brothers home . . .
What's not to love?