Wednesday, August 11, 2010
A Name and a Promise (Part 1 of 3): Guest Blogger Diana DePriest
As we sat across from Ethan’s birth mother (who I’ll call “G”) and her mom that December evening, it was almost as though you could hear life clicking into place. She had asked us to parent her unborn child and we had excitedly agreed. We had asked God to drop it in our laps if adoption was our will for us, and He very clearly had.
After G and her mom spent a few more days we said farewell at the airport and hit the ground running. The baby was due in just over 2 months and we had a lot to do.
We had an acquaintance at church who was an adoption attorney. We hired her and she helped us get the adoption ball rolling by finding a Christian agency that we could begin our certification and home study through.
There were so many things to do, fingerprinting and child proofing, we had to get CPR certified and First-Aid trained. We moved the cleaners and locked up the medications. We measured the temperature of the water out of every spigot and made sure nothing was wrapped in foil in our fridge (yes, it was a particular of our agency.)
It was a lot of work but thinks all went pretty smoothly, and we passed all the obstacles quickly, except one. There was a glitch with Neal’s fingerprints. When they sent them off to the Department of Justice, they came back with a hit from circa 1986. To my knowledge Neal had never had any trouble with the law, but the DOJ report refused to clear him.
When I went to Neal, he knew exactly what the hit was for. A dumb kid of 16 with his only real run-in with the law. He was never formally charged with the crime, but as a kid he and his buddy went on a “beer run,” which in layman’s terms means, he shoplifted a six pack. And when the police came after him he and his fellow idiot friend ran from the cops. By the time the policeman caught him he was mad, and he wanted to teach Neal a lesson.
Perhaps a believer in the “scare them straight” mentality the police man decided to teach young Neal a lesson, and put him through the booking process while he waited for his mom to come and pick him up. As part of that process, he fingerprinted Neal and he landed in the system. Of course it was until some 14 years later that any of us had any idea about it.
Perhaps you are thinking, “They are supposed to expunge his records! He was a minor!” Well, that’s what we thought to, but instead they had simply sealed the records, which was a red flag for the DOJ. They could not unseal them to assume our agency he wasn’t a murderer or a child molester, even though he had never even been charged with a crime, much less convicted of one.
So our attorney friend began the process of trying to have the record unsealed and we were assured it would take no time at all to straighten things out. So we just continued to jump through the hoops place before us and waited for the DOJ to catch up.
Diana DePriest is wife for nearly 20 years to Neal, and mom to Jacob, 16, Ethan, 9, and Victoria, 8. Since giving her life to Christ in 1992, she has served in various ministries, including pro-life, post-abortion, women’s and youth ministries. With a passion for the Lord and her gift in writing she has been an avid blogger since 2008 when she felt the Lord called her to it as a new avenue of ministry. She writes regularly about her faith (http://dianalovestowrite.blogspot.com/) and her family (http://depriestdays.blogspot.com/)