Visiting the Department of Home Affairs almost has the same appeal to me as getting an enema and then a colonoscopy. I have never had a colonoscopy but I can’t imagine that it’s pleasant or pretty. However, this is exactly what hubby and I needed to do a couple of weeks ago. You see, we had to change our surnames for the adoption. So now our surname is a double barrel and we are now officially, on the government’s computer system, known as Pierre LeRoux-DuPisani. It’s a long surname and our poor child will have a very difficult time when he/she first learns to write his/her name. I apologize in advance. Daddy promise to start saving up for your therapy fund so long. But getting our surnames officially crunched into one took us almost five hours. Five hours of my life that I will never get back.
Hubby and I decided to visit the Department of Home Affairs middle December. Our rationale was that most people would have already gone on holiday and that Home Affairs would be quiet. We were wrong and they were busy. Firstly, we had to queue outside in the sweltering heat for an hour before we were eventually allowed into the building and as we turned the corner into their foyer I almost vomited. It smelled like a sewerage pipe had burst and the stench of feces hung thick in the air. I wanted to leave but hubby did not allow me to. Secondly, besides the smell of human excrement, their air-conditioners were also broken and the place was packed to capacity with people. So not only did the place smell like shit it was hot as hell too.
As we got the forms we needed to complete we learned that we also needed to have copies of our passports as well. And as fate would have it these were the only copies we did not have. The information officer nonchalantly told me that we could have copies made outside in a van. Seeing as hubby’s handwriting is much better than mine (his is legible) we decided that he would complete the forms and that I would temporarily escape the smell of poo and have the copies made. I have never had to have copies made by two Nigerians from inside a van that looked like it could double as a kidnapping and drug smuggling vehicle. And I hope to God I never will have to ever again. It was a rather surreal experience and they so overcharged me. Van people are assholes.
After I got the copies I ventured back into the shitty sauna and hubby and I played musical chairs with strangers for a couple of hours. I was appalled when I realized I forgot to bring wet wipes and hand sanitizer and was convinced that I would catch some kind of deadly disease. So when we were eventually called to a counter by a guy with dreadlocks I was relieved as I thought our ordeal was almost over. But it wasn’t. We told Rastafarian dude that we wanted to change our surnames to a double barrel and we needed to also apply for new passports and identity documents with our new surname. We presented him with copies of our identity documents, passports and marriage certificate and that was when his eyes glazed over. I wasn’t sure if it was due to too much marijuana, confusion, the smell of shit hanging in the air or the heat.
Ganja dude then disappeared to seek out his supervisor and we were unwitting spectators to bureaucracy at its best. After what felt like an hour he came back with an irritated looking supervisor who then barked at us “When did you get married? Why didn’t you do this then?” to which my then very annoyed hubby responded “Because we’re adopting and we are doing this now!” The bombastic supervisor gave us the stink eye mumbled something to Dope dude and left. And with a few stokes on the keyboard our surnames were officially changed. Don’t know why dreadlocks needed to call his supervisor for that, but at least it was done. We are now just waiting for our new passports and identity documents and I think I will pay someone to collect it for us.
In other baby news, hubby and I also did some shopping for a stroller and car seats. Do you even know how many different brands are out there? For soon to be new parents this is an overwhelming experience. I mean, you don’t want to buy a car seat that costs more than your car yet you don’t want to buy something that is not 100% save and of good quality. I also never knew that car seats came for different stages. There are car seats from stages 0-3. Also, they don’t rate them by the baby’s age but with weight. So what happens if you have a fat baby and bought the wrong car seat? Luckily Google and my Facebook friends came to the rescue.
After much debate we eventually found the right stroller and a car seat that is perfect and suitable for stages 0 to 3. And it didn’t cost us an arm and a leg. So now we have bought all the big and expensive things. The nursery is completely ready and we are also now set for travel. It is quite a relief that we are this prepared already and that we would not have to scramble after we get “the call”. Being slightly OCD, proactive and a lover of checklist sometimes do come in handy.
So at the moment we are as ready as we can be for the baby. Now we wait. What I found amusing from this experience were people on Facebook’s reactions when we changed our surnames on our accounts. People freaked the fuck out and I don’t know why. After several inboxes I eventually had to explain why we did it and people calmed down. I also had to explain that both hubby and I will still continue using our original surnames professionally and the change of our surname was just a formality so that your child can share the same surname as us. On the plus side, there are only two Pierre LeRoux-DuPisani’s on Facebook and it’s us. Don’t we feel special…
Till next time.