on friday of this past week, nolan and i took a quick trip to the la county recorder's office to (finally) get his birth certificate. i actually filled out the application (that was sent home with us from the hospital) some time last year...then a month ago, i actually wrote a check with the intention of sending it off in the mail. that plan, however failed when i realized if i mailed it, i had to take it to a notary first...so...a field trip. i had no idea it would be a field trip with such a roller coaster of emotion!
RELIEF: i had dreaded going, figuring it was going to be far away and we would have to wait in a big long line--dmv style. instead, i was pleasantly surprised. it took me maybe 20 minutes to get there and probably less than 10 minutes from the time i walked in the building to the time i returned to my car, birth certificate in hand! the gal at the counter said it is normally much busier than it was, so we must have had luck on our side. (we also found free parking a short, sunny walk away! nice!)
FEAR: we walked in the building and i had to go through security, which for some reason always makes me nervous...like i'm hiding some knife that i don't know about or something...i know...weird. made it through just fine, no stowaway knives and i didn't even have to take the baby out of the ergo...sweet!
JOY: up the elevator to level six...recorder's office. in the area just outside of the elevator there were two brides! all gussied up in white dresses and flashy shoes taking pictures with their bridesmaids, family, etc. at first, this struck me as odd...then i thought..."why odd?" just because it is at the courthouse doesn't make it any less special! after that brief confusion was sorted out, i felt like i was getting to participate in their weddings...and i got that warm all over, lovey-dovey feeling you get when you are in the presence of love and the beginning of a new life together.
REFLECTION: i continued on my way, through the doors and into line. a sign above the window stated what types of business could be done there. it read, "birth, marriage, death"...there it was, all on one sign, three of the most important things in life...quite possibly, the three most important. it made me think of how much of a part of peoples' lives the lady behind the desk is. i'm not sure she felt that way. ;)
EXCITEMENT: i'm up. i handed the lady our application and credit card (oddly, they don't take visa...weird. discover, yes. american expresss, yes. visa, no...hmmm...), paid $19, signed the receipt and suddenly my baby was certifiably born (13.5 months after his first entry into the world).
HEARTBREAK: i thought it a good idea to step to the side and read it over to make sure everything was accurate. then, my heart broke. the very top of the certificate it says, "certificate of live birth". i immediately thought of our sweet sofia and how we never were able to get her a birth certificate. not 13.5 months late, not ever. merely a certificate of death. i held back my tears and walked out the door thankful for the life i was holding.