I *heart* efficiency. I value work well done and quickly. I greatly appreciate an employee at any level of status or pay who provides a good service, a quick step and a polite smile. Whether it’s my doctor or the man who pumps my gas–equally appreciated. I haven’t been feeling a lot of efficiency lately. And, in fairness, I’ve let the efficiency ball drop myself a couple of times.

As I have mentioned, we are in the paperwork half of our Home Study, which is the first step, the foundation being laid for the rest of the adoption, the information that will be sent to both the US and Thai governments. There are approximately 13 complicated hoops to jump through before we can begin our extensive interviews and home inspections with a social worker. We are on hoop 13.5 and are hitting some serious snags!

Hoop #13: Have your doctor fill out a form saying he has examined you within the last 6 months, and you are healthy, without disease or serious illness, and specifically that you have been tested and are free of HIV and TB. Easy enough, right? Wrong.

-Within days of applying for adoption, we were told to make an appointment with our general practitioner. He must happen to be the most popular doc in town, because neither of us could get in for a physical until mid-April. A little bummer, but OK. We had everything else done and turned in, just waiting for those appointments.

-Called doc’s office ahead of time to see if we could get TB and HIV tests prior to appointments, he said no. He’d like to see us, then have a reason to refer test orders.

-I went to my appointment. Doc was great and totally willing to fill out form and additional letter he has to write and sign for the dossier. Told me he would order/refer HIV & TB tests for me. I told doc and nurse that our insurance is better at the hospital (where Trent works) so could I have the work done there? Yes.

-Nurse says “Here’s the order for your blood work. Do you want to carry it?” I say, “Sure!” She says “You know, do you just want me to fax it to the hospital lab for you?” “Why not!” I say. Note to reader: Always hand carry the order. ALWAYS!

Next day, go to the hospital lab with 2 children in tow. Talk to 2 different employees and wait 15 minutes to find they never received a faxed order for my work. Employee calls doc’s office. Nurses and docs at doc’s office are all very busy and will fax it within an hour. I decide would rather draw my own blood with a straw than wait an hour in a busy waiting room with 2 squirrelly kids and no stroller or form of containment. Agree to come back the next day.

-On my way back the next day, call the lab (with my hands-free device, of COURSE) to make sure they did, in fact, receive the faxed lab order from my doctor. Yes, they did. And I’ve been fasting for 12 hours, right? WHA?! No, I haven’t been fasting! Oh, well, you can’t get this blood work done, then. Strike 2.

-The next day, go back a THIRD time, making sure that I’ve fasted, I have a stroller for at least one child and that my lab order is ready. Check, check and check. Get in, get needle stuck in me, ask who will be doing my TB test. Am told they don’t do TB tests in the lab. You have to make an appointment with the skin specialist department. Sorry. Grrrrrrrr….

-Get distracted with life and don’t call for 3 days to make an appointment. Call skin department at hospital to make an appointment for a TB test. Am told they only do TB tests for people who almost definitely have TB and will then be treated at hospital. Am I pretty sure I have TB? Uh, seriously consider saying yes, but tell the truth with a kind and pitiful tone in my voice. Employee does take pity and says she’ll call employee health (where my husband will be getting his TB test for free, but where they do not offer TB tests for spouses) and she will ask for a favor.

-Get a call several hours later. No, sorry, no TB test available for me at the hospital. At all. Ever. Go back to your general practitioner.

-Call general practitioner, whose office I was sitting in approximately 10 days ago, where I could have had a TB test with zero wait, but went on a wild goose chase around the health care system of S@lem instead. First appointment available with a nurse to give me TB test is in one week. At 8am. Made appointment for 8am.

-Will go to appointment, then truck back to the office 2 days later with the children to have a nurse or someone look at my test site and say that I do not have TB.

-Will wait (patiently? not sure) for information on TB to travel from one side of office to the other side so doc himself can check on the form: no TB. Will also wait for blood results to go from hospital to the doc’s office, and then from the mail/computer to the doc himself so he can check: no HIV.

-Will wait for doctor to sign form, give it to assistant to mail to me, because due to patient rights, he must send it to me, not straight to my adoption agency.

-Will get forms in mail, put in a new envelope with a new stamp and mail to my adoption agency, where I will (hopefully) get a call from wonderful agent or assistant that hoop #13 has been completed and we can schedule our interviews with the social worker.

Are you exhausted? Me too a little. And this is all for just one teeny little checkmark on a long list, and the list itself is still only Step #1 in our adoption process! Yikes! But I think it’s all good practice for developing the stamina and patience it’s going to take to prepare ourselves for our kiddo. And then? We start a whole new level of inefficiency called: the adventures of parenting.