So I needed to complete one more class before my application could be considered and it was not scheduled in Salem until August 16th. I made a few calls and was informed that I could take the class in any county in Oregon. One was being offered on July 27th in Clackamas County. I called and registered and the kind lady gave me directions which I wrote down on a pad of paper. I recall she said take the Clackamas Town Center exit turn left and go to 95th and then make another left and we are the third driveway on the left.
Tuesday came too early because Monday was one of those nights that I didn't sleep well. I went to bed late, then about 1:00 a.m. I heard Luke crying. I got up to check on him and he was having a bad dream, so I talked him through it and stayed with him for a bit. At 3:30 a.m., Isabela called and asked me to turn off her fan because she was cold, then the alarm rang at 6:00 a.m. As I was getting ready to leave, I noticed the pad with the address was not on the desk. Hm? Well, I remembered the directions so I felt pretty confident I would find the place. I was on the road by 7:30 a.m. for a class that started at 9:00 a.m.
First I took what I thought would be a shortcut to the freeway only to encounter road repairs and detours. Then, I haven't been to the Clackamas Town Center in years so I thought it was off highway 5. I took three different exits off the 5, but found no town center at all. I called the town center business office but they didn't open until 10:00 a.m. I called home. Sergio told me the town center was off the 205, not the 5. Great, I still had plenty of time. I took the 205, but saw a sign for Oregon City. What?! I thought I was going the wrong way so I turned around, only to find myself back on the 5. Grrr. Okay, back on the 205 and this time I found the Town Center. It was only 8:40, so I still had 20 minutes and I knew I was really close because I remembered the directions the lady gave me. Only when I turned left off the freeway, there was no 95th street. Maybe she didn't say 95th, maybe she said 103rd? Yikes. I see a Clackamas County Office building, so I park and try to go inside. The building is closed and has a sign that says they've moved. I head to the new building. No one knows what I'm talking about, there are no classes held in that building. Someone suggests I try the training center two blocks down. It's now 8:55. I call the Clackamas County Child Care Division which is where I called to schedule the class, the English message says the office opens at 8:30 a.m., the Spanish message says they open at 9:30 a.m. I'm quickly losing confidence. I leave a message asking someone to call me back with directions. I head over to the training center, no one knows what I'm talking about. Someone suggests I try the Sheriffs office, one block back. I call the office again and leave another message. It's now 9:10 a.m. I go to the Sheriff's office, no luck. As I walk out I see some construction workers across the street. I go ask them. They have no idea, but one fellow has an i-Phone. He types in the name, no luck. He googles the phone number, no luck. We look for 95th street, no luck. They suggest I try on the other side of the freeway. I explain the lady clearly said two lefts, not two rights. It's now 9:30. I call an leave a bit of a frantic message.
The temptation to skip out on the class and head to Nordstroms Rack is strong. I push it aside as I see a car the had a Clackamas County sign on the side. I ask the lady. She has no clue what I'm talking about but gives me directions to the County's Child Protective Services office. I'm on the verge of tears. I call the office again. Again I get their voicemail. It's now 9:45 and I just want to go home. Nordstroms Rack is not the slightest bit appealing at this point. I sit and cry and then gather myself. I start heading home...but then I turn the car around and head in the direction of Child Protective Services. It's a long shot, but I have to give it a try. As I'm turning around, I call the office again.
HALLELUJAH! Someone answered. I'm elated, ecstatic! I explain that I've been lost for an hour and that I know I'm so close. The lady on the other end of the line confirms that I just need to head to the other side of the freeway, but because I missed an hour of class I won't get a certificate of completion. I want to cry again. I tell her, but I've left numerous messages and I drove all the way from Salem. She tells me to head down and that she would talk to the teachers. I find the place in two minutes. I speak with the teacher and we agree that I will stay after to have her go over what I missed. Excellent.
I drink in the two hours that are left feeling ever so grateful that I didn't give up. During the second half of the class we get a new teacher. She ends the class and hands out all the certificates. All except mine. Everyone leaves and there I sit. She smiles and asks if I have a question. I tell her I'm waiting for Sonya to come back to go over what I missed. She smiles and apologizes for giving me bad directions. She goes on to inform me that Sonya had an appointment at 11:00 a.m. and won't be back. "She'll just have to get in touch with you on another day." I smile and thank her. I pick up my things and head in search of the woman who answered the phone. I find her and ask her to help me find Sonya. I follow her around the office and she finally turns to me and says, "You know, I'm just going to go over it with you. I used to teach the class, so I can still issue certificates."
We found a quiet corner and she gave me more information than anyone else got. She gave me tips and contacts. She gave me the skinny on what to say when I need something. She was awesome!
To think I was so ready to give up.