Sunday, December 03, 2006

And the fun just contiues...

When the mail came on Friday I was beyond ecstatic when I saw an envelope from the USCIS in Cleveland. If you remember we had to re-apply for our I171H which expires on December 18th. If you don't have your consulate appointment in Guangzhou by that date, can just go home without your baby!

We had been told by the agency to fill out another I600A and send it to USCIS with a check, MINUS the money for fingerprints since we had them redone in August. We did what our agency told us to do and in less than a week we received a BIG manila envelope from USCIS with all of our documents returned to us saying that we owed them money for fingerprints. We never even THOUGHT of calling the agency to ask them what to do. We just assumed it was a government agency not realizing that this was a renewal and whoever was looking at our paperwork didn't want to look up our case number. SO! We made a copy of our amended I171H which states very clearly that our fingerprints are good until November of 2007 and sent everything back to USCIS.

Shortly after we mailed it off for the second time, all heck broke loose on the boards AND at our agency. It seems a lot of people were getting their paperwork back from the Cleveland USCIS and were having to pay and be fingerprinted FOR A THIRD TIME. The agency was no help whatsoever. They basically told us to expect to get our papers kicked back to us yet again and expect to pay the fingerprinting fee AND be refingerprinted for the third time. They advised their other clients to pay the fee and be refingerprinted a third time...without contacting the USCIS and asking them what was going on. Well guess what? All the USCIS needs is A COPY OF YOUR AMENDED I171H to prove to them that your fingerprints are current. It is SO wonderful to do something that your gut tells you is right even when your agency tells you something different.

SO! Back to last Friday. There sat that little...notice I said LITTLE...not big old manila envelope...but a little envelope from the USCIS in Cleveland. I tore into that sucker like a kid on Christmas morning. I mean, we got our referral the day before and now here was our brand new I171H which gives us permission to adopt her and bring her home!


They can't process our request because...are you ready? THEY DON'T HAVE OUR HOME STUDY. Ok...we were told on November 7th by OUR agency that it had been sent. This means either THE AGENCY is lying, it was lost by the postal service, it was lost by the USCIS, or it fell through the wardrobe and is living happily somewhere in Narnia.

Garry called the agency on Friday and was told that the person he needed to speak to was away from her desk. He left a message on her voicemail...which by the way stated that she is there until 5:30 on Friday's. She didn't return his call. He called back at 5:00 and was told she had left for the day. I am ready to go up there and start SHAKING people! GET YOUR ACT TOGETHER!!! YOU ARE SCREWING WITH PEOPLE'S LIVES!!!!

Ok, I'm going to go back to gazing at my beautiful Claire's face. It is impossible to be upset AND look at that silly little smile.

Until next time...

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