Monday, September 27, 2010

Update! Sleepy Baby

I had asked our agency if they would be able to get an update for us for packing purposes. I also asked them to let the SWI know that we would be calling her Cara.

The response was so funny. According to the SWI, she is "old" so she doesn't grow (she's 3). And they could pass on to the nannies that we will be calling her Cara, but since they don't know English, that probably won't work. Too funny! They sent us this picture and the exact same document with the exact same weight/measurements that they sent us the first week of July. We think she's just perfect!

We also received our I800A and I800 updated approval in the mail today. Now, all I need to do is make sure they are at the NVC and forwarded to the Consulate in Guangzhou. Things seem to be coming together nicely!

Sunday, September 26, 2010

Our Intinerary!

We received the travel packet from our agency on Friday and our itinerary looks like this:
10/8 Leave US for Beijing
10/9 Beijing flight to Shanghai. Free time.
10/10 Free day in Shanghai
10/11 Gotcha Day!
10/12 Adoption Registration
10/13 Optional city tour
10/14 Optional city tour
10/15 Leave Shanghai for Guangzhou
10/16 Adoption physical
10/17 Free time
10/18 TB test checked
10/19 Consulate Appt
10/20 Go to U.S. Consulate to take the oath
10/21 Receive visa packet
10/22 Go home!

Lots of packing and planning to do in the next two weeks. Meanwhile, our updated I800A and revised I800 still are not at the Consulate. My fingerprints came back as unclassifiable (USCIS officer waited 8 days to let me know). I had to go back to the Dept. of Homeland Security in Yakima and BEG them to reprint me. Good thing our neighbor works there! Thanks, neighbor! Prints were cleared, but when my husband called our USCIS officer to make sure she was going to approve our supplement 3 and issue a new I800A with a new fingerprint expiration date and an updated I800 and forward them to NVC, her response was, "You never asked for that." Huh? Are you kidding me? Well, J called back and talked to our officer's supervisor. Now our new I800A and updated I800 are supposedly in the mail and have been forwarded to the NVC. However, we still do not have those documents in our possession. Looks like its going to go down to the wire on our paperwork!

Sunday, September 19, 2010

Fingerprint Update and More

Here's B after his football game on Saturday. His team won 25-0. They won the championship last year so I'm predicting an undefeated season for them again this year. I tried to get a picture of him playing, but all I could get was the ref's butt so this pic will have to do.
Last Monday, Sept 13th we walked in to get fingerprinted. We were printed, went home, scanned the stamped letter and sent it off to our agency. The adoption agency had a Consulate Appointment for us by Tuesday morning. Our appointment is on October 19th, so we were excited and relieved that everything worked out. J has been working on getting our airline tix. Can you say EXPENSIVE!?! It's almost $1500 per person. That's the best we could do. Oh well, I'm just happy it all worked out. Now we only have one more potential hang-up. Our new prints have to be at the Consulate prior to our appointment. As of Friday, Sept 17th, our I800A extension was on our USCIS officer's desk, but had not yet been approved. This paperwork needs to be approved, sent to the National Visa Center, and cabled to Guangzhou before our appointment, which is one month from today. It seems like a lot of people's paperwork has been bogged down in the system lately, so while one month should be sufficient time, it's still a situation that needs to be monitored closely.
We have my sister lined up to house sit while we're gone, so we should have someone at home pretty much 24/7. Next weekend I think we'll start to pack. We still need to get some baby things. We don't have baby wash, lotion, diapers, children's medicine, bottles, etc. Stuff that's pretty essential. Oh well, it will all come together in time, I'm sure of it!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Resolution, Maybe?

So after trying to get our agency to help us and basically being told by both our agency and USCIS officer that fingerprints are issued out of a queue and no one can control it, I turned to our Senators and US Representative. I emailed Doc Hastings' office Thursday night and faxed both Senator Patty Murray and Maria Cantwell's offices Friday morning. Doc Hastings' office had a fingerprint appointment scheduled for me by 3:oo pm on Friday. How's that for service??!? Still haven't heard from either Senator's office. I did, however, email both offices again today and let them know I had a fingerprint appointment scheduled so they didn't spend time working on it when it's already done. I also stated in my emails that I may be contacting them later this week about a Consulate Appointment. My trust with the agency is pretty weak at this point and I'm not sure I can trust them to get me a Consulate Appointment within the time frame they gave me last Thursday. We'll see. When my husband spoke with the agency last Wednesday, they told him all we needed was the fingerprint letter stamped by the Dept. of Homeland Security saying our biometrics had been taken. That letter along with our current fingerprint approval should be sufficient to schedule a Consulate Appointment. We will have prints done tomorrow morning. I will scan and send the letter to our agency and hopefully they will immediately fax the Consulate to get us an appointment. Keep your fingers crossed for me!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Bittersweet TA

TA came today, but I'm having a hard time enjoying it. One of the travel ladies emailed today that our TA came and gave us 2 options for travel. I emailed back quickly that either option would be fine, but of course, we would prefer the earlier option.

She then emailed back that she was unable to request a consulate appointment because our fingerprints will expire on 10/13/10 and asked if we had been reprinted. I told her no, not yet, but that our paperwork to get reprinted was in the system. Her response was along the lines of, well sorry, try to get a quick appointment, I'll check back tomorrow.

Here's my frustration (also see previous post): I asked my agency back in June what we needed to do to get fingerprint renewal. I got transferred to the waiting child department, who told me they didn't know what I should do and that I should talk to travel. I asked travel and they said I should wait until I got I800 approval and ask our USCIS officer. Our officer said we needed a homestudy update plus a supplement 3 and 2 supplement 2's to get a reprint appointment. Fine, got that done and all of our stuff was sent to immigration on 8/24/10.

Bottom line, if our agency would have just answered my question and told me what to do on June 21st when I asked, I would have been reprinted by now. Instead, I can't get my agency to request a consualte appointment for me because my prints will expire soon. So I ask you, whose fault is this?

I just want to cry when I should be celebrating. Let's hope tomorrow is a better day.

Monday, September 6, 2010

TA, Please!

We are still waiting on travel approval. I hope it comes sometime this week. I love 3 day weekends, don't get me wrong, but in this particular case when you're waiting for something it's torture! I sent off everything for our I800A renewal. It was confusing because none of the boxes to check fit our exact situation so I wasn't quite sure what to put. I emailed our USCIS officer and asked our questions. She got back to me quickly and told me exactly what to mark. When I sent in our paperwork, I included a copy of our email exchange. My husband sent it FedEx and it arrived at the lockbox on August 29th. I'm crossing my fingers for a quick fingerprint appointment so we can get approved quickly. I do not want our travel delayed due to lack of immigration approval.

Meanwhile, as a family we've done 5 canners of tomatoes, 2 canners of peaches, and this morning we will do a canner of pears. There should be plenty in this house to feed a 3 year old this fall and winter! A and B don't like canned fruit. I usually just do 1 canner of peaches for B, but there's still a jar left over from last year. I was out of practice for doing extensive canning.

I will post again once we get travel approval, until then I will keep on impatiently waiting.