Sunday, July 02, 2006

Evidently the USCIS is trying to drive me insane

I was doing a happy dance on Friday because husband sent me a text message during my all-day-long CLE (continuing legal education class) that we had received a "favorable notice" from the USCIS.

(And who wouldn't be doing a happy dance to receive ANY KIND of communication from the outside world, when one is listening to a lecture on the impact of the bankruptcy reform law of 2005 on divorce law in Ohio. I think the fact that I managed to stay awake through that is astonishing in and of itself.)

However, when I got home from my SIX HOUR LECTURE, I found that my I171H form from the USCIS was marked,

1.."Your advance processing application is being retained at this office. You must file form I-824 when you want this petition forwarded to an American consulate abroad."

I was under the impression that it was SUPPOSED TO be marked:

3. "Your advance processing application has been forwarded to the American Consulate or Embassy at HANOI, VIETNAM." WHICH IT WAS NOT. NOT AT ALL.

I freaked out and called my agency because I really thought that this WAS NOT RIGHT AT ALL.

The person at my agency who deals with paperwork questions was out. The person who was there, L~, looked at two other families files, and then asked, "is this your I171H form, or your I171 form?"

"I said, it's the H form, the preapproval form."

"Why are you only just now getting this form? Didn't you submit your application as soon as your homestudy was done?" L~ asks me, politely, but, making me feel like I am falling down in my responsibility to file things quickly.

"Yes, I submitted it April 11, as soon as the homestudy was done, but, we only just got this. They didn't even fingerprint us until last week." I said. L~ makes a sound under her breath like the USCIS is not her favorite entity on the planet, but, maybe she just had a frog in her throat.

L~ asks me to scan the document and email it to her so she can look at it. She calls me back about 10 minutes later and tells me she thinks it is okay, because we will file our I600 form here in the US before we travel, and that form I171 will specify Hanoi, and will specify an approval of Lana specifically. She says she feels "reasonably confident' it is okay, but that she will check with D~ or R~ when they return to the office on the 5th. (I then proceeded to ask her, in a kind of pathetic and pleading voice, if she saw my daughter while she was in Vietnam. She asked me who my daughter was. (Somehow, I found this question painful. Is she dealing with so many families and so many children that she has to be reminded whose child is whose?) So, I said, "N~ T~ Bich Lan in DaNang." She was quiet for a second. And then she said, "Oh, Bich Lan, " in a completely different pronounciation of the word Bich, which, evidently, is not pronounced BITCH in Vietnamese, "no, I didn't see Bich Lan. She lives with a very good foster family. I concentrated on seeing children in the orphanages, I only had so much time in each city, and we needed to concentrate on the institutionalized children." I understood that, but, somehow I was SO DISAPPOINTED. I wanted her to say, "I saw her and she was laughing and happy." I realize I am being unreasonable...but, I wanted to hear the voice of someone who has seen my child recently...yes, I know, I should have some cheese with that whine.)

Anyway, back to the problem at hand with the I171H form, I'm just wondering if our agency is unique in having us file the I600 before travel. I don't know what to think, and if it is a problem or not, and I guess I won't know for sure until D~ or R~ are back in the office...

At any rate, I'm still ticked at th USCIS since my application clearly stated that I wanted the approval sent to Hanoi, and I cannot believe they screwed it up...how hard can it be???

That's all for now.

LM

1 Comments:

Blogger -Jenny said...

Hey-You have to file a I-600a to even be considered to adopt internationally by the US Gov. If you didn't they wouldn't allow the baby into the country. Your 171h is essentially her Visa to get into the US and become a citizen. This is something that is done for all international adoptions. (the I-600a that is).

I hope that helps a little. Not sure about the retained at this office thing though. Good luck!

Tuesday, July 04, 2006 12:55:00 PM  

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