Monday, July 16, 2007

Finally - PROGRESS!!

After an amazingly frustrating week last week trying to figure out the best course of action for us when it comes to our CIS (formerly INS) paperwork, I finally got good news today.

But first, let me back up - for those of you NOT engrossed in this strange adoption progress. As many of you know, for our first adoption, we had to file an i-600A (orphan petition - which turns into the i-171H) with US Citizenship and Immigration Services (CIS - a branch of Homeland Security), and we received that one piece of paper almost everyone has to wait for before they can send their dossier to their agency. After 15 months, your federal fingerprints expire, and after 18 months, the i-717H expires (why they don't expire together is beyond me, but you have to have current fingerprints to have a valid i-171H). Our fingerprints for China 's I-171H expire this Wednesday. You remember I was complaining a few weeks ago that we had to fill out a whole NEW i-600A for Vietnam, and given current wait times this would put us behind roughly 4 months, but then I heard about a NEW form called an i-824, which changes our CURRENT i-171H from China to Vietnam. We FINALLY got all the paperwork sorted out, and last week I FedEx-ed the form to CIS in order to get the form there before our fingerprints expired this week. Last Friday, the damn form (along with the check!) got returned to me b/c CIS was confused... I was so sick, b/c that meant that the paperwork wouldn't actually be at CIS in time before our fingerprints expire... Anyway, fortunately, I was given the direct line to the person in charge of the CIS office here, and called her to plead our case. AND IT least, to some extent!! I received this in my email box today:

Kindly return Form I-824 with fee payment. We have received a home study from your HS agency for Vietnam. Fingerprints went out in the regular mail today.

If this actually worked, then I should have the NEW i-171H SOON. I'm pushing my agency to allow us to send our dossier in to the State for certification, and on to them for translation while we wait for this stupid piece of paper. It SHOULD allow us to have our dossier to our agency sometime in early August. We should have a Log In Date in August sometime!!! Then our wait will officially begin. The good news? Our agency still tells us that referrals will take 3-6 months, with travel approximately 3-4 months later. I have high hopes that we'll receive our referral closer to 3 months b/c requests for girls take longer (and we specified NO PREFERENCE).

Again, I feel like we HAVE to get this dossier done sooner rather than later, given what I've been hearing about other programs (I've heard some STRONG rumors that Guatemala is getting closed and that programs aren't accepting any new applicants, Russia is also closed, and well, China is totally F-ed...), Vietnam is going to get busier and busier with dossiers... which is wonderful. But I am tired of waiting.


amy said...

Hope you get it soon!

Linda said...

It's all starting to make a little sense to me now. Viet Nam/China/ North Pole...who cares? All I can say is, I hope it all comes together really soon. It must be hard to plan your life and foreign travels (and I know you to be a long range planner)
Good Luck!!