That's right. government phone "help line" hell. People who design these things should have to sit through their damn phone maze at least once a week to get a feel for how UNHELPFUL they really are. Here's the thing: Our agency isn't very helpful, but I knew that going into this (our VN agency that is. Our China agency rocks the house.), I figured "how bad can it be?". Well, I won't go into it now, but basically, it's taken another adoptive mom to call me today (thanks so much, Jenny!!) and help me out with our damn i-600a/i-171H woes. Turns out, if you have a valid 171-h, you can simply roll that over into the new country you're adopting from instead of getting new fingerprints (which, as it turns out, in NC take for F-ing EVER)... But if you fill out this little form called a 1-i824 then you can complete it all in roughly a month. One month. Not 4 months. See, I feel like we have to complete this adoption ASAP for a number of reasons, but the first being, well, mainly selfish. More and more people are bailing out of China, or choosing not to go to China due to this vortex of crap also known as "new regulations and restrictions", not to mention the bloody wait. And as I see it, the wait for all other countries is going to get longer. I've already BEEN waiting for freaking ever. I tired of it. I want a baby now. So, the sooner I can get this damn paperwork done, the sooner I can get to VN and get a child who has been abandoned, and bring them Home, and make sure they have at least a good start in their new life...Meanwhile, I tried CALLING (mistake!!) the US CIS hell line (oh, I'm sorry, the HELP line), and guess what? They can't tell you anything unless you have your case number...which is in the top lefthand corner of your paperwork...um. Sure. I haven't been sent any damn paperwork and it's been over 6 weeks. So, if you don't have your case number, the little operator dude said to press 2. So, I pressed 2. And guess what? If you don't have a case number, then they can't help you out...big surprise. So then I got kicked back to the main menu...After roughly 30 minutes of mashing buttons randomly, I was finally hung-up on by a stupid computer operator dude! I never did even have the option of speaking to a human.
TG someone took pitty on me and gave me an email address for someone who might possibly be able to help me in Charlotte (thanks Emily!). I guess if you whine enough and loud enough, good things happen!! But they sure as shit don't happen on the phone on a government help line...furthermore, if you need to call the Charlotte CIS office for anything OTHER THAN reporting an illegal alien - you're out of luck.