December 8, 2012

Immigration Frustration!

When people say that paperwork and process involved in an adoption is massive, they're right. We, and probably everyone else who has adopted, understand why it has to be this way, but that doesn't necessarily make it less frustrating.

Here's where we're at right now (I'll TRY to keep it simple):

USCIS (United States Customs and Immigration Services) must have 2 documents from us.

1. The I800-A: Permission for us to adopt a child and bring them to the US.
2. The I800: Permission to adopt a SPECIFIC child and bring them to the US.

We must state on the I800-A the characteristics of the child we hope to adopt; girl, 18-48 months old, "this special need", "that special need", etc. We received I800-A approval before we got Meili's referral.

After we got her referral, our agency sent an I800-A update to add Meili's specific special need to the list. We also were able to send the I800, because we now had the NAME of the SPECIFIC CHILD we intended to adopt.

A couple weeks went by. We received our I800 approval, but heard nothing about the I800-A update. So I inquired with our agency who then inquired with USCIS.

Their response?
USCIS: "We never received your I800-A update paperwork"
Our Agency: "Yes you did. I have a receipt right here that shows proof of delivery."
USCIS: "Well too bad. We don't have it. And since the I800 has now been processed before the I800-A, you'll have to have your client file a Supplement 3."

The cost for filing a Supplement 3 is about $400.

Thank you, US government. (For the record, the Chinese government has been extremely easy to work with. The US

So basically, they lost our paperwork and won't admit it. Even though we have proof.
Keep in mind that the USCIS is a division of the Department of Homeland Security. Yes, the one that is responsible for keeping terrorists out of the country.

I feel SO confident in their abilities right now...

We could argue with them.
Demand they search for our paperwork and continue to provide proof that they have it somewhere. 
Not pay $400 for their mistake...

Unfortunately, our agency advised us that that would take WEEKS.
And all the while, this little girl is waiting:

And we cannot bear to leave her in that horrible place any longer than we have to.
So we shut our mouths, filed our Supplement 3, paid our $400 and pretended like we're the ones who screwed up.

But, even in doing that, this is still a setback of about three weeks (in my estimation.) We were hoping to travel in January, but with this error, we are now hoping for February.

Now that I'm over being absolutely livid  about this situation, we're thankful that everything else has gone smoothly up to this point and praying that the rest of the paperwork will get processed as it should.


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