I'll start with a little history to catch you back up where we left off. We filed a form with immigration on January 12, 2009 and were told, at that time, that it would take 90 days to get the approval on that form. HUGE disappointment because we were hoping to get it done in time to travel with some new friends. Much to our surprise, we received a call from our case manager on February 9th. Unfortunately, it was to tell me I hadn't sent payment and that he could not give our approval until payment had been logged into their system. So, I hurried to the post office and mailed our payment right away. In the meantime, I had to fax him a few other documents which I took care of immediately. The next day I called him back to request he go ahead and set up our fingerprint appointments so that we could be getting that done while he finished up. However, he informed us that the appointment is generated automatically by "their system" and that couldn't be done until the payment was logged in. AND our fingerprint appointment would be 2-3 weeks out from that point. UGH!! ANOTHER setback! We kept re-setting our sights each time we got information.
So, already, we've gone from:
- referral December 29, 2008 and expectation of traveling 6-8 weeks after that to
- we won't be approved until April 12th with travel dates SOMETIME after that to
- we're alomst done as of February 9th back to
- it'll be late February before you can even get fingerprints done
So, I decide to take matters into my own hands instead of sitting on those hands. I decided to go directly to the fingerprint office and just wait in line. So, I packed the baby, food, and toys in the car for the 45 minute drive. Well, I actually, unknowingly, drove to the immigration office where you HAVE to have an appointment to talk to ANYBODY for ANY reason. I was told, by the security guards there (after putting the baby in the stroller and packing it with documents and toys and food), that fingerprints were done at a different location anyway. So, I put the baby BACK in the car and drove 10 more minutes to the fingerprint place only to be told (after putting the baby in the stroller and packing it with documents and toys and food) that I needed to go BACK to the immigration office to get a letter that states my appintment time for fingerprints because you can't just wait in line. When I tell THAT guy that immigration just told me I couldn't talk to anybody there without an appointment, he told me to ask to speak to a supervisor and explain the time-sensitive-ness (Is that a word?) of my situation. So, I put the baby BACK in the car and drove 10 minutes BACK to the immigration office. By this time, Price keeps saying "Office? Office?" each time I put him in the car or get him out. Poor baby! I put the baby in the stroller and packed it with documents and toys and food and headed BACK into the immigration office (Office? Office?) and start crying while asking to speak to a super. They let me go through security (take baby out of stroller, scan bags with toys and food, walk through security gate, put baby back in stroller, reload arms of stroller with toys and food, you get the picture?) to talk to someone at the customer service desk. Office? Office? Still hearing it CONSTANTLY from Price. I cry some more and beg for someone to just give me a letter to get my fingerprints taken immediately. Long story short (Ha!Ha!), someone agreed to give me a letter. This was on Wednesday and she asked if I wanted an appointment Saturday. Uh, NO! I want one today! So, it's 11:10 and she schedules an appointment for Tom and I for 11:30. And Tom's at work, of course, because it's a Wednesday. Don't most employed men go to work on Wednesdays? So, I quickly wheel Price back outside and get to the car where my phone is (no phones allowed in the building, of course) and call Tom to tell him to get in the car RIGHT AWAY and come for fingerprints. I unpack the stroller, get Price in his seat and race the 10 minutes BACK to the fingerprint office. Load baby back in stroller with toys and food . Office? Office? Rush in and fill out paperwork. Tom arrives a few minutes late but they didn't seem to mind. We waltzed out 10 mins later with a very climactic event over.
It only took me a few minutes to call our case manager to let him know our fingerprints were done and that he could finish our approval. We were under the impression, from him, that the approval would be automatic after fingerprints were in the system. And the fingerprints should be in the system automatically because they were taken digitally. Well, not quite. It takes 48-72 house for the fingerprints to go through the FBI to immigration. Are you kidding me ?!?!?! So, 72 hours is technically Monday. Our friends already have their consulate appointment scheduled and we are trying to get one one the same day. If our approval isn't received until Monday, it will be 1 week after our friends requested their appointment and, apparently, for adoption appointments at the consulate, that's a long time. So it's not likely we'll even get the day we want. Disappointment again. But we hold out hoping we'll make it anyway.
We received our approval Monday and the president of our adoption agency faxed the request for a consulate appointment to China that day. China's already asleep (since it's 13 hours ahead there) so we know we'll have to wait. First thing the next morning I call our agency. No word. I'm told it will take 48-72 hours to receive confirmation. Pins and needles are hard to sit on for that long. Yesterday, I got a call. A horrible call. Another employee at our agency called to say our request for an appointment had been denied becasue we still need to fill out more paperwork. Poor lady! She got an earful...crying and yelling. It wasn't pretty. Our agency has been COMPLETELY, and I do mean COMPLETELY, negligent in taking care of us. So, now we wait again. I have filled out the forms that we need and am waiting on a FedEx package today from our agency with documents that need to be mailed with the additional forms. As soon as I receive it, I will fax everything to our immigration case manager (even though I don't know if he's supposed to handle this part for us as well) and FedEx the stuff to where it is supposed to go.
I'm sure you're tired of reading because I am WAY tired of typing. I'll quit for now and pick the story back up when there's more to tell. In the meantime, please pray for us. I know the Lord is taking care of our baby, but I want to be.