USCIS……my new friends I call every day.

We were a tad on the tardy side sending in our second application for our I600A, a grandfathered application because our adoption has taken so long.  I sent it off with three weeks to spare.  Well, I have since learned that you send it to Texas and someone opens the packet, checks money amounts and expiry dates, sends notices and then eventually sends the file off to Missouri. 

Well, we received a Notice of Action stating that our application was being suspended because we sent the $670 for the I600A application, but not the $170 for biometrics.  (That’s fancy talk for fingerprints.) 

Our fingerprints don’t expire until December, so I didn’t send the extra $170.  This confused them….. greatly.  I have called and talked to nice people at the USCIS offices seven or eight times now trying to get this cleared up.  Finally on Friday, I asked for a supervisor…. I was done getting no where with those lower on the totem pole.  Voila!  It worked!  I got a call today from the officer assigned to our file and she indeed confirmed that no biometrics fees were needed.  Yes! 

BUT, she did inform me that our Home Study Extension was more than six months old and we needed an updated one.  Great!  I called our local agency who did our homestudy (all three times now) and they are taking care of business in a flash! 

Thankfully, the officer also told me that the date they receive the application needs to be before our old 171H expires, and we’re good.  We made it by two weeks!  So all is good.  Just tardy… again.

What will I do all day when Zaza is finally home???

1 comment September 14, 2010
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Our Adoption Timeline (again)

I don’t have this in my sidebar, so I thought I’d update it here.

Nov. 2006   Started looking at agencies

Feb. 12, 2007   Sent Application to Commonwealth

May 9   I-600A Application sent

Jun. 14   Homestudy completed

July   Psychological Testing and Report

Aug. 29   Received I-171H

Oct. 20   Dossier sent to Colombia

Jan. 25, 2008   Approved by ICBF in Colombia (Yippy!)

Jun. 14   Update USCIS fingerprints

Aug. 5   Our agency Commonwealth Adoptions Int’l Closed

Sep. 25   Signed with Gladney Center for Adoptions

Nov. 8   Update and Addendum to Homestudy Visit

Jan. 20, 2009  Home Study Extension Apostilled and sent for translation

Feb. 20, Sent 2nd copy of Apostilled Homestudy Extension sent for translation

June 1, Moved to the 5-6 year old list at ICBF

June 10,  Rec’d I-171H (again)

July 7, We are #23 on the waitlist

Sept 9,  Updated USCIS Fingerprints

Oct. 29, We are #19 on the waitlist

Nov. 6, HepA/B shots

Dec.  Met with our Social Worker to Update Homestudy

Jan. 20, 2010  We are #15 on the waitlist

Mar. 2010 Update Psychological Report

June 3rd, We are #10 on the waitlist

July  Requesting renewal of I600A

July 29th, We are #0 and our file is being sent to a region.

August 6th, Zaza is in the department of Valle del Cauca!

August 13th, FBI fingerprinting (again)

August  Talking to USCIS every other day until our I600A is taken off of hold status!  (They think we need to send money for fingerprinting that is already done.)

August  Redoing paperwork, getting notarized and apostilled again: Employment Verifications, Medicals, Name Change Verifications, etc. etc.

1 comment September 3, 2010

Don’t Get Your Panties in a Wad!

One of my favorite lines from the movie The Blindside. I’m taking that advice today, as I just got an email from our case worker.  Today is Day #4 of our 30 day window to receive our referral call.  Here is what she had to say about our referral call: 

“I can almost guarantee it won’t be any time in the next two weeks.  Normally we get a call after you have been matched to a child so we know the documents are on the way to the translator.  Then it takes about a week to translate before I have the information.  I haven’t heard anything from our in-country team so that is why I assume in won’t be in the next two weeks.”

I’ve kind of assumed that the 30 day window for the referral call was just a 30 day countdown until the call.  As with everything else involving international adoption…. the wait has been LONG.

It’s all good.

3 comments September 2, 2010
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Jump Time!

Since our file was sent to Valle del Cauca 29 days ago…. that means our referral time frame of 30-60 days later STARTS TOMORROW!  Can you say JUMP JUMP JUMP?  I’ve been asked if I jump when the phone rings…. not until now.

Corresponding exactly with August 30th is the start of HOMESCHOOLING for year number TEN here at L.A.K.E. Academy.  Normally I don’t answer the phone when we’re doing school… but that all changes tomorrow!  Sorry, pupils.  I will need to emphasize the importance of staying in your seat and continuing your work if Mama/Teacher does answer the phone.  Usually if I happen to take a call, my children stealthily disappear.  I eventually hang up and find myself alone.  THAT is why I normally don’t answer the phone.  NEW RULE!  Stay in your chair, buster!

I’ve discussed the actual referral call with my husband/pilot on several occasions lately.  If the call comes and he’s on a flight…. he suggested waiting until the next day to get the information, so we could sit together, in blissful unity, looking at our girl’s darling face for the first time with each other.  I don’t think so.  I cannot wait.  Sorry.  If he is sitting in his office that particular day and can blast home in 30 minutes, I MIGHT be able to wait that long.  But NOT 24 hours.  Hello?  What do you think I am, a patient, caring wife?  Well, I am… sometimes.  :o)

On pins and needles.

2 comments August 29, 2010
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Finding Myself of the Other Side

From my other blog, another interesting side to adoption:

http://mysistersjar.wordpress.com/2010/08/24/international-vs-domestic-adoption/

1 comment August 24, 2010

Our FBI Prints are BACK!

WOW!  That only took six business days!  I was expecting W-A-Y longer.  I still have to send them off to West Virginia for the apostille, but still this was one quick return!  Hip hip hooray for the FBI!

One week from today is THIRTY DAYS after our file was sent to Valle del Cauca!!!!!  Our referral could come starting next MONDAY!  Bring it on, baby!

Add a comment August 23, 2010
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I’m Losing Sleep

This is exactly like the end of a pregnancy…. I wake up and my mind goes CRAZY!  And I can’t go back to sleep.  I’m just not going to the bathroom every twenty minutes like big-belly pregnancy

We are exactly one week from the 30-day mark from when our file left ICBF and was sent to Valle del Cauca.  We’ve been told we will get the referral call within 30-60 days.  That could be NEXT WEEK!  After all this waiting for almost four years…. you’d think I’d be plenty ready.  But I’m all jittery and anxious and restless.  The heightened anxiety level has completely erased the minimal Spanish that I knew only a month ago.  I’m not sure what to do about that.  I think it’s too late for ginkgo biloba!   Ha ha!

I’ve finished Zaza’s tea-table and it has three coats of minwax for protection.  It probably needs about eight coats!  Not wanting the painting and decorating to end… I bought a little seat from an adult vanity.  I’m going to turn it into a sink and stove top for Zaza’s little kitchen in her room.  I need to keep these hands busy!!!

Add a comment August 23, 2010
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Final Fingerprints Done!

How can a simple plan of getting fingerprints done turn into a whole-day saga????  Because it’s the Crosbys trying to get it done…. and it’s for an international adoption… so you take the normal time and multiply it by 27.  :o) 

I thought I was so ready.  Then, we ended up with only one working car today.  So I borrowed a car. (Thanks, Dad!)  I went to get the money order for the FBI and my bank wanted me to pay them $5 for the service.  GAH!  I went to bank #2…. same thing… $5.  I know, in the grand scope of the cost of this adoption, $5 is NOTHING….. but I couldn’t pay it.  I ended up at Walmart…. 60 CENTS.  Thank you very much!

Heading down the highway to pick up Rick at his office… I realized that I didn’t remember where his office was.  I’ve only been there once.  So I looked for my cell phone… which didn’t appear to make the trip with me.  Bummer.  I did find his office and as I pulled up I heard my phone ringing.  It was under the driver’s seat.  Good!  Off to the Police station….. then the second police station.  It seems that in the time our fingerprints expired, fingerprinting in Phoenix, Arizona moved about 2 miles east of the last location.  We arrived and stood in line. 

When it was our turn to talk to the nice lady behind the glass, we showed I.D., signed our names and I wrote the check for $12.  Well, it seems your check has to have a number in the top right corner in order for it to be accepted at the Police station.  It was from the account I just opened and the new checks with numbers are not in my possession yet.  I wrote another check from a different account.  Fine.

We go and sit in the waiting area and Rick decides he needs to go visit the little boy’s room.  As soon as he gets behind the door with the stick man on it, they call his name.  Of course.  Eventually he made it through the correct secret door to be metal-detected.  I did as well.  I almost didn’t pass due to the cell phone in my pocket.  Whew.  Rick stayed in the fingerprinting room waiting for my prints to be completed…. which we found out is a no-no.  No loitering, even if it is your wife.  Busted by the police!

Off to find a computer because I forgot to copy all the FBI info for the fingerprinting cards.  We stopped at the flight center where Rick’s plane is. Finally, we were headed back to Rick’s office and we somehow ended up on the only road in downtown Phoenix with traffic at a stop-n-go pace that is currently being coated with new, oily and sticky rock pavement.  Dad’s car collects many rocks, oil and tar.  Great!  Rick takes the quickest side street to get off the tar trail and tries to take the highway to his office.  There must have been an accident on the highway because it was at a standstill.  (This whole trip was supposed to take 20 minutes.)

Eventually I drop Rick off and head to FedEx.  I have the wrong envelope with the wrong address form… all filled out, of course.  But I don’t have my FedEx account number.  I phoned home and thankfully I talked my 11-year-old son through finding the number and reading it to me. Thank the Lord, I taught the boy how to read!

And I returned my parent’s car… about two hours later than planned with a few more black marks than when I picked it up.  But our FBI fingerprints are sent off and will be in West Virginia tomorrow!

4 comments August 13, 2010
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It Hit Me Today

I’m going to have a five-or-six year old little girl in as little as two-and-a-half months!! Forever!  Not just for the holidays!  She’ll be ours and we’ll be hers FOREVER!  How in the world did God pick us for this?  We have dirty blinds…. and a messy garage… and a car in the driveway that should be in a ghetto…. and sometimes we’re all grouchy on the same day… and there are days when the fridge is empty… and the dog barely gets fed … and we are nerdy sometimes….  and loud… REALLY loud… and late for church… and we lose library books.  I’m starting to think they didn’t ask the right questions during the homestudy, because I’m not feeling real ready for this.

But we have love.  Lots of love and lots of laughs.  And the Lord.  I think that is all we need to be ready.  Three L’s.  I’m down with this.

Add a comment August 11, 2010
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Here We Go Again

I thought I was done doing adoption paperwork, but NO!  I assumed I had already earned my medal for completing the dossier and all 2,027 papers that go along with it.  But NO!  I received an email that gave me a list of 14 more papers that are apparently MIA from our file.  Maybe the agency is trying to keep my mind occupied so I don’t get into a tizzy about traveling in 2-3 months.  Yes, that’s probably it.  All this free time on my hands. 

But, I know in my heart, it’s all worth it!

4 comments August 9, 2010

Time Flies!

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