Anyone who has done adopting knows the sinking feeling when your husband (who finally knows if it says Hague it's important) hands you a full size envelope that is THICK.
You see approvals come in their nice little trifold business envelop, one page thick.
Ours was half open and the envelop looked like it had gotten stuck in the postal service sorter.
I stood there at 8pm wanting to scream and cry. My heart sunk as opened the rest of the envelope and all of my I-800 paperwork was in it. ELEVEN days we had just lost in a 14 day process. I wanted to cry.
Three vague sheets of paper were on top.
One said the check was not the correct amount or was not included.
Another said a page was missing from the I-800.
I admit - I didn't expect our LOA - I was shocked AND then frazzled. I wanted to speed the process up, so I grabbed the papers I had already filled out and drove the 35 min to hubby's shop for a signature . On my way I called my friend who has done this 4 times and reviewed all my papers. Realizing I forgot a copy of the I-800a approval I turned around and grabbed that, found my agencies info on sending LOA and got back on the road.
Out of all of our adoptions this was the most that reminded me of a crazy race to the hospital because my contractions had just started but they were already a minute apart. We were giddy, frazzled and excited.
All our other LOA's were like 90 days - I didn't expect anything until the of January or February. We have never been a lucky one with a quick LOA ** as a side not it seems that PA before LID is finally being processed expeditiously and in order since the big computer change**
Because I-800a waits way back in August were taking so long, and I had been smart enough to mark 2 when we had to file a new one for Tao's adoption - we reused.
I knew I had to send Uncle Sam his money most people send at the time of the I-800a. So I threw a check in for $720 and Fedexed our package.
Fast forward to getting our paperwork sent back. I reread the USCIS website and it still said $720 for subsequent children. I shot an email of to the lockbox that night still unsure of what to do about the stupid check. It was in the packet, stapled to the front and endorsed so I knew it was seen, and the amount was the same - it just didn't make sense.
I also knew I needed to pay Uncle Sam. Did they somehow get it wrong and I could save my money - but then they would catch it later down the road.
AS far as the page missing - apparently the stupid page 8 - the one with current expenses and future expenses was the one in question. Our agency is super sweet and mails us a page already filled out with expenses typed out.
That page was there - behind page 9 ugh
You wanna talk about hitting the ceiling - I was mad, mad at them for not moving page 9 back just one spot, mad at the possibility I put it there (although I swear it was in the correct spot.) mad at knowing our boy has to wait just a little bit longer.
I finally got a reply back from USCIS and they mentioned in their not so concise and clear manner that some people need to pay $720 for subsequent children AND $85 per person for fingerprints. Ugh was that it - so I decided on a hail mary pass and sent a new check for $890 - I still have no idea if this is correct or we will have the packet sent back once again.
Remember we were the daily with 3 rejections on our I-800a - USCIS is absolutely killing us this time around.
So today is the day we should have gotten approval. I am praying the super secret location (heehee like a spy novel at this point) I had to USPS, because fedex does NOT send to PO Boxes, will speed up my processing. I am praying I can catch up somehow and still travel with the people I thought I would travel with.
But ultimately I know that GOD'S timing is perfect and more than anything I need to rest in that. We have prayed since Dawson goes to school, that our travel will be best for him. God knows when that is, and even if it isn't until summer then we need to rest in that fact.