Wednesday, August 22, 2007

It shouldn't be this hard...

to get our new I-171H! For those of you not in the know on adoption forms, this is the king kahuna form that allows you to travel to China to adopt an orphan. Believe it or not, even with this LONG wait, this form expires 18 months from issuance. I know, this makes LOTS of sense.

Months before our first one expired, Joe and I got re-fingerprinted (although, last time I checked, I had the same exact fingers and prints) and submitted our new I-600A (which is the application for the I-171H) with a nice fat fee of $545.00. Yup, that's right, that much just to get a new form with a fresh expiration date. We also contacted our home study agency to arrange for an update so we could get a new court certification (a requirement to get a new I-171H). Cha-ching...another $600 for that.

Months later after getting everything done, still no I-171H in the mail. After contacting our local USCIS office (US immigration) by e-mail I find out that they never got the court certified home study. I'm thinking, okay this will be easy...I'll just call my home study agency and make sure they sent it. Well, come to find out that's not part of their service and they refer me to my placement agency. Guess what? No luck there either.

So, okay, I decide to take my afternoon off to head over to the USCIS office in downtown Phoenix. Just to get in the door, I need to navigate through major light rail construction, traffic jams everywhere, an over zealous security guard out front who makes me dump the contents of my purse on the table, then I need to strip every piece of jewelry and my belt off to make the damn metal detector stop beeping. I finally get into the building, locate the right window and stand in line. ALL this to find out that they won't accept the homestudy and my cover letter in person. They tell me I need to mail it in. With that, she gives me a little slip of paper with the address of the VERY building I'm standing in and tells me "you'll have to mail it in, we don't accept them here." I'm thinking, what the hell are you talking about...you won't accept them here, but I should mail it here??? Talk about the ultimate red tape! I said, "you're kidding, right?" and she just shook her head no. Is it me, or is this just a little crazy? To top it all off, on the way out they charged me for parking...one last jab!

17 comments:

Lili & Robin said...

WTF?????? That is a nightmare. You might need to drown your frustration in a huge margarita!

Stephe said...

That's just CRAZY! What's the deal with your homestudy people!! They submitted the first one right???

Even CRAZIER...what's up with USCIS??? Holy CRAP!!

Our children ARE DEFINATELY LOVED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I second the magarita, I almost feel I have to drink one or two for you! lol.

Anonymous said...

welcome to the new world of common sense and service in goverment. makes your head spin to think this is just 1 small area of govt, now we really need to be afraid of the larger one. cheer up, this will be the last time you need to do that... i third the magarita... i might even drink one for you.... talk to you soon..mom

Julie said...

Holy cow that's ludicrous!

Anonymous said...

They seem to have a pretty good racket going there by charging you all those fees again. It's not like you're the one who's dragging her feet, it's them! Keep your faith and your sense of humor, keep looking for the light at the end of the tunnel.
Karlene

Lisa and Tate said...

SOMEONE IS MAKING MONEY on all this red tape!!! What a nightmare!!! Sorry the agony continues. At least you can portray it with a little humor.

Lisa

M3 said...

Oh my gosh that is maddening!!!! I'm so sorry. Margaritas all 'round, definitely.

amy said...

Bless your heart

Jennifer R said...

Gosh, that totally SUCKS and I can't believe you were right there & she said that you have to MAIL IT IN?? That is crazy! Remember keep your fingers crossed that I win the powerball tonight !

Heather said...

I think they started requiring that you mail it in after my experience with the infamous "bin wasn't full" episode. I'm so sorry you are getting the run-around - you must be so frustrated!! I've had the same problem with our home study agency - it's funny how they are "hands off" once it comes to anything international-related...grr!

Kim said...

That is absolutely INSANE!

C.J. said...

It is total craziness but it seems to be across the board. The same thing happened to me in Cincy the first time. I walked out of the building with my papers and put them in the mailbox directly outside. We live in a crazy world.

Lynn said...

Well... if there weren't these stupid things... what WOULD we blog about!???

Alyson & Ford said...

You must go to Don & Be's blog and compare stories. You all are sharing some major pain...

http://donandbe1.blogspot.com/2007/08/aint-that-good-news.html

Christie said...

Actually, reading this post literally made me frustrated and angry - like I get when this type of crap happens to me (and it does) and we just sent in a big fat money order for $910.00 to get our new 171-H for Ethiopia...Gack! I thought I was gonna throw up as I stuck it in the Fed-Ex envelope.

There is no excuse for the excessive hoop jumping we are all doing to be parents. It's criminal! These are orphans for crying out loud - and somehow their current situation is better than say...a nice cozy family??

Sorry you had to experience this - so what happens now? You just never get the stupid form from them?

Gahhhhhhhhhhhh!

Don and Be said...

Can you believe these guys? This is the US - could we have some consideration, please? After all, we've been living here for quite some time ..... maybe it'll get easier once we get to China.
We admire you for your hearts for adoption and wish you smooth sailing from here on in.
From two fellow travelers on the adoption highway.
Don & Be

I'm adding you to our bloglines..

Amy said...

I always get frustrated with things like that. I'm sure the heat outside didn't help either. It really wears me down going in and out of buildings this time of year and my car never seems to really cool off.
The only thing I can think of is that they needed the postmark for date verification. However, if that is the case, she should have told you that.

Amy