Monday, August 04, 2008

Not a good day...

Even though I knew that this week would be hell at the office, today started out nice enough with belated birthday flowers and a card delivered by a friend. Thanks Janet, I love flowers...they always make my day!

One of our team members is out on maternity leave (of all things) and the new fiscal year is in full swing. I work for a local government Engineering office and once the fiscal year budget takes affect on July 1st, all the departments are chomping at the bit to get their construction projects started. The workload stress has been wrecking havoc on my fibromyalgia and I've been one giant ball of muscle pain for the last month or so.

So, I get home today after a LONG day and the first thing I read is the rumor about this month's batch possibly being only two days. OH MY GOD...they have been working on January 2006 for five whole months now!! I think they are going for a world's record here!! Are we EVER going to see February 2006?

Then I find this blog post through a Yahoo group. Ok, now I'm feeling sick with a major pain in the pit of my stomach. I haven't heard anything about this from my agency, but I do have this from another agency...

Joint Council Update

Program International Relations Initiative
Date July 18, 2008
Regarding Renewal of I-600A for Hague Adoptions

In collaboration with Debbie Reynolds, Executive Director of Adoptive
Family Services and Co-Chair of the Joint Council China Caucus, Joint
Council continues to advocate for a positive resolution to the issue
of expiring I-600A approvals (for Hague adoptions).

As has been discussed on our Members Listserv, Joint Council has
confirmed with USCIS that due to regulatory requirements, prospective
adoptive families (PAPs) with an approved I-600A for an adoption in a
Hague country may file for a one-time renewal (extension). PAPs may
only request and receive a renewal (extension) one-time.

If the approval associated with the renewal expires, a PAP applying
for an adoption in a Hague country will then be required to file an I-800A
and proceed through the Hague IA process. The impact of this
requirement is very significant especially regarding China adoptions.
There will be additional filing fees, a new home study (meeting the
new USCIS Hague guidelines) and the impact on the PAPs standing with the
partner country (for example the CCAA) has yet to be determined. Some
have suggested that PAPs may be required to submit a new dossier to
the partner country with unknown impact on their registration/filing date.

As part of our ongoing advocacy Joint Council has been in contact with
USCIS, the Congressional Coalition on Adoption (CCAI) and
Congressional offices. The requirements and limitations on the one-time extension of
the I-600A approval are regulatory and are not open to interpretation
by USCIS. As a result any 'fix' of this significant issue will require
changes to the regulations or the law itself.

Joint Council is advocating for a quick legislative and/or regulatory
fix with a goal of resolving this issue before Congress is out of
session this fall. Our goal is to allow those PAPs who filed an I-600A
application prior to April 1, 2008 to be permitted unlimited renewals
of their I-600A approval. Recognizing the significant impact the current
regulation may have on PAPs and children in need we remain fully
engaged on the issue and will keep you informed of our efforts and outcomes.


TOM DIFILIPO President & CEO Joint Council

So, the first five paragraphs are basically making me freak out, then the last paragraph basically says the Joint Council is working on a "fix" so that we can continue to renew under the current system.

Does anyone have any further information on this issue? Sorry for being a total downer...I'm having a major meltdown tonight and I see no light at the end of the tunnel at this point.


Jennifer said...

I don't have any information for you but I wanted to tell you that I hope you get better news soon.

I know how very hard and stressful the wait can be.

Joannah said...

That's crappy! I hope you get the answers you deserve soon and that your peace of mind will be restored.


Michelle said...

I have to tell you that I read this post last night, right before I went to bed and had a complete panic attack over it. We let our paperwork expire. Stupid? Yes. But that's the situation and we can't change it now. We are in the process of figuring out the new
I800 and Hague regulations. If for some reason we would have to pull our paperwork and start over, we would drop out. I know I am over-reacting and jumping the gun here, but I have lost almost all Faith in this process and I'm not sure how much more I can take.

Carol said...

2 days.....I can't get past that to read anything else.....

Girl I'm so sorry...I know you must be going insane by now.......

Laura said...

I sent this information to our very large agency and our coordinator wrote back immediately to let us know that there is no truth to this rumor. Her exact words:

The good news is, the information below is completely untrue! There is a chance your family would need to complete the I-800A prior to being matched and traveling to China. However, we do have guidelines for you to follow in order to obtain immigration approval. You will NOT need to complete a new dossier and your file will not be placed at the end of the line. Feel free to spread the word that this is just a rumor.

This certainly made me feel better and hope it helps make your day a little better as well! Have a great one!

Sheri said...

Laura, I am astonished your "very large agency" would call this information a rumor. The Council on International Children’s Services (JCICS) is an impeccable source. Your agency is almost certainly a member of the JCICS. Were I adopting, I would be questioning my agency very closely on this issue - and calling my congress critter, etc. This situation is very alarming, and has NOT been resolved as yet. I do think (pray!) that China and the USA can work things out within the Hague Agreement, but it's not going to be easy. The source of the original quote can be found here:


Jenn & Kevin said...

We received the same letter from our agency. Our caseworker has been working with China adoptions for almost 13 years. She is an adoptive parent of a child from China, so I tend to think she wouldn't have sent us this information had it been a rumor. She wants to keep us informed as she receives information. I think this is to get us prepared in case we have to switch. She suggested that we begin with clearances from the states we have lived in since we were 18. This should be relatively inexpensive/free. It is a start to the 1800, but we may not need them pending the outcome of JCIS findings for those of us that are about to renew our I-600 for the THIRD time. We are all in new territory, so the waters are about to be tested.

Hang in there.

fuzzandfuzzlet said...

I am sorry there are so many what ifs. I am sorry for the projected small batch. The wait must be absolute agony.

Ava's family said...

What I find strange is that I went on the JCICS website and they have removed that quote. I saw it there the other day with my own eyes and now it's gone.

Doreen said...

WTF???????Are they insane? If I can help, here from Canada, just let me know. I hope this is not a reality.


Amy said...

My fibro symptoms are always worse during monsoon season. The same thing may be happening to you - it may not all be stress. (Consider getting a massage-it might be helpful for both.)

That said, you sure have enough to stress about. Just keep hanging in there. I still believe this is going to happen for you this year! I hope your agency will give you some good information soon.


Tonya said...

I just went on JCICS website and I can't find it anywhere.. Where did it go? If this was fact why would they pull the column?

Janice said...

My agency is also a member of the JCICS and they are saying that the idea that you might have to pull your dossier and resubmit is ludicrous. They believe that was put in there to try to get us to all call our congress critter asap and get on the I600a extension train. As Tonya posted, the quote is now gone from their site, likely due to all of us going into PANIC MODE about it (which I did too, trust me!) We too let out approval expire partially because we knew it was going to be a while and partially because we are doing a concurrent and it didn't make sense to pay twice as much - we were warned we'd have to do an I800A for China when we finished the concurrent anyway so...
Anyway, I think the best thing to do is to make sure your agency keeps communicating it's best thoughts on the matter. It's going to be a bumpy ride but I REALLY think you are going to get your Lauren before you have to worry about this!

Alyson & Ford said...

We are so sorry only two days are being referred. So hoping things would get better!

Alyson LID 01/27/06