Wednesday, August 6, 2008

We didn't call it Our Leap of Faith for nothing

We were dealt a pretty hard blow Monday as we found out we had travel approval to get our son in China — but we also needed our I-171H approval ... now.
We were fingerprinted for the approval July 18 and were expecting it to arrive this month, probably around the 18th, but our agency said we needed the dates of those approved forms (fingerprints and I-171H, which allows us to bring Jake into the U.S.) before we could set our consulate date. There still would be other paperwork pending, but we needed those dates.
Of course, we found all this out after 4 p.m. and by the time we could start calling everyone had gone home for the day. So we emailed USCIS in Oklahoma City that we needed the form, and we received at answer at 7:15 a.m. Tuesday that they were going to work on it as fast as they could.
The USCIS office in Oklahoma City rocks! Our hopes skyrocketed that we could get this done this week and still get in line with the other TAs to get our consulate appointment and get our China trip scheduled.
We got a call around 5:30 p.m. Tuesday, and both of us thought this could be it, they could be done.
It was USCIS, and it turns out the woman working on our case also is adopting from China and she was working late trying to get our approval done because she knows what we are going through.
That's when we got the second punch, and this one still may prove to be the knockout blow.
It turns out that our homestudy update had my child abuse clearance with Kevin's Social Security number and birthdate on it.
Department of Human Services, which did that background check, messed up. Either they never did the check, didn't pay attention whose name popped up when they did the check or just filled the form out wrong. Either way, we can't get USCIS approval without that clearance done right.
It seems DHS has screwed us up again. First, long ago, we tried to adopt through them only to go through a nightmare succession of social worker turnovers and no progress throughout three years. Then, we think we are getting away from that and entering the China program only to see this program slow to a crawl. But we found Jacob and soon will have him in our arms, despite this setback.
Paperwork can't take forever. Really, it can't.
It just seems ironic we are at the mercy of DHS again, and we don't have too much hope they'll be as accomodating as USCIS. Remember, we've worked with them before.
So, we got on the phone with our social worker, who feels awful (but, hey, we didn't catch it either) and she was going to get on the phone with DHS today and just tell them they have to expedite it. Our social worker is in Oklahoma City today to attend a seminar (another bad stroke of luck that she can't devote more attention to this) and she hopes she can even pick up the new background check. (We're not thinking DHS will move that fast, but we'd love to be surprised and have to eat our words!)
If we can get that, maybe we can hand-deliver it to USCIS and still see an outcome this week. But time keeps ticking and our agency cannot guarantee getting us in the next available consulate appointment, which means not going with the group we've been thinking we would get to travel with.
But that's OK, because we still will go.
We're pretty down about all this, because we just want to go. We've read there have been issues with children in orphanages overcoming problems - like hoarding food because they were starving in China. It's tough to know that Jacob is over there facing all of that and we're here.
But we will go.
On top of all this, I learned we were TA Monday by calling the agency to try to get a timeline so I can schedule my mom's surgery to excise skin cancer! (The prognosis is good there, by the way. The cancer is not aggressive and surgery should take care of the problem and her ear can finally heal after three years the doctor says.)
Now, it's 10:29 a.m. and we thought we would have heard something from our social worker by now updating us, but she hasn't called yet. That is the hardest part - not knowing. Once we get this settled, we'll know we're either going at the end of August or we are not. Once we have that date of departure, no matter what it is, we'll breath a little easier, sleep a little better.
We didn't call it Our Leap of Faith for nothing.
We know God is there to catch us. No matter what.

Violet and Kevin


Tracy Lawhon said...

I see that our boys are from the same orphanage and are about the same age! I would love to know when you are traveling if you could email me, I would appreciate it. We are still waiting on our RA.


Tracy Lawhon

The Gang's All Here! said...

We'll be praying for you both - and for all the hands involved to be divinely ordered by the Lord to move the paperwork through WITHOUT ERROR, in a speedy manner! He will get the glory and you will get your boy!!!!!!

Gina said...

Praying for you Violet! We too are waiting for our I-171H. Hope everything moves speedy quick for you and you get your paperwork in place this week!!!!

Kay Bratt said...

I will be praying for you that your paperwork correction will come today with no more screw-ups.