Friday, April 22, 2011

Important information day...and a little whining

I wouldn't call this blog a wealth of deep and insightful knowledge. Probably, you'd say it is a nice picture book with the occasional recipe. All good, I say. I never claimed to be anything other than just another page on the internet, just trying to get from day to day. But today, I have something that you might even find useful (if you're adopting anyway).

Anyone who has been through or is going through the process of international adoption (and I would guess also domestic adoption) knows it is challenging on many levels. This month, my challenge has been paperwork. Not that it is necessarily more or less than the giant stack that sits in my office, tipping over at random occasions. And anyone who knows me knows that I tend to be just on the edge of compulsive about organization (I'll just let you decide which side). I think I just hit the wall. I'm done with needing more forms and more checking and more everything. Don't get me wrong, I wouldn't want the process to be so easy, any psycho could do it. I'm just whining that I'm over it all. My baby waits for me, let's get on with it. Ok so that's my whine for the day, on to the important information.

As you start the adoption process you start to amass papers. Application forms, agency information and references to start. Then you move on to dossier forms, in duplicate and triplicate, notarized and authenticated by the state. Then that stack sits for a long time. Then you get a referral-yea! More forms and more papers. stack stack stack. More waiting then a court date. What do you bring? I brought my whole dossier and never took it out of the suitcase. But I had it, darnit!

Court gets passed (sometimes quick, sometimes slow) then you wait some more. Now, with a new addition to the process, there are more forms! DS-230, i600 and i864. Before, you would fill them out and bring them with you, now you get to do them early, notarize them and then bring more unsigned copies with you. Good gravy.

Now on to the fun part. Everyone who has received their i171H form, go now, look through the stack(s) of papers and get it out.

I'll wait...

Ok take a look at the bottom right hand corner, the part where it says 'Fingerprint Expires On:'. Write that down on a big piece of paper and put it on your refrigerator where you can look at it every day. That way, you won't get a call on Tuesday saying 'let's overnight a fingerprint request to USCIS since they expire on Thursday'. sigh.

It's right there on the bottom right hand corner...
Not to be confused with the top right hand corner which is when the actual i171H expires...

I've read blog after blog and lurked on countless adoption lists. Along the way I've read stories of people scrambling at the last minute because their fingerprints expired and they were in the process of traveling. I've always shook my head and wondered how that could possibly happen since everything is on a form for you to file and remember. And then, it happened to me. Waa? Boo. Well I thought I was good until August but then I hadn't looked at my i171H since I got it, back in February of last year. And really. Seriously. Fingerprints expire? Like they'll change? sigh again.

So I scrambled, wrote a very nice letter and overnighted it to USCIS. I now have a new fingerprinting appointment on May 16th and am praying desperately that I haven't delayed our reunion any longer than it would have been already.

And now pass this knowledge on to you. Just trying to do my part for my vast readership :-)

1 comment:

  1. Good catch - I just had to do this right before my first court trip. I pray we get embassy before our docs expire, or we have to do more paperwork for our homestudy updates and renew I171.