Saturday, October 06, 2007

Fingerprint Finale (we hope!)

The USCIS (Citizenship & Immigration Services) office in LA recently moved, so NOTHING was processed for at least a week. Not only that, but they changed their phone numbers as well and did not leave forwarding information other than "do not leave a message at this number". With travel dates fast approaching, along with the expiration of our current prints, I frantically dialed every number I could think of and scampered through voice menu trees trying to get our prints lined up.

I finally did reach a human, but that was not the end of the frustration. I tried to describe what I needed to one government employee, stating form numbers and detailed descriptions, but he had no idea what I was talking about and had never heard of the forms which I referenced. Fortunately, through persistence and a fair number of internal expletives, I was able to locate a human that cared enough to locate our paperwork in the large stack that had accumulated and process our fingerprint renewal paperwork very quickly. We were immediately scheduled to redo our prints this week. Not only that, but when we went to have them redone, we were whisked past the room FULL of people waiting right to the the front of the line. Whew!

Of course it wasn't quite that easy. The next hurdle for us was determining whether the prints needed to be filed as I-600 or I-600A. Yikes!! We had no idea. They had no idea. We sat there at the front of the line and under the "No cell phones, please!" sign and called the agency (after getting the ok to make the call from the government employee). Our primary contact at the agency wasn't in and the other person said that this question had never come up before (lucky us!) and didn't know, but thought we should file under I-600A. We told the government employee I-600A and crossed our fingers. We guessed right! Our agency coordinator called us back about an hour later just to make sure. Whew again!!

Had we not called, had we not been so persistent, who knows whether we would have received our redo notice in time to travel and with expired prints, who knows what trouble we might experience in Taiwan. I guess it would have been even more exciting to have that hanging over our heads a little longer, but really, we've got enough excitement, stress, and last minute activity happening without that little extra thank you very much.

p.s. I have provided our agency with the new phone number just in case anyone else needs it. :-)


Andy & Rebecca said...

It's so true that when you're adopting, you have to be persistant, AND you have to be your own advocate sometimes!!! I'm glad you all got everything figured out. What an ordeal!!! :)


Glen and Andrea said...

I love the new ticker! Oh -it's sooo exciting!

Judy said...

glad you were able to get all these taken care of. It is good to know since we may encounter similar situation.

Kim said...

I was away last week and missed this last flurry of news - so exciting! I too was a November baby. My mom thinks I actually arrived on Veteran's day, November 11.