Wednesday, May 26, 2010

USCIS, Yard Sales, End of School

First, USCIS. I received a notice from USCIS saying there was a problem with our I-800A. The first problem was that I did not send an original copy of our home study. I do have an excuse for this. The instructions on their website said in bold print DO NOT SEND ORIGINAL DOCUMENTS UNLESS INSTRUCTED TO DO SO. Below these instructions in section 7, they give instructions for the home study. Nowhere in this section do they tell you to send original documents! !#@!$#@!# The second problem I don't understand. Page 9 of our 10-page home study was simply missing. I checked the scanned version on my computer, and sure enough, page 9 was missing. I'm sure I fed it through automatically, so page 9 must have simply stuck to page 10. The third and final problem I have absolutely no excuse for. Since our home study agency is not Hague accredited, we were supposed to submit a letter from our placing agency (Hague accredited) saying that they had reviewed the home study. Okay, I just totally missed that part. Nevertheless, I got a letter from our placing agency and SEVERAL original "copies" of our home study from our local agency and got the required items in the mail yesterday.

Today we took care of our USCIS fingerprinting appointment. These were the computerized fingerprints like we did the first time for the home study except we had to go to Nashville to have these done. At first I thought we were doing very well, but the lady did have a lot of difficulty with a couple of my fingers. She just couldn't get good prints from them. She finally had to report it to her supervisor who graciously gave us both permission to call it quits. (In case you have forgotten, my first set of ink prints sent in for my FBI clearance letter was rejected after 8 weeks of waiting. I'm now on week 7 after sending in the second set.) It was kind of freaky though to watch the computer screen after a scan and see red letters come up saying "Warning: Match Found". It did that a lot. Upon leaving, I told Tim that I guess there is a criminal out there who also has lousy prints. Without prints, though, they can't prove it's me!

Next topic: Yard Sales. We're having Yd Sale 2 this weekend. Our goal is to do two per month this summer. I'm completely pooped just typing that! One big blessing, though, is that our garage is absolutely full of donations. I don't think we will even put out anything that was in our sale a couple of weeks ago. I'm even scheduled tomorrow to pick-up the leftovers from a yard sale that took place last weekend.

Finally, we are wrapping up our school year tomorrow. I can't believe Colton will be in 3rd grade next year. Worse yet, Eli will be in kindergarten! Where did the time go! Just think, Colton was going into kindergarten when we decided to adopt. I am so ready for this process to be over!! Okay, just having one of those "impatient moments" there. Back to our school year...Overall, I think we had a really good year. Eli is doing great with his reading, and we'll be continuing his lessons some over the summer. Colton changed math books part way through the year, so we will be doing some math all (or most) of the summer just to make sure he is on track to start third grade. Of course, we are most excited to see Tim come home for the summer. The boys just love having their daddy home all summer. I must say I enjoy it, too.

Thursday, May 6, 2010

More Fingerprints

Have you other adopters ever wondered how expensive it would be to just BUY your own fingerprinting equipment? I'm thinking it would be so much easier if I could just do this myself and have the fingerprints notarized or something.

In my last post, I told you that my fingerprints for the FBI clearance letter had been rejected. I went and had those redone. The very day I put them back in the mail to the FBI, Tim's clearance letter arrived. It took 8 weeks and 3 days for his letter to come. As of today, I have waited 12 weeks and 3 days. Keep in mind that these letters apparently self-destruct every 6 months. I'm beginning to wonder how far in advance I need to begin the process again.

We did have a note of progress today, though. We received our notice from USCIS of our appointment to be fingerprinted for them. We have to go to Nashville for these. For those of you living outside of TN, you may not have heard about Nashville's 500-yr flood last weekend. Our appointment isn't until the end of the month, but I'm thinking that I might need to be calling someone to see if the building is still there, still open, etc. Click here to see the flood. We don't actually live in Nashville, but we are only about 30 minutes away. I could not believe the devestation was so nearby while we sat so unaffected in our dry home.

Gotta give praises here...friends received their referral since my last post. So happy for them and can't wait for them to travel.