Saturday, August 4, 2012

Oh my - what a day!

Our day started out normal enough with Kevin and I getting up bright and early to get our TB tests done for the medical update.  Then, Lyric and I headed on over to a neighbor's for a play-date.  We were having a great time chatting and playing when my phone rang. I almost didn't answer it. The number that came up was 816, from an unknown caller. It was our officer from USCIS!

I think my heart skipped a beat when she told me they were getting ready to close our file and NOT approve us for the kids.  We had sent in the wrong paperwork that they had requested as evidence.  She said she had tried calling yesterday to let us know but she didn't reach anyone and was trying one more time.  Then she said if I could get the right paperwork to them asap (we could email it), they could approve us.

The paperwork they are talking about is considered "evidence".  In this case USCIS had requested proof that our home study agency was Hague approved.  I had called our home study agency when we got the letter requesting the evidence in the mail, and they very quickly sent me information to send to USCIS.  I sent it and thought everything was good.

Then, a few days ago I got a call from our social worker.  She said they were not Hague approved and that I needed to talk to our adoption agency to see if they had sent a letter to USCIS stating that they (CHI) were a Hague approved agency, that they had reviewed the updated home study and that they approved it.  We had done this before, but didn't realize we needed to do it again.  So I called USCIS and left a message for our officer that our social worker had called and told us we may not have sent the right evidence in.  I said to please let us know if they needed anything different, and we would get it to them as soon as we could.

I think it was because of this phone message that our officer made the effort to contact us.  She said that usually their policy is to NOT approve a file if the right evidence is not sent in.  But she knew that we were trying to get them what they needed so she had called one more time.

I said I would go home immediately and try to contact Nichole (who we work with at Children's Hope) so we could get them the right evidence.  Driving home, I was alternating between thanking God that I had answered the phone (I ALMOST left it in the car) and praying that I would be able to get in contact with Nichole and get the right information to USCIS.

At home, I quickly called Nichole and waited anxiously while the phone rang and rang and rang - and then she answered!  I was so very happy to talk to her and not a machine!  I told her what was going on and she said she would take care of it IMMEDIATELY and that she would copy me on the email to USCIS when she sent it!  Phew. 

After I got off the phone, I tried calling our officer at USCIS again - but I had to leave a message.  I let her know that I had gotten in contact with our agency and that she would be sending over what they needed asap.

I then drove back to my neighbor's house where I had left Lyric playing with her friend.  I tried not to think too hard about what was going on, but it was really hard not to!  Around 11:00 we headed back home to fix lunch before Carissa, Tyler and Kevin headed to the state fair to show the kid's rabbits.

After I got them out the door I tried calling USCIS again to see if our officer had received the email from our agency (Nichole had copied me on it.  She got it sent out really fast!).  The phone rang and rang and rang.  When voice mail picked up I just hung up.  I didn't want to be a pest to our officer so I decided to call at 3:00.

And after all that... I took a nap.  I needed it!  I figured it was the fastest way to pass the time :)  I woke up just after 3:00 and placed my call again.  I had decided that I would just talk to whoever answered the phone to see if I could get any answers.  I told them that we had sent in some important paperwork earlier and that I needed to make sure it was the right information our officer needed but her phone just went to voicemail.

And then the officer said, "Mrs Burgess?  This is Officer ....)"  It was our officer!  She said she had to work the call center and when she does that her number goes right to voicemail.  She said she did get exactly what she needed and as soon as she was done with the call center she could send us an email letting us know their decision - which was an approval!  I rather giddily thanked her and hung up the phone.  I would have hugged her had we been in person.

An hour or so passed when I got another call with the mysterious 816 unknown caller id.  Why do I automatically think that something is wrong when when we get a phone call from USCIS?  It was our officer again.  She was calling just to let us know that we were approved.  She had sent an email to our adoption agency and to our address.  We would be receiving the paperwork in the mail within a few days.  Again, I could have hugged her!

Kevin and I ended our day with a date to a carnival fundraiser at a church.  We watched fireworks, ate a bit of ice cream, and had a really nice time together talking about our day and dreaming about the future.

As for the medicals, we were able to get all of our tests done this last week.  Now we just have to wait for the results, which we should get all of them back this coming week accept for one test.  I'll have to look up the information to see which one it was, but it's not supposed to come in for another 2 1/2 weeks!  We are going to contact our regular doctor's office on Monday to see how much it would cost to get it done there and how long it would take to get the results back.  If it isn't too much, we will do it there. 

As always, thank you so much for praying for our family and for our children in Colombia.  Can't wait to show you pictures!  The children are adorable!


1 comment:

  1. Wow, quite the adventure. :) Congratulations on the I-800 approval, that's a huge step forward towards your little ones!!!