Thursday, January 24, 2008

And Found Again

Noah's I600 made it to Haiti!! COTP has gotten a birth parent interview scheduled for Monday, but the flight to PAP is full, so they're trying to see if they can get on the flight somehow. Please pray that they can get on the flight so that they can get to the appointment on Monday.

One step closer...

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Still Waiting

Well, there's not much to report, unfortunately. I spoke with the Haitian consulate yesterday and they still haven't received my I600 approval. According to DHL, a package should only take about 3 days to get to Haiti - it's been a week now. I know I should be more patient, but it seems impossible right now. I just want to get our boy home!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008


Well, I spoke with the NVC today and, amazingly, they actually received my file. In fact, they sent it out to Haiti via DHL yesterday. Thank you, God!! We are praying that we don't hit anymore speed bumps and that we will be able to pick Noah up in the next couple of weeks.

We'll let you know!

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Lost and Found

Well, my file has been found!! This is a wonderful thing, but it also makes me want to scream because of the complete incompetence of the Chicago USCIS office (okay - being honest here - after I got off the phone, I did scream). Turns out, they never sent it. Yep, you read that right - hard to believe yet another mistake could have been made with my file, but apparently the incompetence of USCIS knows no bounds.

When I spoke to the officer yesterday on the phone, she assured me that my file had been sent. That they are always sent the next day. After much cajoling, she finally agreed to have a clerk look at my file and make sure (I tried to convince her to do it herself while I was on the phone, but she couldn't be bothered with this). She took my phone number and said that she would have a clerk look at it and then she would call me back.

Of course, she never called. Finally, this afternoon, I called her back and she said, "Oh, I found out that it was never sent. I forgot to call you." Just like that. I wish I would have had the foresight to tell her yesterday that I would pay to have the file overnighted if it was found. Since she never called me, it had already been sent out and it was too late. She assured me that it would only take a week or so to get to NVC (funny, yesterday she was insisting that it could take up to four weeks). Scott and my mom both reassured me that it wouldn't have mattered if I had offered to pay for overnight shipping. She's not the helpful type - she would have just said, "That's not how we do it." I'm guessing they're right.

The truly frustrating thing about this whole ordeal is that I have never once gotten a single "I'm sorry" for anything that has happened with my file. Apparently, the US government has no need for customer service because, let's face it, it's not like I can switch to another vendor. (Hmmm... Canada sounds good about now). And obviously the officer working at USCIS Chicago doesn't have the human decency to come up with an "I'm sorry" without a customer service policy forcing her to do so. When my file was approved back in June and then that approval was rescinded, they simply sent me an email stating that the approval had been given in error. No, "I'm sorry for any inconvenience this has caused." Nothing. Then, when the officer gave me incorrect information on what was needed in order to approve my file (which caused months of delay), again, I was never offered a simple apology. USCIS Chicago never sent my letter to USCIS Haiti to let them know that I had opted out of the AOF program. They also never showed an ounce of regret. After all of this, they forget to send my file. You would think that the office would feel horrible that yet another mistake had been made. If it were me in her position, I would have said, "I am SO sorry that this happened and that your file was delayed yet again." Go back and read what she actually said in the third paragraph. It's pretty much verbatim.

Every time I spoke to this officer and explained to her that my son had had a passport since the beginning of November and that this approval was the only thing holding me up, she would respond with a completely non-committal, unsympathetic reply. Usually, she would suggest that we should just "wait" for some paperwork or other from Haiti (which was never coming - I talked to the people in Haiti and they had no idea what she was talking about and said there is no reason that she shouldn't give me the approval if I had opted out of the AOF program). She even chuckled once at the fact that she was waiting on Haiti and Haiti was waiting on her. So very amusing that my son was stuck in limbo due to her incompetence! She would repeatedly tell me that she would check on something and then call me back - She never once called me back during this process. I've been treated as though my child coming home is completely unimportant - like I've been waiting for a baby doll instead of an actual child. What's a few more months, right?

A few more months in the life of a three-year-old child. It's a lot.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Trials and Tribulations

More bad news I'm afraid. The National Visa Center has not received our I600 approval yet. Of course, everyone I've talked to is trying to tell me that it could take up to four weeks to get to New Hampshire, but you can tell they're just trying to sound positive. Everyone says, "Well, yes, it really should have gotten there by now, but you never know - it could take longer". The woman at NVC that I spoke to told me to call USCIS Chicago. I did, but the officer was not very helpful (not that I expected her to be). She basically told me that there's nothing she can do. They don't have copies of anything from the file and NVC needs the physical file before they can do anything. So, once again, we're stuck.

Please pray that the file will make its way to NVC SOON!!