Sunday, October 30, 2005

UPS tracking is a wonderful thing

Today, I logged onto the UPS site again just for kicks to see if by some slim chance our form left Tallahassee on the last pickup on Friday. To my utter astonishment, it did! It looks like the gov't came through for us this time afterall, even with our address mix up.

Tonight I'm planning to write our letter itemizing all the documents were sending to Houston for the Chinese Consulate to authenticate. This is the last approval step before everything goes to China!!!

Saturday, October 29, 2005

Happy Halloween!

We had an evening of fun with the pumpkin carving tradition Bobby started way back in our dating days. (Of course, at the time he didn't realize that everything you do during the dating phase becomes a tradition.)

Can you tell who carved which pumpkin?

Yet another hiccup in the paperchase

We fully expected to receive the certified copy of the I-171 back from the state this week. They've turned all of our other documents around in this time frame, so when it didn't show up on Friday, I was surprised but not too concerned. Of course, then I read a post on a Yahoo board asking for the *new* address of the Apostille office. Frantically, I pulled out the UPS slip to track our form. Yep. We overnighted to the *old* address. In our defense, how often do government offices move?

Lesson learned for our next paperchase (if this one ever ends): Always double check the address before mailing the package.

Anyway, we know that it arrived in Tallahassee and was signed for on the 24th. Now we have to get the right person on the phone to determine if the package was forwarded to the correct office or is sitting in a bin in an empty storage room. Ugh! Or, maybe we'll just go back to the UPS store and do the whole thing again....wasted week.

At least the Gators beat the Dawgs!

Sunday, October 23, 2005

We're Approved.

Friday I made it to the mailbox before Shannon and discovered the envelope containing the I-171H form from the U.S. CIS. This form officially granted us rights to bring an orphan into the United States. It took 8 weeks and a number of attempts to contact the US CIS but it finally arrived. We immediately notarized it, placed it into an envelope, and sent it the Florida State Department to be certified. Once it returns will package the I-171H with the rest of our documents and send to the Chinese Consulate to be authenticated. This weekend, Shannon drug me to every store in the mall in order to pick out Kayla's first baby outfit. After hours of searching we finally selected two pink outfits.

This was and exciting week for us. One step closer to going to get Kayla.

Wednesday, October 19, 2005

Today is a good day for news

It's late so I'll be to the point for once. We were able to get an e-mail address of the Jax USCIS case worker through someone on the Florida International Adoption Yahoo Group. I e-mailed her this morning to check the status. Within a few hours, she called Bobby. Apparently there was some *delay* at the FBI. But, she pulled and reviewed our file today. Everything is good and she said we should receive our long awaited I-171 early next week. I don't think I'll breathe easy until it is actually in my hands, but it is still a relief to know it is on its way.

Based on getting our paperwork out by the end of November, we'll most likely be traveling to get Kayla in July/August of 2006. Of course, nothing has really gone according to plan so far...maybe we'll get lucky and referrals will start coming quicker and we can make up some time!

Tuesday, October 18, 2005

Zip-o, nada, zilch-r-ama

No news to report. Still just trying to track down someone to let us know the status of our application. I e-mailed our family coordinator and social worker tonight to see if they can do anything on their end.

Oh I had a flat tire on the way home from work. Oh, the drama of my blog :) HAHAHA!

Monday, October 17, 2005

Red tape woes

After taking the time to actually look up my senator and send off a detailed e-mail about our dilemma of having no one in the USCIS that will return our calls or pull our file, I received back a generic "sorry I get so much e-mail I can't bother to actually read it, maybe my staff will or maybe they won't read it for me" e-mail in return. What a waste! Why bother having an e-mail address if no one in the office is going to check it? I wasn't actually expecting a personal response, but I was expecting that there is someone in the senator's office that checks his e-mail.

I guess I'll try calling his office tomorrow, even though I fully expect a recording that tells me to leave a voice message even though no one actually listens to the recordings...

It's been 7 weeks and 3 days since our prints were taken, but who's counting?

Saturday, October 15, 2005

Saw a Ladybug Today

Bobby and I spent a good part of today doing yardwork. It's a beautiful day today and it felt great to be outside doing something productive. I sat down under a tree I was pruning to take a little break. And, that is when it happened...a lady bug crawled up on my finger.'re thinking, no big deal, shake it off. Not a chance! Ladybugs are thought to bring good luck in most cultures. And, in most china adoption circles you'll notice ladybug sitings mean referrals are on the way. Of course, we're not at the referral stage...but I'm taking this siting to mean our I-171 will be here soon.
Just for fun, here's a site dedicated to
ladybug folklore.

Wednesday, October 12, 2005

Extended holiday for some gov't employees

As luck would have it, the two workers in the Jax USCIS office that handle adoption paperwork have called in sick for the last couple of days. I guess Columbus Day wasn't enough for some people! (Or, maybe they really are sick yada...yada...yada). At least Bobby was able to talk to a random guy at the front desk. The desk guy tried to find someone to check the status of our case; but, apparently, no one knows how to pull a file that did not originate in their department. So, desk guy just made a copy of our receipt, jotted down our contact info and said he would leave it for when the workers return.

Guess this week is a bust.

"Watch closely. I'm going to do this only once."
-Kamikaze flight school instructor

Tuesday, October 11, 2005

Think I won't hunt you down?

Bobby had no luck getting through the USCIS voicemail maze today. And, of course the mailman is a slacker and did not bring the goods.

Don't worry, I'm on the case. Just call me a detective's daughter.

I found this link to the USCIS by chance on an immigration lawyer's website ( Never noticed it on the USCIS site before. Through this site, we were able to actually set up an appointment to meet with someone about our case in person! Bobby's heading over there tomorrow morning.

Wish us luck and answers....the answers we want to hear of course. As a matter of fact, just pray he'll bring a copy of the Form home with him after a nice chat with the immigration officials.

Monday, October 10, 2005

Ugh! It's a postman's holiday!

Columbus Day! calling the USCIS to see why they're taking forever and a day. This part is becoming a real drag. I'm ready to move on to the fun stuff--nursery decorating, planning how to pack, counting down to referral day....

Maybe tomorrow will be our lucky day.

Saturday, October 08, 2005

I'm so jealous!

Our adoption agency has a Yahoo group set up so families can share information and experiences with other families who are at different points in the process. It just so happens a few weeks ago one family posted a question about the FBI office in Jax. I was more than happy to reply, being that we were old pros since we had our prints taken two weeks before that. Along I go merrily on my way. Today, I read on the Yahoo board this family's post about how excited they are since they received their I-171 in the record time of 3 1/2 weeks. That's right, their info went in at least 2 weeks after ours...and yet we wait. (As an aside, I am of course happy for this family.)

So now I'm convinced something has gone terribly wrong with our beloved paperwork, such as...
a) The family down the street received our brown package, assumed it was junk mail and trashed it.

b) The family down the street realized I read their Better Homes and Garden magazine instead of telling the postman it was delivered to the wrong mailbox and they are now holding our Form hostage for revenge.

c) Our paperwork is stuck in perpetual government limbo and has most likely dropped behind their file cabinet never to be seen again.

d) Our brown package will arrive on Monday....***fingers crossed***

Thursday, October 06, 2005

Still waiting...tap..tap...tap...

While there are still a couple of things we need to do for our dossier (like the photo sheets, eek!), we are in the USCIS gridlock waiting on our I-171. I e-mailed our Family Coordinator (FC) today to see what the average timeframe is these days. She said 6 to 8 weeks once they receive everything, including the fingerprints. So that puts us at exactly 6 weeks on Friday. What are the chances you think it will be in our mailbox tomorrow? HAHAHAHAHA!!!! Okay, what are the chances you think I'll still run home and check the mail first thing after work??? The FC also suggested that if we don't receive it by Oct. 26th, we should give our senator a call because that seems to help get things moving sometimes. So there you have it, everything really does come down to politics in the end.

So now in my spare time I've taken to listening and attempting to learn some chinese phrases for fun. Try it out.....
  • chinese phrases
  • Saturday, October 01, 2005

    What to do when your tired of waiting....

    Of course you guys know me, I usually hate to shop. But when I'm looking at baby stuff...well I'm hooked. Men you might as well stop reading now, this post will bore you to tears.

    Just tell me cute are these diaper bags???

    Yes, I know what you seasoned moms are thinking...Bobby's never going to carry that bag! But, the way I see it, the sooner he realizes the women out number the men in the house, the better. Might as well break him in with a little pink backpack, right?