Although Monday and Tuesday I was having a mini-melt down. We insisted on changing our immigration paperwork to Burundi when we renewed our I600 in March because we really thought it was going to happen. So know that we are back in China we need to change it back to China. It makes no difference to China now because they did not know about the change to Burundi but everything must be correct and current when we travel. We thought we would have lots of time to do this but as we got our Letter of Approval so quickly, I feel sort of rushed, but confident that I could do it.
I found out Monday that our home study update was complete and so I thought I would pull everything together that night and as soon as the fed ex man dropped it off I would add the update and send it off on Tuesday. After all how hard could it be to fill out a form. Boy, I should have NEVER thought that, if the US government is great at anything it is making things way more complicated than they should be.
Since this is technically our second country change, we needed to fill out a form I824. Which according to the Internet is "a simple 3 page form that you should not require legal assistance for". Well I have a few words to speak to whoever wrote those words!! It was not that the form is especially difficult but it was not written for adoptions it was written for immigrant workers visa so I had to guess at what they were asking for. Plus I have this great filing system, really it is awesome I should apply for a patent.
Let me explain, in the beginning, I was methodically organized. I had a book, THE BOOK, and it had sheet protectors and tabs and even a pouch to hold smaller items then a few months went by and The Book got full and the piles started. 4 years after starting the paper chase, the piles have been fruitful and have multiplied and multiplied. They have also migrated so that they are not all in the same spot any more. So after successfully sorting piles and finding what I need to go with the I824, I get it filled out, crying only 3 or 4 times.
Then I put it all in an envelope and I look at the instructions on where to send it. ARE YOU FREAKING KIDDING ME? There are 3 different places and since our immigration form is a I171H not an I797 there is no clear way to determine where it goes. After getting cross eyed and reading the instructions 5 times and searching the Internet I decided it was time for bed. I would call the agency in the morning.
Well, as I suspected our agency had no clue, shocking I know, but to their credit I really doubt that this is a common form for them. Plus in March when we renewed you were still able to apply at the local USCIS office, why does the government mess with a good thing? Anyway, my agency suggests I call the customer service number on the instructions. OK, I think, here goes the adventure into never ending government automated menus. I was right. push 1 for this, 2 for that, 3 for this and that and so on and so forth FOREVER. I finally find one menu where you can push something to talk to a customer service representative. Bingo! Right? NO. So after the all our agents are busy your estimated wait time is 15-20 minutes but you call is greatly appreciated crap. I got put on hold for, you guessed it, 15-20 minutes.
Finally a gal gets on the phone and speaks for a full 2 minutes before even finding out if I am still on the line. Her name, number, and all the disclaimer crap. Ok she is going to ask what my question is now right? NO. she is going to ask me questions, because this will apparently enable her to psychically determine what I want. After a series of rather annoying questions it is finally my turn to talk. This is approximately how the conversations goes:
Me: I need to file an I824 to change countries for my I600A...
Government psychic: (interrupts) well let me put you on hold so that I can analyse how to best answer you.
Me: But wait I was not done (too late already hearing muzak)
Government Psychic: (returns) well in order for you to file the I600A...
Me: (interrupts) No. (speaking fast so she can't cut me off again) you see I already have an I600A and I know I need to fill out an I824, I just need to know where to file the I824, there are 3 choices and I don't know how to determine the correct one for my situation.
Government Psychic: Well That is all taken care of with the National Benefits Center and so I can not tell you where to file it. you can only contact them through email. You can not call them
Me: Ok but I just need to know which address.
Government Psychic: Sorry I am not allowed to give you that information.
OK seriously I was about ready to threaten a federal employee. I just get the address which by the way she gave me in the most annoying way. Then she has the nerve to say that please feel free to call with any questions and was there anything else she could help me with. I took several deep breathes and said "I doubt it, since you can't even answer the very simple question I had"
Yeah, that was a HUGE waste of time.
So after talking to a friend and searching the website, it looks like most of the adoption stuff goes to Texas so I sent it to Texas with my fingers crossed!!
Now we just wait for our updated 171H and our TA! I wonder which will come first?!
But after all that frustration I can look at this picture and smile because she is SO worth the paperwork!