View Full Version : Need some words of encouragement, and maybe some information

Diane B
08-02-2005, 03:18 PM
Hi all :)

I've posted a few times before, but I'm quite the lurker. My husband and I are adopting from Colombia and have just been told we're the next couple to get a referral. Yay! Wonderful! But...

Our INS approval expires in the middle of September - just a little too close for comfort if we receive a referral, at the latest, this week. Sooo...I have to fill our a whole new I600A, pay the fee all over again, and write a letter saying we're having to withdraw our old, approved I600A. Well, I looked through all our paperwork today in preparation for gather all the required documentation again and noticed something...it took them 5 months to approve our application last time!!!

I was in tears after I noticed this! :( But, it still has to be done. I just am not willing to have the application expire while we're down there...that would be a complete mess...and I don't want to risk the chance of not being able to proceed with the adoption. I'm having quite the pity party for myself now. Could someone please help to encourage me? I'm really very low at the moment. :(

Also, has this happened to anyone else? I'm trying to find a way to help speed things along, but I just don't see how to do this. We have to send everything in by mail and there doesn't seem to be any contact information for our local INS office - I think they must discourage that...who knows. If you've been in this situation, was there anything you did that helped? I'm just so devistated. We've been waiting for this referral for 17ish months now and I just shudder at the thought of waiting another 5 months.

Thanks for reading through all this and for any information you might have! I know my husband and I are lucky we've come this far and are next on the list for a referral...I just have to remember that and keep my chin up, but it's tough.

08-02-2005, 04:07 PM
I have not been through international adoption yet, but just wanted to say that there is no local number to call INS (or whatever they're called now) anymore...i know this because i called the vermont Office the other day and was told the number had been disconnected. there is now only one 1800 number to call them I believe.

Once you get through (long holding time, must push right buttons, LOL, but can be done), you will actually get a human being and for the most part they're at least helpful with information. May be a way to avoid re-applying, worth checking if you have 30-45 minutes to try and reach INS.

They have lost my green card and are not sending me a new one, so I've gone into my local office to have my passport stamped in the meantime. There might be a similar process (or maybe this is wishful thinking). Best of luck to you!!

08-02-2005, 05:30 PM
I haven't adopted internationally (yet!), but I know the frustration/excitment/agony of the adoption process. All I can tell you is that, one day, as your child is testing every ounce of energy and patience that you have in your body, you will laugh at all the "fun" you had during the process - promise :) It's hard to be positive when you are so close, but yet SO far from your dream, but IT WILL HAPPEN. Definitely call the INS, your agency, whoever you can (have you tried the international adoption boards at www.adoption.com) to find out what you need to do to help with your situation. Do whatever it takes to stay positive and keep busy. I'm cheering you on!
~Connor's Mom 02/2004~
Agency paperwork completed - waiting for #2!

08-02-2005, 07:16 PM
Are you sure you have to do the whole thing over again. I know the rule change faster than my brain can wrap around but when we were in the process, you didn't have to do the whole thing again, you applied for an extension. I completely understand your concern. This was the longest part of our process by far. Are you close enough to an INS office to go there and spend the day there. That was how I finally got our approval. I spent 3 days there (not nights - LOL).

And if you do have to start all over again, start calling your congress people, representatives, whoever, get someone on the federal level on your side.

Also, since you already have an approved homestudy and fingerprints this time, shouldn't it be faster this time?

Good luck. I hope you're wonrg (no offense!),

08-02-2005, 08:32 PM
to go into INS, but they're generally easy to get (and the good thing is, once you have an apt. you don't have to wait outside in line since 6 am).

Please keep us posted.

08-02-2005, 10:10 PM
To get in touch with USCIS (INS), try this website:
Good Luck.HTH.

08-02-2005, 11:52 PM
I don't know what state you are in but have to you talked to your SW about this (since your HS would need to be "updated" for the USCIS anyway since it has to be notarized within 6 months of when you file your form you should be in contact with your SW anyway). The reason I ask because in some states SW and/or agencies have more contact with the USCIS then the general public

Info pass will allow you to make an appointment to actually see someone at the USCIS office. Not sure that would be helpful in your case or not.

The unfortunate truth is that the law is written so that "extension" are NOT granted except in rare cases (the best known case being SARS in China) and perhaps with countries that have shut down but unless the federal law has been changed just because referrals in the country you are working with take longer isn't enough for the USCIS to extent the time frame. That being said I don't know if there is a way to get them to piggy back the acceptance. Meaning if nothing has changed in your family, and your homestudy has been reviewed by the SW and updated and your fingerprints redone then I don't know maybe talking to a gov't official (one of your congressmen or women or a Senator) can get your application "pushed" through the process a little faster.

I wish there was a way to say yup they will just rubber stamp a new approval but i don't know anyone who has been in the situation to say that will happen.

Hang in there

08-03-2005, 10:22 AM
I'm sorry to hear that. But the laws do change so quickly. Geez, INS has changed names 2-3 times since we've adopted, mich less the rest of the laws.

If there's anyway you can actually get in to see someone I really recommend it. I did manage to save 4 weeks off of a usual 12 week wait at our INS office by waiting there (but at the time you didn't need an appointment. You just planted yourself there until someone took pity or they got sick of looking at your mug day after day).

I'm so sorry. I can imagine how heartbreaking this would be. I hope your social worker and agency can give you some encouraging words.

Good luck,

Diane B
08-12-2005, 06:24 PM
Thank you all so much for your input and support!

My husband and I went to the INS office in person to see if we could have some questions answered about how long the process would actually take. The INS officer that handles adoptions was sooo wonderful and helpful! He reminded us that we were probably waiting for a few documents to be completed last time (home study for one...which was true, but I didn't realize it until he said it) and that when you have all the documentation, as we do this time, it only takes 2 - 4 weeks to get the paperwork through!!!

I'm just so thrilled that this office works as well as it does and that we were able to actually talk face-to-face with another person about our concerns.

Now it's just a matter of time to get the new approval and our referral...hopefully sooner than later. :)

08-12-2005, 08:22 PM
Oh, I'm sooo happy for you! Now, I can't wait to here about your referral!