Sunday, April 13, 2008

Update Number One

I know I haven't been around much recently.

Last month, we set about compiling a pile of paperwork to start the process of getting a homestudy update so we can reapply for the Citizen & Immigration Services 171h form via the I-600a.

When I saw the amount of things we would have to do just for an update, I was very grouchy and depressed.

Medical updates, financial updates, criminal record checks, and something about a "Responsible Individuals List" which seems to be an database tracking child molesters. And we had to fill out a new application (12 pages worth of info and legal agreements), although they have a wealth of detailed personal information about us already. Oh yes, and send them about $800 for the whole update.

It turns out that after the big push for our dossier, I have run out of *all* patience for *any* paperwork. I had just started to feel pretty good about being able to ignore the wait, and being reminded of the massive amount of paperwork *just to stay in line* shook me up. I felt exhausted just thinking about it, and here we had *another* stack to deal with.

M was just "eh, whatever." Lucky for him, I've been doing it (as usual, the paperwork falls onto me), but I haven't been cheerful about it. So I spent some time wailing and complaining and feeling glum at the aggravation ahead of us.

It took us more than a month to gather all this together and deliver it. Now we have to get an appointment with our social worker so we can have her visit and have her spend a couple of weeks writing it up and.... If I don't hear from them within the next couple of working days, I will call and bug them for a social worker appointment. It might have escaped their attention that we are working under a deadline.

Yes, our current 171h will expire in the middle of May. The federal agency has decided to lighten the financial burden for couples having to wait so long that they have to renew by waiving the *first* renewal if the application arrives before the old one expires. Notice that's the *first* one. With the wait extending 4-5+ years, we'll end up having to pay out a few more times anyway, but it would be nice to save a little bit of money, eh?

In any case, the thing weighing on my mind is that if for some reason we don't get the whole bigger application (incl. homestudy update) in to the CIS before the middle of May, we'll have to pay another $800+ for apply for renewal, not including the fingerprint renewal, which we'll have to pay for anyway. That's running about $80 a person. In the grand scheme of things, it's not really a big deal, but the thought of having to do this repeatedly.... *sigh*

So it would be nice if the social worker did not sit on her hands like she did the last time. I am dreading the possibility of having to Fed Ex our application overnight to try to make the freakin deadline. *sigh*

* * * * *
We still get the occasional question from friends or family about "How are things going with the adoption?" My answer is usually the same: "Well, our paperwork is still sitting there in China..."

I am making an effort to educate the people who need to know, for instance our doctor (who is shocked by the slowdown). To avoid misplaced pity or ideas, I try to be as straightforward and cheerfully matter of fact as I can. It doesn't help us to get dragged into someone else's emotion about it.

However, I was somewhat taken aback by my MIL's recent cheerful "So, how is the baby-making going?" Ahhaha... "Well, our paperwork is still sitting there in China..." I'm not sure what she was thinking... that we were adopting on a whim, or that we just hadn't "tried hard enough" to "make" "one of our own." *rolling my eyes* Well, she already has *grandchildren* popping out great-grand-babies, so it's not like she's heavily invested in our outcome. For most friends, they either know about the slowdown or they know nothing about our situation at all.

On a happier note, I am actually feeling overall, well, happy. Professionally and personally, I am forging ahead and doing interesting things. We are certainly not putting our lives on hold (anymore) while we wait to become parents. Definitely a good thing for our mental health.

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