SO, where shall I start? Do you want the good news, the bad news, or the awesome news? Hmmmmm....
Okay, here's the good...
After literally calling USCIS EVERYday for the past two weeks, I finally got some answers. Let me back up a bit. Remember me telling you that I knew of a couple of families that were getting their approvals before us even though they had sent in their application and were fingerprinted after us. Well, this past Friday I got a call from yet another parent letting me know that there approval was put in the mail Friday. I was excited for them, but once again frustrated for us. They turned in their application about a week after us, and were fingerprinted a day after us. According to USCIS, there is NO way this could happen because they have to go in order of the receipt. Do you see my frustration?
Well, me, being me, and not being able to give up control to easily called USCIS again first thing this morning. Once the officer got all my info he said "let me transfer you to the officer in charge of your case." WHOOO HOOO, finally (was pretty much all I was thinking). Well, that excitement was short lived when the officer who answered the phone was our officer from last time, NOT our current officer. She was very nice though in telling me that we were still pending and had not yet been assigned an officer. I thanked, hung up, and called right back. This time, I explained again that we other couples were getting their approvals before us and was told again, that there is no way that is possible. That is when I kindly asked to speak to a supervisor.
Once the supervisor came on the line, I explained (again) what was going on and how I just didn't understand what was taking so long. He tried to tell me that it could take up to 90 days to get the approval. That was when I decided to get a little more how shall I put this, pushy (not exactly the first word that came to mind, but I never know if kids might be reading this). So, I politely said this to him "I understand that is your policy, and that is how things are SUPPOSED to work, but you and I both know the approval are NOT taking 90 days and that that is just a number you give out so people like me won't bug you everyday." After a couple of seconds of silence from him, he chuckled, asked for my call back number and said he would see what he could find out.
Ten minutes later, he called me back to let me know that somehow, our paperwork was still sitting in the record office (whatever that is) and that is pulled it himself, and was going to personally assign it to an officer today and ask that it get looked at asap. That was good enough for me, I thanked him, and apologized for being so "pushy." Before I hung up, he said "ma'am, sometimes it pays off to be pushy." Yes, yes it does.
Again, even though I had his word, that he was going to take care of it, that just wasn't good enough for me. So, I decided to wait until later this afternoon and call back to see if I could at least talk to the officer in charge and maybe persuade him to look at our file today. I called back and spoke to a super nice lady with the cutest little Southern accent who kindly told me once again, we had not been assigned an officer. She did say that since the supervisor personally put it on a desk, it may not show up in the system until the officer was actually working on it. I thanked her and said I would call back closer to closing time to check again.
This time, less than minutes later, I got another call from the Southern accent lady letting me know that she walked around to everyone's desk and was able to locate our application and that she was going to transfer me to the officer in charge of our case. My reply to this, "oh, I could just kiss you, thank you, thank you, thank you!"
So, she transferred me to the officer in charge of our case, and after hopefully the last time explaining the whole story to him, he assured me that he would look over it today and as long as there were no problems, it would go in the mail tomorrow. Now, last time I checked neither Matt nor I have been convicted of a crime, and Officer **** did not call back, so that must mean our approval will go out tomorrow. YIPPEEEE!!!!!
Just to ease your minds, YES, I will most definitely be calling again tomorrow morning just to make sure we have been approved and it is in the mail.
If it is, my biggest prayer will be that we get it by Thursday so I can take it to Indianapolis Friday. The kids are on spring break this week and I am off Thursday and Friday so, please pray that we get it Thursday.
I e-mailed our agency to let keep them updated since we have already asked for an extension because of Matt's physical taking so long. Her response, "You're tenacious...I love it!" Tenacious, I like that much better than pushy.
I just keep telling myself, "everything happens for a reason."
So, that's the good news, now for the not so good news...
In order for us to be able to send our dossier to China, we need to come up with $5965.00. That is $5965.00 that we unfortunately do not have right now. Why don't we have it? Well, Matt has been out of work since February 3rd (again). Luckily, he has been busy with his side business. The only bad news about that is that the money we had set aside and planned to use from those side jobs has gone to pay our everyday living expenses.
We had a plan. In our eyes, it seemed realistic. But obviously, our plan and God's are a bit different. Matt is finally back to work and we can finally start putting his "extra" money towards bringing Keliah home. But for now, we are really under pressure to get our dossier to China especially since we have already asked for an extension. Obviously, the sooner we get our dossier to China, the sooner we can bring our girl home.
Now, for the awesome news...
This is not exactly the fundraiser we wanted to have (I am that is going to be down the road), but under the circumstances, we are putting something together quickly so we can be that much closer to bringing Keliah home. We have several other fundraising ideas in future to help pay for travel expenses, etc. We are planning a garage sale in June, we will be hopefully be getting our tax refund back soon, we are also talking about doing some sort of local fundraising. But right now, is what we need to focus on. One day at a time.
After alot of research we have decided to auction off one of these bad boys...
This my friends, is the newly released iPad 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G - 16GB
The all-new thinner and lighter design makes iPad 2 even more comfortable to hold. It's even more powerful with the dual-core A5 chip, yet has the same 10 hours of battery life.1 With two cameras, you can make FaceTime video calls,2 record HD video and put a twist on your snapshots in Photo Booth. And the iPad Smart Cover attaches magnetically and wakes up, stands up and brightens up your iPad 2.3
* Apple® iPad™ 2 with Wi-Fi + 3G - 16GB
* 9.7" LED-backlit display with IPS technology
* Dual-core A5 chip
* Front and back cameras
* Up to 10 hours of battery life
* Built-in Wi-Fi (802.11a/b/g/n)
* 3G data service with AT&T (data plan sold separately)
* Bluetooth 2.1 + EDR technology
* 16GB flash storage
* Over 65,000 apps made for iPad, available from the App Store
Now, you must be asking yourself how you can get your hands on this beauty. Well, you have several chances to win, just see below.
1. For every $10.00 donated you will receive one entry or 3 entries for $25.00.
2. Post about the fundraiser on your blog then come back and post telling me you posted about it.
3. Post about the fundraiser on facebook.
4. Become a follower
So, my friends, we are one again stepping out in faith and asking for your help. The adoption community is an amazing community of people. I have made so many friends through adoption and I cannot imagine my life without them. Adoption has taught me so much and opened my eyes to so much. Much more than I expected or bargained for. It has taught me to relax and be patient. It has taught me to give up control. It has taught me to step out of my comfort zone and let faith lead the way. It has shown me that anything, and I mean anything is possible with God on your side. Adoption has also shown me and made me apart of a very small (but growing) community. A community that sees the importance of every child having a family. A community that bands together to help each other. A community that I am SO proud to be a part of.
We need a total of $5965.00 to send our dossier to China. That total plus the $630.00 for the iPad, we need $6595.00 to continue on our journey. I have seen much more raised in a much smaller amount of time. So, as I like to say to my kids when we need to get something done,
"LETS DO THIS!"