Finally, finally we received our I-171H which is our I-600a approval in the mail today! Remember when we were finger printed in September and had to got to US Citizenship and Immigration Services? Well, our approval letter is dated on October 11, 2008! I have no idea why it took almost two months to get mailed from the northern part of our state! Well, I do have some idea....
Back up to Wednesday, Nov. 26th - I tried to call USCIS with no luck. So, I then called our adoption agency. The woman I spoke with was so nice and helpful. She gave me an e-mail address for USCIS. I sent the e-mail on Friday Nov. 28th. I got an auto-reply back within minutes. The reply had a few FAQs and then a phone number to call too! It said I should receive a response within 2-3 business days. So, I waited and stalked my e-mail.
Now it is Wednesday, Dec. 3rd and still no response. I decided to call the number from the e-mail. You can only call in on Wednesdays from 1-4 pm, so if I didn't call that day, I would have to wait a whole week before I could call again! I got Justin down for a nap and called at 1:05, didn't want to seem overly anxious! I got a recording about the proper time to call in and some other contact info and then nothing. Okay, maybe they are late getting back from lunch? So I called at 1:20, and 1:40 and got the same recording. I kept listening to the whole thing because I was afraid that it would change at the end!
Finally at 1:45, the nicest woman picked up. She found our info in her computer and said they were waiting on something on their end. She asked me to hold on while she got our file. I could tell that something was wrong by her voice. She said well, your file was approved on Oct. 11th, I have no idea why your approval has not been sent out yet! WHAT!!! She said she would get it done and send it out to me right away!
My theory is that the file, at some time, was waiting on a clearance to come back. The clearance came back and was put in the file, and an approval (I-171H) letter was written. But, someone forgot to update the computer, so it appeared that it was not ready to be sent out! I am just hoping that this was our paperwork snag, apparently everyone had at least on during the process! Better to be before referral than after referral!!!