Tuesday, September 21, 2010

*If you think I'm a saint DO NOT read this post*

So, USCIS. Last night I lay in bed thinking about this. I have this terrible sinking feeling about our fingerprints expiring and that delaying our court date even further. My gut (which has been somewhat off-kilter anyway for the last 6 months) was screaming out to me. And I'm a go with my gut kinda girl.
Our fingerprints expiring on the 27th and USCIS telling me over and over again "not to worry" has sent me into an all out panic. I'm like the Titanic but I can see the iceberg ahead.
So, I emailed our case manager today and told her how concerned about their lack of concern. She wrote me back immediately and said- basically, what my gut was telling me all along- THIS IS AN EMERGENCY.
So, I call them today. AGAIN. I would like to provide some background information in my defense so that you don't think less of me for the bit coming soon.
September 1st- Call USCIS and tell them OMG our fingerprints expire on 9/27. Is this going to hurt us? Do we still have time? Answer: Of course not. There is a 30 day turn around time for the re-prints. No problem.
September 2nd- Overnight our request to Missouri.
September 3rd- Call USCIS. Did you get the package? Are we cool? Answer: No worries, no problem. We'll have you re-printed in two weeks max. Call in 2 weeks if you don't have an appointment.
September 14th- Call USCIS. Speak with rude receptionist. Remain polite and calm. It hasn't been assigned yet, call back at the end of the week.
September 16th- It's the end of the week. It's still not been assigned. "Don't worry, blah, blah, blah" Call back the first of the week.
September 20th- It's the first of the week. (See last night's post) Lie in bed awake all night with worry.
September 21st- Case manager freaks out as much as I do. Suggests calling our congressmen and senator. OMG. This IS serious! I knew it!
(This is the part you should stop reading if you think I am holding up remarkably well and are shocked that my sanity has remained intact for the last 6 months)
Call USCIS. Rude receptionist/case worker/whatever tells me "well of course this is an emergency, you and everybody else" I hold it together while reciting to myself (more flies with honey, more flies with honey) After going around and around with her why this is an emergency she says "do you know how busy we are here?" and fesses up that they can't even FIND our request because "we get thousands of letters here everyday and do you think the world just stops when you send a letter?" OK. The gloves are off.
THEN she says "do you think you are above waiting like everybody else?" At that point, 6 months of pent up anger and frustration comes spewing from my mouth. I say "LET ME TELL YOU SOMETHING ABOUT WAITING" and my "before I met Jesus" potty mouth comes forth. I will spare you all the colorful and descriptive adjectives that I used during the remainder of that telephone conversation. After I got done with that portion of the phone conversation, I moved on to tell her about our two year old son that has been waiting for his family and you know what, he really doesn't care how many (beep) letters she gets in a day or how (beeping) busy she is. Then, of course, I burst into tears and slam down the phone.
It was after hours at this point, so I called my contact at the senator's office and left her a voicemail. I sent USCIS an email explaining that I ending our conversation abruptly after I got "a little emotional" and wanted to re-iterate to them exactly what I needed from them.
I cried to my husband on my way home. I felt like such a basket case. I had failed big time. So much for handling situations with kindness and grace.
An hour later, I received a email response from USCIS with our fingerprint appointment on October 5th.
Wow. That only took an all out total hissy fit meltdown.
So, do you think less of me? We all have our moments I suppose, I would like to think of it as righteous anger, but I probably could have left out all of the lovely four letter words. I really do feel badly about that. I'll be better tomorrow.


  1. GOOD FOR YOU!!!!!!!! The horrible little man I had to deal with in our government was mean too. He made me cry several times and not even during an emotional time like you are in. Just me asking questions and not quite getting what he was saying, made him so mean! I'm sure I speak for almost everyone reading your blog that we applaud you and your four letter words :)

    Yea!!!! An appointment!!!!!

  2. Sometimes you just need to put on your momma gloves and jump in the ring.

  3. Someone once told me this ... "The squeeky wheel gets the grease"... (Sarah you did good and no one... I do mean no one... thinks less of you) p.s. does your YMCA offer kick boxing? :)
    love, Shawn

  4. I admire your persistence and passion - good for you!!! Sending thoughts and prayers your way.

  5. I'm just going to say that I fell like you were probably over due for a meltdown...and I am giggling a little as well. Evidently you said the right things ;)

    Yeah for your appointment...you have to fight! Good girl.

  6. Good job Mommy!!! I'll admit I am surprised that they took action so quickly after that. I'm not surprised at all that it needed to come to that, and that they kept blowing you off. But you got the job done and now that won't delay anything for you and Charlie :o)

  7. You acted like any normal person. There is no excuse for the receptionist to treat you like that. You did the right thing. Don't worry about it. Just make that appointment! I know you will be there.

  8. Thank GOD! I was beginning to think the super cool and sassy girl I knew in high school who joked about us picking her up from her 'new' to-be pastor husband and driving her to an open field, rolling up all the windows in the car and letting her burst out all the obsinities she had bottled up was replaced with a robot! 10 years is a long time to keep all that inside, sister! You are so patient, and so God lead thru this whole process, you remind ME to calm down and fall to my knees for guidance. Keep it up, lady! You are a rockstar in my book and it's nice to know you are still human!

  9. You go girl!! I'm glad I don't have to drive up there! My next mission is to do an air raid in Russia to pick up some precious cargo! Nobody wants TWO MOMMA'S mad at one time!

  10. No worries at all!! I would have thought less of you had you not had a meltdown!!! My social worker, bless her saintly heart, listened to me rant and rave, almost on a daily basis,in between our trips 1 and 2! And, she got to listen to it, via email, while we were in Russia on Trip 2 during some horrendous court delay we had to endure. suffice it to say, it always works out fine. I'll keep you my prayers, though, in the meantime. . .: )

    God Bless!

  11. Good for you ~ if a hissy fit is what it takes to get things moving, then don't feel bad about it! WHATEVER it takes to get Charlie home!

    I have had to really think about my potty mouth lately... what a terrible habit I need to break. I do not want to talk that way, much less in front of CJ.

  12. Just consider it a moment of temporary insanity. We all experience it a time (or two or three) during this process! Glad to hear the end result though!

  13. Hopefully the person on the phone will be nicer to the next 10 people who call. At least you may make it easier for them...

  14. I am SO proud of you "Momma Bear"!
    My life experiences w/ 3 abandoned cubs gives me great insight to your situation... I am PROUD of your momma instinct!
    Amazing how you spoke "their language" and your letter lost amongst thousands of letters was found! A MIRACLE!
    Thank you Lord for giving Sarah the "chosen words" needed!
    LOve you! Sandi
    (and Faon, Randa & Reed! XOXOX)

  15. You know the saying "sometimes being a bxxxx is all a women has to hold on to" Good for you. If the women on the other end has ever been through an international adoption she would totally understand. She did not have to be rude to you. I hope you hear something soon about your court date.

  16. The moral of this story: you may catch more flies with honey, but it takes a couple of f-bombs to get a fingerprint appointment! XOXOX

  17. Just stumbled on your blog... We are six months since trip 1 too. My meltdown was with our mortgage company. It took them 30 DAYS to produce a mortgage verification letter. Can you even imagine?! This process is hard to describe if you haven't experienced it first hand!