We got Jayden's I800 approval from our government in two weeks...start to finish. Seth's took two weeks and two days and his was supposed to be expedited! But, I will share the blessings that I have found in this process with our Homeland Security.
When we first applied to USCIS for approval to adopt and bring home a foreign child, we were assigned an officer. I have spoken to Officer Gillen several times regarding Seth's paperwork which she said would definitely be expedited because he was an aging out young man. They had the file all last week, but there are several departments that it goes through. I talked to our officer in the morning on Friday, the 24th of February and she told me she should have the file on her desk that afternoon to approve. Well...I called in the afternoon and was told she had just left on vacation for all of next week and our file was transferred to Officer Gray so I left a message for her.
Monday morning I called to talk to Officer Gray. All I will say is she was not helpful...at all. She said to call back in 3-4 days to check on our file. She would not even look in the computer system to see where it was. This was expedited??? Our adoption agency social worker told me to call USCIS back and ask for Officer Jones. Once I explained our situation to her she said she would check Officer Gray's desk for our file and since Officer Gray was going to be so busy doing our old officer's work she would offer to process our file. Finally...blessing number one. Any adoptive family that has had Officer Jones working on their file has nothing but wonderful things to say about her. She goes over and beyond the call of duty. On Tuesday evening, I received a phone call from Officer Jones which was after hours I might add. She stated there was a paragraph missing from our homestudy addendum which would have said we were approved by our social worker to adopt a child up to the age of 14. She stated she would give us 24 hours to have this correction emailed to her or she would have to put our file on hold and issue a Request for Evidence.
I immediately called our homestudy social worker who found the mistake, quickly fixed it and had it emailed to our officer the next morning after it was notarized. Blessings number two and three. If we would have had Officer Gray, I sincerely believe she would have just sent out the Request For Evidence and not called us. And...even though our homestudy agency made a mistake they sure were able to fix it fast. Our I800 approval was issued this morning and should be overnighted to the National Visa Center. Our file will be there for a day or two, then cabled to China and by the end of next week Seth's paperwork will be together with Jayden's. Praise God this roller coaster ride is almost over!