I have a new level of concern about our bureaucratic government systems after the past two weeks. Imagine a person sitting in a sealed cubicle with a mail slot on the North wall and one on South wall. New documents come in through the South wall, from where, she knows not. Stamped documents she inserts through the North wall and has zero visibility into what happens beyond that wall. She only knows the document disappears and it’s no longer her responsibility. That’s what international adoption paperwork is like. The person assigned to my case has no idea, for example, how the document she sent on the 15th was sent, because the sending part is not her department. She thinks it might have gone via Fedex 2-day, but doesn’t think it would be possible to find a tracking number for it.
Another person in the next organization can confirm that she has received something for our case, but can’t confirm what it is or what will happen with it next. She doesn’t even know when it arrived or how (email or physical mail, for example).
Worse, our agency can’t even answer the question (although they say they’ve tried to get an explanation from the likes of the people described above) of exactly what happens in the process between USCIS and the National Visa Center. They don’t know exactly what documents are forwarded and how.
How could a system like this possibly run efficiently if the left hand doesn’t know what the right hand is doing? It’s the worst of what I’ve always heard about government processes. And when it applies to my family, and the children I’ve been trying to get home, it is oh so maddening.
But on the bright side, the pushing and the questions and the digging seem to have yielded some results and this morning we heard from the embassy that our visa approval came through! Now they are just waiting for corrected documents about the death of our boys’ birth father.
I’m preparing to fly! Wouldn’t it be cool to bring them through immigration at SFO? They might even be able to meet their Auntie Kelly on the way home!
The extra time has been helpful to continue our recovery from the house repairs. It’s amazing how long the final details take, and what a mess major construction creates. It’s also been helpful for me to wrap up some final projects at work so that I can more cleanly walk away without leaving clients hanging. Yes, God’s timing is perfect and to the extent that I remember that, I can sometimes be at peace with all of these delays.
Here are some photos of my kids from last week. They are growing so much! Several families from our forum traveled last week for court appearances or embassy appointments. I’m so grateful to you all for taking more pictures so we can see our kids!