Monday, August 27, 2007

Weekend update

It was busy, and yet...

I worked like a man possessed this weekend. Painted, sealed, replaced, improved, painted again, touched up, added to, took away, checked and rechecked.

And, after all of that, I left my camera over at Christine's (of Oscar the Ginormous Fish) last night when we went to visit. So I have no pictures of the whole farrago. Those I'll post later, but rather than remain blogless I've illustrated this post with some selections from one of my favorite pre-Raphaelite eye-candy painters, Larry Alma-Tadema.

So the point is that Mojo and I worked like latifunda slaves from Friday evening until Sunday afternoon. This included:
-- watersealing the new deck
-- painting the underside of the pentroof over the deck door to cover the fire damage exposed by the demo of the old bay window
-- painting the deck door frame to match the other house doors
-- nailing down the flashing at the top of the pentroof (still trying to figure out how that stuff got pried up - stu-range!)
-- installing door stops on the deck door sidewindows
-- replacing the hinges on the living room china cabinet
-- installing a doorstop on the front door
-- touching up the exterior paint around the deck/house wall join
-- replacing the nasty landlord halo/snow globe light fixtures in the back hallway

The delightful part is that the new deck, side door, living room and back hallway are done. Complete. Finished.

All we have to do now is enjoy the nice results.

Which is good, because otherwise we'd be feeling like we had been gobsmacked by shit-luck. To wit:

Our travel authorization arrived last Thursday.


But wait...

Our agency called. "There's a problem..." - a phrase of evil import if ever I heard one.

Seems that when we re-filed our 171-H (federal application to adopt a foreign heathen orphan of parentless condition) we missed the little check-the-block that says "dear local USCIS office: please forward this to the consulate in the foreign land where our dear little heathen orphan is living". So the local federal immigration and naturalization office did...nothing! They used our 171-H as a coaster for Friday office parties, made it into a paper airplane, decorated their walls with it...everything but send it where it would be fucking useful, which is...the consulate in Baoxin's native country!!!


I have never had a great deal of use for office pogues in general and federal office pogues in particular. But this is beyond ridiculous. What the hell did they think we wanted them to do with this form..??!!

Anyway, now we're caught in the Hague Trap. The 2000 Hague Convention on Intercountry Adoption makes the whole cammora a federal-to-federal process. In the past we could have dropped off a note at our local Portland USCIS office and they'd have fired an e-mail with our 171-H attached to the consulate, presto! This being entirely too simple, under the new Hague Convention world rules, they have to send it to the USCIS central office somewhere back east, where someone, supposedly, will fire it off to China. Sometime. We hope.

Needless to say, we don't have a lot of faith in this entire process. Mojo is going down to the Portland USCIS office this morning to start the process, but we're also going to ring in an Oregon legislator or three to make sure we have someone leaning on all the federal officials involved.

And not to be a backbiting gossip, but why the hell wasn't our agency all over this? It's not like we haven't laved them in limitless wealth, filled their pockets with the riches of the Orient. WTF, people? We may have checked the wrong block on the 171-H, but where the hell was our agency rep when it came to checking to see if the p-work was all squared away?

But that's all that, there's nothing more we can do other than get the paperwork filed and continue to pester the faceless bureaucrats at the wherever office of USCIS to send our form on to China.
And as for me? I plan to spend this coming weekend doing...
...absolutely nothing. Play with my son, and my wife, lie in the late summer sun and sleep. Nihil agere delectat.


SBird said...

Cr-aaaaa-pppp on the paperwork woes. Egads. Really makes you wonder. It sounds like people programmed as if they're computers--can't think for themselves, so unless the exact right box is checked, nothing happens.

Had to laugh about the landlord halo/snowglobe lights--we have some of those snowglobe lights from the previous owners, and The Bee signs the word for "ball" everytime she sees one lit up. Heh.

walternatives said...

Can ya guess what I did between reading this post and writing this comment? Damn straight, we dug out our 171-H renewal. Phew. As for depending on our agencies? I'm thinking of them just as glorified travel agents right about now.