We attended a parenting class last weekend. The point of the class was to discuss parenting issues that would be specific to adopted children and inter-racial families. There was so much information and we got to talk to several other families that are adopting from Guatemala and other countries. We both walked away feeling so much better informed, but also more overwhelmed. We realize that we have no idea how challenging parenting can be, but now we are going to faced with the added challenge of raising an adopted child of a different race. Greg came to the realization last night that all we are for this child is the best babysitter. All we can do is the best that we can and then mostly hope for the best that we don't mess him up too badly!
In good news, our home study is ALMOST done. Our social worker is waiting to receive via mail two more forms from Greg and I and a reference letter, all which should be on its way. She said it will take her about 2 weeks from when she receives everything to finish the home study. Once that gets sent to USCIS we will just have to wait around for our I-171H (approval to adopt internationally). USCIS claims it takes 3 weeks for us to get our approval but most stories that I hear are more like 6-8 weeks. Then finally there will be light at the end of the tunnel. After our I-171H is received we will get our referral and be matched with our son!
Of course, then there are all the issues of dealing with the US Embassy in Guatemala. It seems that most of the hold ups in the adoption process through Guatemala are not Guatemala's doing, it is the US Embassy down there not performing their jobs. This infuriates me, and it should infuriate all tax paying American citizens because they are wasting our tax dollars by not performing their jobs. I am a government employee and the minute someone in my agency is caught slacking off, the media is all over it, policies are changed, and the guilty party or parties are disciplined. This is not the case with our Embassy. Greg and I have written letters to our senators and so have a few of our friends and family. I urge everyone to do the same. Below is an email briefly explaining some of the issues with the embassy and information on how to contact your senators and congressmen. Please do us all a favor by pushing for changes and insisting that your tax dollars not be wasted on incompetence.
Hello Friends and Family,
We are asking for your help in preparing a quick email to your state representative on our and other adoptive families' behalf in regards to the US Embassy in Guatemala. The attorneys who are currently handling all American adoption cases are having an extremely difficult time with the US Embassy. It is actually quite embarrassing to talk about our own embassy in another country like this but if each of you sends at least one complaint, it would help a ton of people, like us, who are currently in the adoption process in Guatemala. Here are some of the situations that are happening at the Embassy with regards to the inadequacy of the employees and their utter disrespect towards the attorneys that we are paying to handle our adoption.
Window # 8 at the embassy is supposed to be strictly for adoptions and the people working the window handle a multitude of other issues that can be taken care of at any of the other windows at the embassy. They are never on time to work at this window and some days they even completely ignore the people waiting at the window to do their adoption business. The standard is that they are supposed to see 40 people a
day, when in fact they sometimes only see 1 to 2 people a day. They are also arbitrarily looking for nonexistent errors in paperwork and instead of having the attorney correct it immediately, they make the attorney leave and then come back at a different time and day. There is no consistency in which cases are judged; some get by without any issues and other cases get picked apart to find any type of "error". Sometimes paperwork gets denied for absolutely no justified reason. Forms that the Embassy gives the lawyers are not legible most of the time due to poor photocopying and then once the paperwork is completed, that same paper will get rejected from the Embassy because the lawyer may have tried to make a better copy of the document and the embassy rejects it because of this. The last thing, is that the US Embassy in Guatemala's employees, who you pay their salaries through your tax
dollars, are completely disrespectful the Guatemalan Attorneys working on our behalf. The Embassy is the reason that the adoption processes are taking so long in Guatemala!
Please go to the website below and either copy and paste a portion of this email or write your own letter to complain about the US Embassy in Guatemala on behalf of us and other families. The more people complain, the more attentionthis matter will get. It will just take a minute, and it would mean so very much to us.
Greg and Annie
This website can be used to look up the Senators and Congressmen for your area: