14 January 2008

crap on a stick!

yes, I said it...crap on a big sharp stick! crappy crappy crapity crap.
So here's the deal. Our 171*H, the coveted and expensive 'golden ticket' of sorts expires in April. While we optimistacally hope to travel in March or early April, this is not particularly good news, as it is just that einsey bit close for comfort. What does it mean? Well, wouldn't you know it means that we have to do a heck of a lot more paperwork and apply for a new ticket ala gold. I'm sure many of you know what an extreme pleasure it is to work with the fine folks at the *INS, yes, it's all sunshine and smiles and group hugs...NOT! It is a miserable place, misery-able, staffed by many an angry worker who probably never won the 'miles of smiles' award at the local T*G*I Fridays, and were forced into working for 'gulp' the US*CIS. There aint no 'flair' there my friends!

Today I spent a few hours on the phone to our Agency in Colorado, where not one single person could give me an 'estimated' date of departure, I think we are just sitting right on the cusp of a definate YES or No...henceforth we are relegated to the land of maybe, might happen and hmm, not sure. BUGGER.

On top of this spectacular craptacular, we also found out that since our sweet Paisley is the only child being adopted from this particular orphanage at this particular time that we may in fact be shouldering an increase of 30% more than we had budgeted for - aaaaggghhhh! There is an extremely good chance that we will miss out on the benefits of 'piggy backing' ourselves to another travel group, and we will not get the group discount on travel, hotels or transportation and in-China airfares. b..bu..bummer! I am a bit grumpy and a bit overwhelmed, because not only do I now have to re-file the paperwork for the golden ticket, which by the way includes new Doctors letters, background checks, child abuse registry clearances etc, but now we have to figure out where the heck the rest of the money we will need is coming from?

So, we keep on trucking, we keep on plowing foward, and hope that it will work out, that miraculously we will file our taxes early and we will get a return that equals the amount we are missing, that airline prices take a dramatic dive and that my new wrinkle cream actually starts working...(I just threw that one in on the offchance)



Stefanie said...

Okay, I really AM sorry you're having to deal with the nightmare that IS the INS, but your post is so stinkin' FUNNY... well, THANK YOU! I needed the laugh! I am dealing with a nightmare of my own with the INS, they sent me an email today stating that they could not process our 171 due to the fact that they did not know where to forward the petition since we were adopting from RUSSIA?!? Helloo..ooo...

~~ said...

Hang in there... I think you will make it before your I171H expires... We are right there with you!
Patricia mummy to Sage, Piper and Paisley. :)

OziMum said...

I am SO glad we don't need to have one of those "golden tickets"!!!

I think, all we need to update is our police clearance... thats it! I hope we don't need another medical, they are such a pain in the butt, and I'm sure my Dr gets sick of seeing us for them!!!

redmaryjanes said...

It's not so bad the second time around. No notaries. We just re-did all of our paperwork last month. I'm sorry that you guys are going through all of this. It is totally crappy too that are traveling solo and will have to absorb the extra costs.

Patricia/NYC said...

Hayley, I am so sorry you are going through this mess right now...but hang in there, girl! Keep your eye on that sweet, sweet Paisley! I'll be saying a few prayers for you that it all works out. And...I agree with Stefanie...that was one FUNNY post!

tiffany said...

Hopefully it will work out better than you are thinking at the moment. We traveled on our own too and frankly barely noticed an increase in the fees. The group rate thing probably has some benefit on a few things but not sure what. Maybe tours since there is on one to split with but then we also didnt use buses, we used mini-vans so cheaper. Hotels are usually pretty reasonable in China and since its just you, you have some say. If you find a cheaper one (through recommendations online or something), you can stay there instead. I didnt notice that we paid our guide more (although we certainly tipped him more since we were the only fam) which I guess would be known as part of in-China fees. We booked ourselves at the Victory in GZ and got a good price with out a group (even though they did sort of hook us up with a group once in GZ). I dont know. I HATE unknowns and that is probably what you are mostly fretting about and there is no solution to that until you see those numbers on paper.

The INS stuff...whole nuther deal. UGH. That part is just plain ole sucky.

And the cream...I dont see any wrinkles when I look at your pretty mommy face. :)

Tamara said...

You managed to write that without using one swear word. I'm impressed. ;)