One of the many things that has baffled Craig and me throughout the adoption process so far is the vast amount of conflicting information available. It seems like if you ask one agency a question, they’ll give you an answer, and if you ask another agency the same question, they’ll give you a completely different answer. Often this is because the agencies have different policies and outlooks on how things should be done. (That’s another bafflement for us at times – it seems like a more standardized process would work to the benefit of most, but, of course, we don’t have a whole lot of experience in this area and who are we to say what’s right or wrong.)
It’s one thing when the agencies give different information. But when the regulators give you two opposite pieces of information, it’s a bit disconcerting. I mentioned that we recently filed our I-600A with the USCIS. Part of the process for approval is an FBI background clearance, and to run that clearance, USCIS needs fingerprints from us. (Why yes, we’ve already had an FBI (and state police) background check done in this process for our home study – but we do it again here. Don’t ask why; we just do what we’re told.) We got a letter within a few days of mailing the form, and it said that we must wait until we receive a letter with a specific appointment date and time for our fingerprinting. I had heard from others that it was a pain to reschedule the given appointment date/time, so we had resigned ourselves to the fact that it may well be inconvenient, but we’d pretty much have to make it work.
Today we received another letter that tells us to simply go to the USCIS office in Baltimore any time during their office hours to get the fingerprinting done. This is great – it’s easy, we can make it work in our convenience instead of needing appointments. In fact, I think we’ll go on Friday morning, when we had both planned to be off from work anyway. So, I’m definitely not complaining about this new letter and the information it provided. But it’s a bit disconcerting to receive two conflicting pieces of information about what has got to be a pretty standardized process, and within ten days of each other, no less. I don’t know why that bugs me so much, but it does. Perhaps it’s the lawyer in me coming through. I like to have rules and guidelines and know exactly what I’m getting into. Whatever, though – it is what it is. That’s my mantra these days!
I was really glad to receive this letter, by the way, because it means that the background clearance can be done while our home study is finished. Hopefully the clearances will go through by the time USCIS receives our home study, and that will help move things along. We’ll see.