Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Note to Self - and 5 tips for dealing with CIS in International Adoption

Don't ever miss a fingerprint appointment. :)

Earlier this year when everything went a little haywire and we weren't really sure what we were going to do, we made a fatal error...

We skipped our fingerprint appointment. I mean, we didn't know what we were going to do or if we would even need our cis approval. We were stressed-anxious-depressed and didn't really want to even think about it. So we skipped it. And apparently that is the cardinal sin of CIS. When we got our worlds back on track and started working on making sure everything was updated... we called CIS to see if we could reschedule fingerprints... and they told us that if we had called 3 days earlier sure. But that they had mailed us a letter cancelling our cis approval. !!!!

Anyhow, we were unable to get back in touch with our officer, and so we reached out to our agency and were affirmed not to worry since we were still approved until late November so all we needed to do was request our extension and fingerprint appointment again. So we did. Three weeks later and still no fingerprint appointment. In the meantime have been been harassing our officer's voicemail to no avail.

Today we finally heard her sweet sweet voice when we asked to speak with her. Well, mr awesome did and when she started telling him that we needed to start over again he had her conference me in. And off I went explaining how we were so sorry that we missed the appointment and didn't even get into the misery that was the first part of this year for us. Then I tried with logic and explained that our current cis doesn't even expire until the end of next month so weren't we 100% eligible to request an extension?

PRAISE THE LORD she said she would talk to her supervisor and see what she could do. In a few minutes she told us that she had ordered our files again and if we were right that we don't expire until November (yes I doublechecked and we have until almost December), that she would reopen our case and get our fingerprints ordered. !!!!

So, without further ado, here are my top 10 tips for dealing with CIS

  1. Mail everything with tracking numbers and stay on top of when they receive your application.

  2. As soon as you receive confirmation that they received your case, give them a few days and then call and find out the name and extension number for the person assigned to your case.

  3. As soon as you get your fingerprint appointment in the mail, disregard the date on your appointment, drive down to the office and get your fingerprints done asap. Most offices accept walk ins and as long as you have the paper with the appointment it will work out much better than sitting around waiting for the date.

  4. After a couple days from your fingerprint appointment call your officer and see if she received them and ask for an eta of when you will get your approval.

  5. Don't call so much that you bug them, but I would say anytime you are waiting on them to do something - calling a couple times per week is helpful. Squeaky wheel and all.

  6. Never Ever Ever miss a fingerprint appointment - its freaking free and you never know

  7. Show your officer love - let her/him know how much you appreciate everything so much every single phone call

  8. Ask for their supervisors number to praise them for expedient service

  9. Stay on top of your expiration dates - fingerprints and approval

  10. Never Ever miss a fingerprint appointment - don't be a dipwad like us :P

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