My I-171H expires on Oct 26th. So wanting to get as much time out of it as possible, I waited until the last minute to send in my paperwork for the renewal. (Plus if you read through my archives you might figure out that I have a little problem with procrastination. LOL!) Luckily, I qualify for the one free extension and free re-fingerprinting. Which saves me $750 bucks!! Woo Hoo! No... not bitching about that.
But there was a message on the machine from USCIS when I got home today. I thought I was very thorough. I sent in my written request for renewal, a copy of my I-171H, my original homestudy plus an update, birth certificate, and divorce decree. I even sent in the certification and copy of the license of my social worker cuz there's a brief mention of that on their instructions. I wasn't sure if they needed that but I wasn't taking any chances.
But uhmmmm.... I forgot to submit a new I-600a. What? I guess I assumed they didn't need that since I had the existing I-171H and made a written request for renewal. That mistake cost me $16 to overnight it. I didn't want to take any chances and risk them giving me a hard time if I didn't make the deadline. Oh well.
Okay now we're getting into the really bitching part. We're switching to a different health insurance at work. It's a health savings plan. Which means that instead of co-pays, I'll be responsible for 100% of my health care costs until I reach the deductible cap. Which for a single is $2000. For a family it's $4000. But my employer is giving us some money to start off the account. Singles get $1500 and family's get $3000. Now that's better. But the plan still sucks. I pay full price for doctor's visits, prescriptions, everything. No more $20 to just go to the doctor. (Man that was nice.)
When the adoption is complete, I instantly become a family responsible for that $4000 deductible. But I'll only have $1500 in my account. And my employer has no plans to match the $3000 they gave to everybody else. So they will all be responsible for contributing $1000 of their own money. But I get stuck with $2500. I'm just basically screwed there.
I've been arguing my point with our union president who doesn't seem to be all that interested in fighting for what's right. I'm not real happy about that. I explained to him that my adopted daughter will require a very expensive medical evaluation once we get home. He told me that he thinks that's a preventative measure and preventative care is covered at 100% and doesn't count towards our deductible. WTF?! I'm glad he decided that. Unfortunately, he's not the insurance company who will most likely disagree. But he told me to find out what tests are involved and the cost so he could bring that info to the negotiations.
I called Cincinnati Children's Hospital and found out what is involved in a post adoption evaluation. Ay yi yi! The bloodwork alone is in the $2000 range. Yep...you read that right. She didn't break it down dolllar for dollar but basically told me that I could very easily hit my $4000 out of pocket just on this evaluation. Fucking great...
This comes on the heels of finding out that the only way to get the whole 12 weeks of FMLA leave I'm entitled to with the adoption, I have to take 6 of those weeks unpaid. Because I'm not birthing this child, I'm not eligible to use my sick time. Which I have an abundance of (even with being off for 3 months during my near death experience). Instead I have to use vacation time. But I can only carry over 6 weeks from year to year. It's virtually impossible for me to generate enough paid time off. So I'll be forced to go without a paycheck if I want to stay home longer with my new daughter. Just fucking great...
But there was one little bright spot in my day yesterday. Tatum invited me to come watch her at ballet practice. They only let parents and family observe every so often. Usually, they usher the girls in and close the door. It's all secret what they do back there. It was so freakin adorable! All these cutie pies in their leotards.
She really loves the class. And she's good at it. Normally her attention span is pretty short. But she paid attention in class and knew a lot of the routine by heart already. Below she's third from the end, right next to the teacher.
Tatum the prima ballerina. But she's no dainty thing. No way. Click here for an interesting conversation she had with her mother about booger eating. No, I'm not kidding. Being the only girl amongst 3 boys is not always a good thing apparently.
Here's a funny Tatum-ism. She came out of the bathroom with a balled up piece of wet tissue trying to rub off her temporary tattoos before ballet class. (Yeah... remember I said NOT dainty.) I asked if she has toilet paper. She said "No. It's a nose blower." I thought for a second and then said "Ohhhh... you mean a Kleenex."
Well, I thought it was funny anyway.
Thanks for listening to the bitching. We now return you to regularly scheduled programming.