If you have the phone number and/or email address for your local USCIS office, engrave this information into something indestructible and save it in a vault. Do not do as I did and misplace it. If you do, it will eventually necessitate a call to the national USCIS “customer service” number. GAH!
First you will have to navigate your way through the automated phone directory which, if you push the logical sequence of buttons, will eventually tell you that you can’t be helped and that your only remaining option is to hang up. When you try again and push a sequence of buttons that you know has absolutely nothing to do with what you need, you will finally be directed to agent # something-I-forgot-to-write-down.
Agent # whatever-it-was will then dryly explain that, in order to better help you, he must ask you a series of questions, and he will then ask a question which you know has absolutely nothing to do with your case because you, personally, are not a resident alien, legal or otherwise. You will then do what I did, which is explain to the agent that you just need the contact information for the USCIS office in Cityville because your fingerprints are about to expire and your adoption is not yet completed.
At this point, Agent # dumb-as-rocks will tell you that YOU can’t contact USCIS to request re-fingerprinting. USCIS will contact YOU!
You will then explain to agent # dip-wad that USCIS has no way of knowing that you need to have your fingerprints redone as soon as possible since you (or your spouse) will very likely be preparing for an imminent departure to get your child when the original fingerprints expire. And, while you understand that USCIS has a record of when your current fingerprints expire, they really have no way of knowing where exactly your specific adoption stands or if you are even still pursuing an adoption.
Agent # I-wish-I’d-written-it-down-so-I-could-publicly-humiliate-him will then inform you that, if you’ve filed paperwork, USCIS will know what is going on with your adoption and will contact you when you need to come in to be re-fingerprinted.
(I felt a little sheepish there. Shouldn’t my agency or my social worker have told me the that the Cityville USCIS is staffed by psychics who will, of their own volition, invite me to send them money and then come to be fingerprinted at just the right moment?)
You will then explain that your agency and your social worker told you that you needed to contact USCIS to get the ball rolling.
Agent # could-he-be-a-bigger-toad will then become very short with you (because he’s tired of being pompously exasperated), tell you with a tone of finality that you CAN”T contact the Cityville USCIS office, and then ask you if you have any other questions with which he could help you.
You will then say, “Yes, actually (YOU TWIT you will think in your mind). There is. May. I. Please. Speak. To. Your. Supervisor?!?”
Touche Agent # you’re-a-donkey-from-tip-to-tail.
Agent # guesses-he-should-have-gotten-his-high-school-diploma-after-all will then come back from his brief supervisor search to say there isn’t a supervisor available to speak with you, but he can give you the phone number and email address for the USCIS office that handles all adoption related matters. After he asks you 37 times if you have the equipment necessary to write down what he is about to say, and you finally convince him that, unlike him, you have more brain capacity than a gnat and are fully prepared to write, he will give you a phone number.
And you will recognize the area code. And you will say:
“Ahhh, so now you’re finally giving me the number for the Cityville USCIS office,” and he will respond tersely, “Do. you. want. the. email. address?” Then you will say, “yes, please,” in your sweetest evil victor voice. Once you have all of the originally desired information, Agent # too-stupid-to-realize-he’s-stupid will say “Thank you for calling USCIS and you have a nice day,” because he has to.
And you, in your most saccharine sweet, sarcastic tone will effuse, “Oh, you too!” because you want to make sure that he knows that you know that he is a complete moron.
And George, if you’re out there, Tewt the Newt says hello.