Friday, December 3, 2010

Top 40


Last night we were able to celebrate my brother, Joel, for being one of this city's "Top 40 Under 40". I can't believe that they didn't pick me!! I mean...I know he's a city councilman and all, but...I'm his big sister!! I suppose, since next year I won't be "under 40" anymore, my chances of being picked are over. Oh well...c'est la vie.

I really enjoyed being there last night in a room full of adults. Kind of sad...I might need to get out a little more often ;) One of the highlights of the night was getting to meet someone who had a vital role in us getting Wesleigh home when we did.

I just looked back at my posts from last year and it doesn't look like I shared this story, so I'll share it now. A little less than a year ago, after we accepted Wesleigh's referral, Richard and I had to go renew our fingerprints at the USCIS office. We had done it before, no big deal. This time, however would be much different. Our fingerprints were to expire at the end of Jan. and we needed them to be valid until we got back into the states on Feb. 4. As we went up to the window, she asked to see our hands and told Richard that he would not be able to be fingerprinted. I started to freak out as she explained to him that, since he had a couple of cuts on his hands (not even his fingers), he could not get his fingerprints taken. I don't know that Richard even understood exactly what that meant until I started bawling crying and shaking. Richard had been spending lots of time at their office building doing renovations and working with his hands which is where the cuts came from. I don't usually make scenes, but I was way past that. We pleaded, begged, I boo hoo'd and they were so unbelievably ugly. I had my fingerprints taken, as I snotted all over the place. The ladies couldn't have cared less and even exaggerated how long it would take to get another appointment. Bottom line...we would not be leaving for China when we thought.

We drove home from New Orleans and I cried the entire way home. When we got home, I climbed into bed with a bag of M&M's and cried some more. Richard felt horrible even though it wasn't his fault. About that time, Kim called me and I boo hoo'd to her. She told me to get off the phone and call our congressman right away. Long story short(er), my brother happens to have some connections in the political realm and he hooked me up with Brian, from our congressman's office. Brian was so wonderful and kind. Within a couple of days, the USCIS office miraculously realized that Richard's fingerprints wouldn't expire at the end of January, in fact, they would expire at the end of February!!!

It totally stinks that it took a politician to make this happen, but in the world we live in, that's the way it seems to be. It would have been nice for that office to have mercy on us and show some compassion, but there was no way that was going to happen. I am so thankful that there was someone willing to help us.

Brian was also named one of the Top 40 Under 40 last night and Richard and I were able to meet him and thank him in person. We showed him a picture of Wesleigh and made sure he knew how much of a difference he had made in our lives. We told him we hoped to not have to need him again, but not to forget our names...just in case ;) By the way...he did remember me. He was kind enough to not say, "oh yeah, you're that hysterical woman that kept calling" :)

These two men are definitely in my own person "top 40"!!

I just found the original post from that day. It's here if you want to read it.

Miss Wesleigh will be meeting Santa, live and in person, tomorrow morning! I can't wait to see what her reaction will be. Cade will be with us to jump in the picture and save her if needed! I'm sure I will have lots to share!!


Pink Velvet Mommy said...

yay for Brian!!! You know you gotta do what you gotta do, and I am pretty sure I might have snotted all over the MEAN woman taking my prints if I had been you!!!
Yay for your brother too....I am sure he is the man he is today because he had such a great big sister!!!

Can't wait to hear about Santa....our visit did not go so well. Oh well there is always next year. I was told he already knows I want a wagon!!!

Lindy said...

Congratulations to your brother!
I think Bryce looks like him a bit.

Linda said...

I remember all too well that awful "fingerprint" day. I appreciate Joel and Brian helping out! So proud of Joel as I am of all my children!

LWH said...

I have to tell you that your experience with USCIS is unfortunately not at all uncommon. We went through an 11 year process (yes, 11) for my husband to get citizenship - he's British by birth. The hoops we have jumped through have been incomprehensible at some points, but the biggest takeaway from the entire experience is that in the whole process, which included over a dozen trips to the USCIS offices in either Norfolk VA or the DC area (because there are none in Richmond VA) we never, ever met a polite or kind person. From the guard at the door, to the person behind the glass, to the immigration officer grilling us and trying to catch us in a mistake to prove ours was a 'green card' marriage, it was a horrible experience.

I'm so glad you were able to get everything taken care of, and got your sweet girl, and finally got to meet and thank Brian in person! Congratulations to your brother as well!

Shannon S. said...

Are either of these wonderful men single? LOL

3 Peanuts said...

That is so cool for your brother. I am sure Linda and Ralph are proud. I know they are proud of all their kids:)

Love that you go to meet Brain. I remember that vividly.

Keep his number on speed dial, honey.

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