Saturday, December 24, 2016

Merry Christmas Eve!

Since my last blog entry, the following things have happened (some automatically and others with great effort, many tears, and lots of stress!)...

1. I booked our flights (yikes!). Now we're just hoping the dates work out, or we're going to be out a lot of money. I wasn't officially supposed to do this until we had Travel Approval and a confirmed Consulate Appointment, but I took a risk.

2. Our Article 5 document was picked up. This happened as expected and was just the next step in the process.

3. We received Travel Approval (yay!) in just 3 days. It doesn't get much better than that!

4. Jonas's passport FINALLY came. This one involved some tears! Let's just say that I reeeeeeally wish the post office worker had asked for his Certificate of Citizenship (which I had with me) at our appointment way back in October. And I think I may have talked to every single person working at the National Passport Information line over the past few weeks!

5. I found someone who will be able to get our visas for us in time. This one was pretty stressful, because we needed Jonas's passport (which just came today) before we could do anything. And now of course no mailing services are open until at least Monday. The courier that almost all adoptive parents use is taking vacation the first week of January, so finding another courier was necessary and much more difficult than you would think. But I think we're good to go.

6. We celebrated Jonas's 4th birthday yesterday. It was fun, but bittersweet knowing that we won't get to celebrate Johanna's 4th birthday with her in a few days. She should be getting a cake on the 28th, as I organized delivery of one through my agency. We should get pictures and/or a video of that, so I can't wait!

The last piece we're waiting on should come Tuesday morning. That's our Consulate Appointment confirmation. We had to put in for our top five choices of dates, and as long as we get one of our top three choices (which shouldn't be a problem, but you never know), then our flights will work and we can finalize the rest of our travel details. Right now I've got lots of refundable hotel reservations spread across various weeks, tentative itineraries, and various packing lists and to-do items. I'm looking forward to getting everything confirmed soon, so we can start looking forward to our trip!

And now we're off to celebrate our final Christmas Eve as a family of three!

Tuesday, December 13, 2016

If Only...

If only the Fuzhou orphanage director...
...would answer my WeChat messages and let us know if we can video chat with Johanna again soon.
...would confirm that Johanna received her package with our photo book.
...would answer the rest of our 10 questions from the care package (we only got updated measurements).
...would randomly send us pictures of Johanna.
...would give me the contact information of her foster family.

If only China...
...would issue Travel Approval (TA) before our 12/20 Article 5 pickup (not possible) so that we could finally book flights.
...would quickly issue TA after that Article 5 pickup (by 12/23 would be nice).
...would quickly give us our first choice Consulate Appointment after getting TA.

If only...
...the passport office would issue Jonas's US passport in time for us to get his Chinese visa before we travel (they screwed up big time and now we are in a major time crunch).
...flight prices wouldn't keep going up as we wait for TA.
...we had a definitive idea if we'd be having a 1/8 or 1/15 Adoption Day.
...I had the guts to book flights now (we're not supposed to before TA) so we could save lots of money and I could stop obsessing over flight routes and prices.

If only Johanna...
...was looking at her photo book regularly and learning to recognize us.
...didn't have to spend another birthday without a family.
...knew we were coming for her soon!