Friday, August 24, 2012

On our way take 2

We are split up on the plane, a totally different plane, getting ready to leave. Stressful up until now. I thought we were going to get bumped all together. They are closing the doors at 4:10 like it or not for other passengers who haven't boarded.

In happy news, our former guide Sarah will meet us at the airport. She is the one who saved us on Sophie's gotcha day. So thrilled!

Well, have to sign off. Here's hoping to Jason coming to relieve me for a potty break soon! Pregnant bladder isn't holding up!

Travel has begun...

We got an early an early start this morning with our flight to Orlando.  We were very thankful to not have to contend with any inclement weather.  We've been monitoring the tropical updates for the past week.  We left just in time for a possible Isaac landfall later this week.  Smooth sailing!  Sophie did fantastic!  What a difference a couple of years makes.  We went from October 2010 with a screaming, crying, petrified child to an expert traveler!  She is engrossed in all things technological and really enjoyed the plane ride.  Of course when we landed in Chicago she did ask "are we done with China yet?"  Lucky for her we had a break built into our itinerary with a little stint in the priority club at O'Hare.

Little did we know, this was going to turn into a big break.  We went from a noon departure time to a 2:00PM departure, to a 4:00PM departure time.  A few extra hours at the airport don't seem like a big deal.  However, that puts us arriving in Beijing an hour before we have to depart for Jinan.  That means one hour to clear customs, find our luggage, re-check our luggage and check-in with Air China.  Probably not possible.  So we got on the phone with the travel agent who booked our tickets and called our adoption agency to see about taking the train from Beijing as other families are doing.

While we wait I searched Air China's site to learn there are no later flights.  That pretty much solidifies that we have a problem.  My phone rings and it's the travel agent.  I let him know before he can speak "I already later flights.  Right?"  He informed me that I was correct and added "and now the Jinan flight has been cancelled all together because the connection time was too short." Well, that seals the deal.  I guess we're spending the night and taking the train to Jinan Sunday morning (Saturday night for those of you keeping track).  This means we'll roll into Jinan (literally) at  the morning we'll meet Lucy.

Of course this is a fine plan.  A different plan, but a fine one.  Then there are looming memories from Sophie's gotcha day where we strolled in to her hotel at an unscheduled time due to a plane NOT being book for us.  We met our sobbing daughter after 10PM that night and we were so unprepared!  We hadn't even had the opportunity to visit our room.   I definitely don't want that to happen again.  I'm trying to remain calm and know that trains don't have the same scheduling issues as planes.  Right?  Who am I kidding??? I know nothing about trains!

The silver lining is that Sophie will get to ride a train for the first time and we'll be with part of the travel party we were already going to meet up with in Jinan.  Of course, we will need to navigate our way to our Beijing hotel sans guide.  Hopefully that will turn out well!

Until our flight changes or we arrive safely....praying for the latter,

P.S.  Please excuse our dust on this blog.  ;)

Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lost in translation not just the title of a movie. It's been our life for the past month. After our dossier made it's way to China and we received our log-in date, we began the wait for LOA. Part of that wait includes a brief jaunt (or in our case, a very not-so-brief) to the translation company to be translated. In China adoption this is referred to as the "in translation" period of the LOA wait. It then heads back to the CCCWA where it signed, stamped, or whatever mystery occurs during the "in review" stage and then the LOA is issued. Last go around, as I'm sure I've mentioned 1,001 times, our total wait for our LOA was 53 days. This time we are up to 91 1/2 (technically 92 if we go by China time) and are still in translation. It is said to take an additional 2-6 weeks for us to be issued an LOA from the time it is returned by the translation company. As you can imagine, this is a very challenging part of the process for someone who has been called a "pit bull" by her mother for her nagging, impatient tendancies in the past. I tend to cling on to things and not let go. I will say, I was pretty calm until the second month. However, once we passed day 53, and then the second month, I began to unravel. Three Friday's ago we were informed by our agency that they called China to get a status update on when they expected our dossier back and were told the very next week. Everyday that week I waited....and waited....and waited....and whined to co-workers....and whined to Jason....and whined on Faceboook.....and whined and whined and whined. Every day it did not come. Last week I was told that had they not heard anything by the end of the week that they would call and get another update. Well, again with the waiting! Last Friday after no news all week, I learned that they had attempted to call China to no avail. Our agency was actually not successful in contacting the necessary person until last night. So today I heard the news I've been waiting for. TONIGHT China is supposedly switching our status from "in translation" to "in review." This will be good....VERY VERY GOOD! I am trying not to get my hopes up, because I've heard this before. However, I really, really want to believe it. We had determined that we'd ask for an update after LOA. That has suddendly been changed to "we'll ask for an update after you're switched to 'in review'" by our agency representative. She feels my pain and wants to give us something. So with that being said, hoepfully there is news on the horizon. We are looking forward to our letter. We are looking forward to an update. We are looking forward to seeing sweet pictures of our baby half way around the world. All will be alright soon.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Feeling a little chatty

Okay, let's see...First, tomorrow is day 40 of our LOA wait.  I've never practiced religion formally, but does that mean if I've given up having my LOA for 40 days that it is sort of a lent thing and that I can have it tomorrow?  I wish! 

Sophie's LOA came on day 53 so I'm praying it will be no longer than that.  I remember how crazy I was back then!!!  I calculated our time frame based on Sophie's timeline and if things stay the same we will have our travel approval by mid-May.  That means we would travel mid June.

Also, as we get closer to LOA I'm realized there is SO much to do!  We have been working on Sophie's big girl room so they each girl has their own space.  That required a lot of reorganized as Sophie is taking our old guest bedroom which housed a lot of extra stuff!  The closet was jam packed and needed to be divided up to other spaces. 

With all that being said, here is some stuff on the horizon:

1.  Finish organizing all of the toys and clothes into there appropriate bedrooms.

2.  Finish Sophie's new room.

3.  Get Lucy's care package ready.

4.  Create our packing list.

5.  Apply for visas.

6.  Buy hair bows (yes, Lucy will need some beautiful head bands because she doesn't have much hair to work with ---and has already been mistaken for a boy).  Oh wait, I tackled this one already.  Look how cute!
7.  Have a garage sale to recoup some cash for the orphanage donation and travel.

8.  Number eight is the worst!  It's the 8th, 9th, 10th, and 11th....things I am sure I am forgetting!

I also had a great convo today with a prospective adoptive parent.  I hope she finds a country/agency that work for her family...soon! 

It's been a productive weekend now here's hoping to some fun news!  I already know we are getting our 1-800 packet in the mail this week.  Our agency sent it out so that we can prepare the documents and send them back.  That way when we get LOA we are good to go!  Love how proactive they are!!

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

5 week hump!

So today marked 35 patient days waiting for LOA. I've barely stalked my email and I haven't contacted my agency once! I'm so proud of myself! Last time we waited just under two months so here's hoping we are half way through our wait. I'm thinking I am going to be much less patient, and maybe a bit irritable, this month. Sorry to whoever may cross my path. I just want to scoop Lucy up and kiss her cheeks, and then get her to the cardiologist!

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Today marks....

A full week of LOA waiting.  Yep, one lone week.  We may have 7-15 more of these crazy weeks to go!  That is of course if we follow the average wait times.  This is definitely the step that fluctuates the most and because of that is terribly grueling.  If I had a more reasonable time frame to stalk my email I'd be a little more sane.  Hopefully I won't be too crazy for the next couple of weeks... but if you work with me I apologize after that point.  ;) 

Here's a picture you have seen to hopefully brighten your day as much as it brightens mine...

Okay, more....

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

And pre-approval is here!

We already got word that we've received pre-approval. Now our LOA wait officially begins! I asked our agency about hotel accommodations in Shandong and Guangzhou to give me something else to think about. It's definitely more fun to investigate that then stare at my computer screen hitting refresh for the next 2-4 months. Hopefully this will stave off those pesky fabricated emails I tend to send when I'm hoping for an update on our status...well, at least for a couple of weeks. ;)

Did you know that Lucy's home city of Weifang is the kite capital of the world. Every year the hold a big kite festival there. Also, the capital of Shandong, Jinan (where we'll spend a week) is the springs capital of China. Cool, huh?

Maybe I'll have more random info for you during this LOA wait!