The day has actually arrived; we leave tomorrow. Let me tell you a little bit about how we got to this point, just in the last couple days.
At the end of last week, we had still not heard from the consulate in China if they had received notification directly from immigration to say we were officially allowed to come. So, my nerves were STARTING to get the better of me. Thanks to a relatively busy weekend, I made it through Saturday. Our agency had advised us to be watching late Sunday night or early Monday morning for an email from China. So, I stayed up late...not that it was difficult to do since I can't fall asleep before midnight these days and always wake up before 6, and that's while taking Advil PM.
By Monday morning, we hadn't heard anything and I was near frantic. We still had not purchased our plane tickets, made hotel reservations, etc and we were supposed to be leaving Thursday. I was very sick to my stomach all day and near tears at the drop of a hat.
Once our approval left the National Benefits Center in Lees Summit, MO where we were given approval on our I800, it went to the National Visa Center to be forwarded officially to China. At one point during the day, we got a phone number for the National Visa Center to ask them if they knew why we weren't getting a response from the consulate. It was a BAD move to call them. I called 2 different times to speak to two different people because I didn't like what the first one said. She said that once the notification leaves there (D.C.) it can take 3-4 months to get through customs and to the consulate. Oh yeah! You read that right! I was devastated and confused. That's why I called again. Bad move! I got the same news from the second person. However, they also didn't know why I filled out the specific adoption forms I had. So, on one hand I was afraid I'd totally messed up, and, on the other hand, I was afraid they were actually right about the 3-4 month thing.
After talking to the adoption agency, we learned that we had been misinformed by the National Visa Center and that we were still on track. But STILL WAITING! I asked for the phone number for the consulate, but was told that they liked to handle this kind of thing electronically and didn't want to be getting a bunch of calls. OH WELL! Never been much of a rule follower.
So, a little after 9 Monday night, I called the consulate myself. I spoke to a Chinese lady named Rachel...uh-huh, Rachel. Anyway, she verified they had received confirmation, verified that we still have our appointment on April 7th at 10:30 a.m. and were allowed to travel.
I was immediately relieved and started packing in a hurry. Tom, grab 9 shirts. Get whichever shorts you want to take. Did you charge all the batteries? Which cameras are we taking? Will you get our camping pillows out of the garage to use on the plane? And so on and so forth.
I also immediately sent an email to the agency asking them to get on travel arrangments right away. I know, it was after 9 at night, but I expected somebody to be at my beck and call. They actually were. The fastest that agency has EVER moved...EV-ER!
So, we're all set. Today I have a few final arrangements to make but we will leave our house around 4:30 in the morning to get there 3 hours early for our INTERNATIONAL FLIGHT!! WOOHOO!