It's been a few days since I posted because things got crazy around here. As you read here, I had to go to Miami to get Price's passport last Friday so that I could overnight it to Texas where our courier was waiting to receive it and take it to the Chinese consulate in Houston Monday (yesterday). Then, she had to leave it for one day and go back to pick it up Tuesday (today) and overnight it back to us so that we can receive it Wednesday (tomorrow) so that we can leave Thursday (the day after tomorrow). That's not cutting it too close, is it? Crazy, I know!!
Well, the story of that day is filled with blessings and miracles.
I left a little after 8 in the morning. As I was hugging Jack good-bye, I got that "What if I never see you again" feeling. NOT the best way to start off the trip. If you're a mom, I'm sure you know that feeling. I had to pull myself together quickly! Tom wasn't pleased that I was going down alone...thanks to all of you that didn't volunteer to accompany me on my road trip. Honestly, though, I was so stressed out and peopled-out that I enjoyed the trip alone.
The Peanut 'put his pillows up' a little less than 2 hours into the 4 hour drive. When he gets sleepy, he puts his hands up behind his head and rests on his arms/elbows...we call that 'putting his pillows up'. It's so cute!
He slept almost 2 hours in the car, which was the first miracle. The weather was nice, and the roads were clear. We made it to Miami in great time and the Passport Agency was right off the interstate. I even found free parking in the back of the building the Passport Agency's office was in.
I got there at 12:15 for my 12:30 appointment. I went to the office and handed the man at the front desk all my paperwork. The room was already filled with 100 people so I said to the gentleman, "Sooooo, my 12:30 appointment...notsomuch?" And he replied, "Notsomuch. The word 'appointment' is a bit of a misstatement. They usually book 40 people for one appointment." NOT ENCOURAGING. He said I'd wait at least an hour, but I ended up waiting 2 hours. Price did well; he is 2, so I had to keep that in mind, but all in all, he was a gem.
As I sat waiting, I was hearing stories that got me very discouraged! One lady had been there since 7:30 a.m., had a flight to catch in 90 minutes, and was told it would still be a while longer. AND we were more than 20 miles away from the airport. I'm guessing she missed her flight.
At 2:20, my number (3044) was called. I went up to the appropriate window and explained that I needed my passport that afternoon. He asked when I was leaving and when I told him it was going to be this Wednesday or Thursday, he said that the only people getting their passports today were leaving today! WHAT!?!?! I just wanna know how many of you procrastinate THAT badly? Anyway, I explained that it needed to be mailed off today to get the visa for Price back in time from Houston. He asked when I needed to mail it, and I told him I had to be at the post office by 4 to guarantee Next Day Delivery. He looked at me a bit sadly and sweetly told me that just wasn't possible, that the very earliest he could get it done would be 4:30. I just stood there looking kinda dumb if I do say so myself. I was actually calculating in my head and just figured I'd send it via FedEx (twice as expensive, but definitely falls into the category gotta-do-what-ya-gotta-do). He asked me to hold on a minute while he talked to his boss. He was back in less than 60 seconds to tell me, "We'll have it done in about an hour." WHAT?!?! Alrighty; no arguments here.
I had to go to a different room to actually pick up the passport, so I took a second to use the ladies room and change Price's diaper. Then I went out to my car to make sure I had everything ready for the post office. It was only a block away, so I was going to be walking there after I got the passport. I looked over our visa application to verify that it was filled out properly. My stomach was really upset because I knew that if I messed this up, our adoption process was going to have another hiccup in it and my heart wasn't prepared to deal with that.
I headed back into the building. Once I got in the office where you pick up the passports, it wasn't real clear what I was supposed to do. All the chairs were full and people lined the walls. There were 3 windows with employees behind them and I just decided to walk up to one to ask what I was supposed to do. As I got closer, I heard them say 'Chitty' and asked if they were looking for me. The gentleman told me he called my name about 5 minutes ago because they had Price's passport done. Done? 5 minutes ago? I JUST left the office upstairs about 6 minutes ago. Again, no complaints from me! So, I gleefully skipped out, passport in hand. MAYBE that's a BIT of an exaggeration, but I was inwardly gleeful.
We headed to the post office, got our package mailed off, loaded Price back up in the car, and headed for home. I was back on the interstate by 3:30...a mere seventy minutes after being told it would be about an hour to complete the passport.
Price slept again on the way home...bigger miracle, since he stopped taking 2 naps in one day MONTHS ago.
The next step was to wait for confirmation from the American consulate in China that they had all the paperwork we needed to keep our April 7th appointment.
Check back later for another update. Lots has changed already.