Things are really moving rapidly at this point in our adoption. It feels overwhelming at times and it literally occupies my mind every waking moment of the day. I'm struggling to fall asleep at night because my mind is flying through all there is to accomplish pre-travel. Most of all, I know there are things I am overlooking and will be wishing I'd done NOW rather than the day before we get on the plane, but I don't know what those things are.... Sigh. This is just a glimpse into what is happening in my mind these days.
So, we signed our LOA and shipped it back to Birmingham last week. It arrived at the agency on Monday. They reviewed the documents and got it all set to send out to USCIS (again...you go through immigration approval more than once). Our agency sent that packet of information out to USCIS on Tuesday of this week. We should hear confirmation that it arrived there fairly soon.
On Monday night I also shipped out our Visa applications (along with our passports....GASP!). I've been watching the tracking on those and got confirmation that they arrived at their destination today in Illinois. The courier there will take the applications and passports to the Chinese Consulate in Chicago, where we will get our approval Visas to enter China. Sending our passports has been a major issue for me (by issue I mean, anxiety causing). The courier gets too many applications each day to totally hold our hands through the process so there is no confirmation other than the tracking. She will also notify us the day she sends it back, but that is all. The directions were meticulous and I am certain I made a mistake on it somewhere. If all goes well, she will drop the applications at the consulate this coming Monday and then pick them back up the following Monday (12/1). They should get back to us that same week...the week of my birthday. It is crazy to think that I am expecting Visas that week when, for the last couple months, I was certain we would be just getting LOA that week! Wow! LOA in thirty days less than expected. AND before a major government shut down. Totally crazy.
I started working on getting all the gifts we need to take with us for our guides, and orphanage staff, etc. I've got almost all the women taken care of aside from the foster parents. I still need to get the gifts for men as well.
We still have some online training to complete and we started that..... My dad arrives in less than two weeks with the new bunk beds for the girls and I plan to shop for bedding this weekend....
We got approved for a grant! Yay! This is huge!
I know there are more baby steps we've taken, but I can't think of them all. Between homeschool, China, Christmas, upcoming early Christmas with my family, Thanksgiving, parties, work, church....... I feel like each day I get out of bed just run all day. Literally, my mind is spinning. All....the....time. But it is all worth it and I know at some point the spinning will stop or it will just spin with new things (appointments, therapies, school, etc.). This is the life of a mom!
We are so thankful we've made it this far! It becomes more real with each passing day. Soon, we'll be going after our girl!