Well, with flights booked and hotel reservations made, we now know our schedule for the trip. We leave on July 30 and get into Hong Kong on the night of the 31st. ( Don't forget, they are 12 hours ahead of us) -Aug. 1 - Hong Kong Disney -Aug. 2 - fly to Jiangxi Province and get Julianna that afternoon - Aug. 3 - paper work - Aug. 4 - Rest or city tour - Aug. 5 - waiting on paperwork to be completed - Aug. 6 - Get paperwork back - Aug. 7 - Get Julianna's passport - Aug. 8 -Leave Nanchang, Jiangxi for Guangzhou on China Eastern Flight - Aug. 9 - Free time - Aug. 10 - baby's physical and visa photo taken - Aug. 11 - more paperwork - Aug. 12 - Consulate appointment - Aug. 13 - Go to Consulate and take oath - Aug. 14 - Leave Guangzhou for Hong kong - Aug. 15 - Fly home!!!!!
So, after 17 days, 4 hotels, 4 cities, and a total of 7 airplane flights, we will be home!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Julianna is all set!! I can't think of anything more we could need or want. My sister and niece gave me a fantastic Chinese themed shower on Saturday. Everything was so pretty - from the Asian decorations and food to the pretty cake. We got a beautiful stroller, high chair, and money for the car seat along with clothes, toys, and even a wagon. I bet you can guess that Caroline likes the wagon the best! We spent the night and Sunday taking everything out of the packages and getting it all ready. Caroline washed up all the bottles, cups, and plates. I think she is ready for her real live baby doll.
This has been a CRAZY week! We were told of our Consulate appointment date, so we were able to book our international flights. You talk about crazy. One minute I was about to book a flight for $4,000.00 then 5 seconds later the prize jumped to over 10,000.00!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Two of my friends were able to get the good price for the flight and I was left in the cold. You talk about stress. I couldn't find a flight much less one at a good price. Then, Tara came to my rescue. She helped me find a good one on Continental and now its a done deal. We leave Norfolk on Thursday, July 30th and get home on August 15th. Oh, and you know what, we are flying with Georgette and Tara on the flight over to Hong Kong.
Caroline and I went to the beach today with some friends. When we got home, Georgette was on our answering machine. She said, "Oh my gosh, why aren't you ever home when important things happen???" ( I wasn't home yesterday when we all got updated pictures.) So, I knew TA's had arrived!!!! TA's are travel approvals issued by China. So, CCAI faxed the consulate and requested consulate appointments for all of us. We will know our consulate date early next week, and then we can book our flights. It looks like we will leave on July 29 and be home Aug. 12. can you believe it?????? We will be leaving for CHINA in less than 2 weeks - 12 days to be exact!! We will probably get Julianna on Sunday, Aug. 2. Oh my gosh!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Our agency called yesterday. They wanted to go over all the important information to make sure everything was in order. They gave us 2 possible dates we may leave. We could go on Wednesday, July 29 and return Wed. August 12 or leave Wednesday, August 5 and return Wednesday, August 20. We will take the first dates, please!!!!!! We will know for sure very soon.
One of the last things we needed to do for travel was visas. In addition to a passport, you also need a visa to enter China. Who Knew?? Anyway, thanks to Carol and Dependable Adoption Services, we were able to get all 3 visas quickly. I just mailed her our applications, passports, and fees, and she hand delivered everything to the Chinese Embassy in Washingtion, D.C. All 3 passports came back to me in the mail yesterday. So, what is a visa?? A pretty, fancy sticker attached inside our passports, of course!! Now, we can officially travel to China!!!
I have an updated picture of Julianna!! ( Actually I have 4 with her in it.) A family posted to our orphanage yahoo group that they had just returned from China, and they had the opportunity to visit the orphanage. I just knew she had to have a picture of Julianna. I waited all week for this family to return home and to post pictures. Here she is!! She is in the pink walker, and she has just turned 9 months old!!! She looks so sweet! The baby next to her is Allie Grace. Allie is going to be adopted by my friends who live about an hour from us. We have the same agency and will travel together. You can check out their blog listed under my favorites.
Wow! It's hard to believe, but on Monday it will be two weeks since we got the call about Julianna. A lot has happened in the two weeks. First, we received a travel packet of documents from our agency. Have I said how wonderful our agency is??? Our agency is fantastic!!!!! Everything we have to do is completely explained. CCAI makes it so easy for us!! We had to sign, date, and notarize 5 documents, get a cashiers check and Fedex everything back ASAP. We had to start working on getting our Visas for the trip. Who knew you had to have passports and visas. We had to contact the National Visa Center to see if there was a record in China of our adoption case. Luckily, ours was there. I have heard stories of others not having a record of their case. Also this week, I gathered all our documents we have to carry with us to China. Caroline and I also put together a care package for Julianna. We were given the address of her orphanage. We were able to send disposible cameras, a blanket, a toy, a teether, and a photo album wih pictures of us. Usually the Nannies will use the cameras and take pictures of the babies and give them back to the families. I hope we get them back. Now, we are in the waiting mode again. Since or acceptance letter was sent to China, we have to wait for China to grant us Travel Approval (TA). Once we have TA, our agency will apply for our Consulate appointment. The Consulate will issue Julianna a visa to leave China. Once we have our Consulate appointment, our entire trip can be planned around this date. Lets hope we get TA soon!!!!!!! Here are a few pictures. Caroline with the balloons we put on the mailbox, the flag hanging on our porch, and our care package. It should be in China by now!!