Monday, January 6, 2014
Travel Approval & Consulate Appointment!
Guess what?!?! We are D.O.N.E. done waiting on approvals and papers and emails and appointments-- this baby girl is going to be ours!! The only step left is to get on a looong plane ride and GO GET HER!
After waiting for nearly 3 weeks, our travel approval finally arrived last Friday at our agency's office. The travel approval, or TA, is the final approval from the Chinese government that basically invites you to travel to China to adopt your child. Once that TA was in hand, our agency submitted requests to the US Consulate in Guangzhou to obtain a visa interview appointment for Hannah. The US Consulate normally responds in 24 hours but our process took longer because it was over the weekend. We got word today that our consulate appointment (CA) is February 19th at 8:30am!
The rest of our travel itinerary is all dependent on the CA; it determines how soon we need to arrive in Beijing and when we can begin the long process of flying home. I was thrilled to receive an email full of details from our agency once that CA had been made! They gave all kinds of instructions about booking flights and parameters on when to arrive and when we could depart. It is so helpful to have guidance on these steps, especially because I tend to get emotional and flustered when we reach another adoption milestone!
I quickly went to work contacting several travel agents who specialize in adoption travel. I also looked into booking our flights with air miles since we have been trying to accumulate them during this adoption process. It became clear that because of our travel dates, using miles was out of the question. I got similar quotes from all the agents and booked our flights with the one I thought was the nicest. HA! It is important to have the help of a travel agent during adoption trips - if something goes wrong in our adoption schedule it will be wonderful to have someone else working to rearrange our flights, etc.
I also booked Hannah's first pediatrician appointment and contacted Shriner's so I can begin the paperwork to get her signed up as a patient. We are thankful that they have physicians who treat her joint disorder on a regular basis.
Things are moving right along, and in the very best, most exciting direction. We could not be more thrilled that we are nearing the end of this long but worthwhile journey! Our daughter will be in our arms on Monday, February 10th (which will be the evening of Sunday, February 9th in the US). 34 more days and she will be an orphan no more. We are coming, Hannah Ping!!