Monday, May 25, 2009

Details, Details, Details...

We are sorting through paperwork ensuring we have everything in order before we leave. The mail and newspaper is stopped, the plants will be watered by our neighbors, bills will be paid, and dogs are at their respective vacation homes. We are having some issues with Skype but I think we will have the kinks worked out by tomorrow evening.

Tomorrow we will go to work while SoFlaKid takes the last of his finals at school. Then one last sanity check for packing and we will be on a plane! We are going to use our Wii as a scale to ensure the luggage does not weigh more than 44 lbs. Otherwise we will have to pay an extra charge in China. Who knew that a Wii would come in so handy! Well, it's really the Wii Fit that we invested in and it certainly has paid off for us. One piece of luggage is solely full of donations thanks to the E family. Since baby A can no longer fit into her beautiful clothes, some lucky children in China get the benefit of some great Gymbo, almost never worn clothes.

SoFlaMom

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Tick, Tick, Tick...

We are getting closer to the start of our China journey! This week we had a conference call with our tavelmates and our agency. We found out that due to the Swine Flu, Americans and Canadians are not allowed to make orphanage visits. Does this mean if we were from Europe or Australia we would be able to visit? It's sad but understandable. If the swine flu made it into an orphanage, the results could be devistating.

Anyang will not be an option for us this time around but maybe when AJ gets older we can take a heritage tour to see where he was raised the first few years of his life.

SoFlaMom

Saturday, May 16, 2009

Puppy Love

It is such a relief knowing that our dogs will be well taken care of while we are gone. We have to thank our friends M&L, SN, and CF (and their families)for helping us out!!! Each dog is so special to us and the thought of leaving them on a kennel for 3 weeks was killing us. But now that we know they will vacationing at some of the finest homes in South Florida, we are at peace.

Our little pack all share toys, bones, even food dishes. We just ran out to get each dog their own set of bones and food/water dishes. Next to divide up the toys and they are good go!

THANK YOU!!! {{{{M&L, SN, CF}}}}
SoFlaMom

Tuesday, May 12, 2009

Time to Pack!!


Today we booked our flights and we are good to go. The most recommended travel agencies for adoption in China were JC Travel, Lotus Tours, and Sue Sorrels. We worked with all 3 but in the end, we chose Sue Sorrels. JC was way overpriced. Lotus and Sue were really close in price but what put us over the edge was service. Sue Sorrels was the only agency that returned our calls and emails in a timely manner. We were concerned because Sue is small; works out of her home. But she assured us that if we had a problem, she constantly checks her email and phone. We left a message for Lotus yesterday and we did no receive a call back until today. Can you imagine if we were stuck and needed the agency??


Now the suitcases were pulled out of the garage and we are ready to start figuring out how to fit all our "stuff" into 2 pieces of luggage. A big thank you to all the previous families who posted their packing lists on the various Yahoo groups!!! And to our local FCC families for sharing their travel stories with us THANKS!! We have work to do!


SoFlaMom

Friday, May 8, 2009

The CA Fairy Arrived Today!!

It is official! We have a Counsulate Appoinment on 6/9/09. Finally, we can make travel plans. Here are our tenative plans...

5/27 Fly to Beijing (arrive 5/28)
5/29 Tour Beijing
5/30 Tour Beijing
5/31 Fly to Zhengzhou
6/1 Gotcha Day! Meet Little AJ
6/2 Adoption Finalized
6/3 TBD
6/4 TBD
6/5 TBD
6/6 Fly to Guangzhou
6/7 TBD
6/8 TBD (expect medical exam to take place)
6/9 CA!
6/10 Sworn in at American Embassy
6/11 Fly to Hong Kong
6/12 Fly Home!!!

I'll try to fill in the TBD's as I learn more about the process.

SoFlaMom

Thursday, May 7, 2009

The TA Stork Did Arrive...Now Where is the CA Fairy?


TA 05/06/09!!!


We are free to travel to China! We are so happy.


Our agency told us to expect to travel next week however when they tried to get us a consulate appointment (CA) they were not able to do so. This left us with 2 options....


Option 1
Leave for China 5/18
Meet AJ 5/21
Travel to GZ 5/26
CA 6/1
Home 6/3


Option 2
Leave for China 5/27 (our wedding anniversary)
Meet AJ 6/1
Travel to GZ 6/6
CA 6/9
Home 6/12


Each option has its good points and its bad points. We would love to get our little boy as fast as possible which leads us to Option 1; a bit more expensive and we loose 2 days in the process due to the Chinese Holiday (Dragon Boat Festival 5/28 - 5/29) but we can have him in our arms in 2 weeks! Option 2 is definitely much better price wise and we will be traveling in a rather large sized group. But it will delay us an additional week.

In the end, we are leaning towards option 2. SoFlaKid is finishing his 1st year in high school and the extra week would help him finish up some school assignments. He was so relieved when we told him about option 2. So, to help him out, we asked our agency to try to get us CA 6/9 so we can travel with the May 27 group. We are hopeful to get our CA date tomorrow so we can book our airfare.

AJ, hang in there...we'll be there soon!
SoFlaMom

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

Is the TA Stork in Route?


We received a call from our agency yesterday. They are expecting our TA today. If it arrives, they want to move quickly on the CA to try to get our appointment the week of Memorial Day. If all of this pans out, we will be traveling next week! Yes, you read this correctly...we will have less than 1 week to book flights, get our affairs in order, pack, and get our son. If there are no appointments available Memorial Day week, we move our travel plans out 1 week. Better, less travel stress.
Let the fun begin!
SoFlaMom

Saturday, May 2, 2009

Visa 37 - Check!



Our updated fingerprints and I-171h were sent to GZ on 4/28. We are so lucky to be using the USCIS office in Miami. The officer that processes adoptions is so nice. She personally called me to let know what day our paperwork was sent to the NVC (National Visa Center) in NH, and the day it was processed and sent to China. Thanks A.L.!!!

Now, if China would issue our TA. The swine flu outbreak has the world up in arms. While I feel really bad for anyone who has the flu, I hate being the position that this could delay our travel plans. Another bump in the road. We'll just have to wait until next week to see what transpires.

SoFlaMom