Just a brief summary of all that is going on now.
We are awaiting travel approval (TA) from the Chinese government. Our agency sent back our acceptance of our referral on March 13, so that means that we've been waiting 2 weeks. The average wait for TA is 3-5 weeks. Last month TAs arrived at our agency a few days after referrals arrived. About a week after we receive our TA, we will have confirmation of our consulate appointment (CA). When we get that confirmation, we will know our travel dates for certain.
We sent our passports with our visa applications to our agency today. To obtain a visa from the Chinese consulate, one must deliver the application in person or hire a courier to deliver the application in person. Since, I'm not driving or flying to Houston, that means hiring a courier. Conveniently, our agency can act as our courier through an arrangement with the Houston consulate. It's that or find a courier that we have not dealt with previously who is local to Houston ourselves. So, off to the agency the visa applications went today.
We also sent a request for our agency to send a care package to Jiayin at her orphanage. Again, this is something we could do ourselves. However, rather than go shipping something to China ourselves that may or may not be delivered to the orphanage, our agency will send a little goody box from their Beijing office that actually will make it to the orphanage. We can include a picture and a message, which we are doing. I wasn't planning on shipping anything near and dear to me anyway, so the blanket and teddy bear in the agency goody box is good for me. The box also includes a camera for the orphanage to take pics of our girl until we go get her. This is the main thing I wanted to send, anyway.
So, now we continue to wait and prepare. And prepare and wait.
I think I'm going to go this week and actually register at Babies R Us. Seeing all of my fellow October LIDers in China now or in the next few days is really getting me excited. To say "we'll be traveling in May" seems like a long way off. But considering that it will hopefully be the beginning of May and it is now the end of March, it's really just over a month away!
Wow. Now, if we could just CHOOSE A NAME!!!