Let the countdown begin! T minus 16 days...

6.30.2010

What a relief! Can I just say I'm glad that's over. After we got our TA on Friday, we called Lotus Travel to reserve our transcontinental flight, even though we were just guessing at when our consulate appointment would be given. Yesterday, we finally spoke with our agency and found out we did NOT get the date we requested but rather a week later. So then I had to call Lotus to cancel our reservation and make a new one. This is how our timeline stacks up (and I will get back to our domestic travel drama in a second.)

July 16: Fly out of Orlando around 1pm to Los Angeles, get a hotel to rest up during our 9 hour layover. Fly to Guang*zhou at midnight.
July 17: In the air, hopefully all of us asleep
July 18: Arrive in Guang*zhou Sunday morning. Connect to Wu*han at some point (still working on that flight).
July 19: The day we finally meet Madeline.
July 20: Adoption finalization. We are a family of 4!
July 23: Fly to Guang*zhou
July 24: Medical exam
July 28: Consulate appointment
July 29: Oath ceremony at the consulate
July 30: Receive Madeline's immigration visa. Fly back to the US at night. We will arrive in LA that same night (yep, you read that right) and take the red eye back to FL.
July 31: Arrive back in Orlando to be greeted by my sweet sis, brother-in-law and niece

So that's all we know at this point. We'll do some touring in Wu*han and Guang*zhou but we don't have any of that planned yet. I think that I have the info right for Guang*zhou but I will have to double check with our agency. My mind was so scattered when we spoke, and now I realize what little notes I actually took!

So back to the joy of booking your own flights on 2 different airlines....yay,....um not.

Last night, I began looking on or*bitz for potential domestic flights for us to LA and back. But the big road block I kept facing was getting seats together. Oh my word. Unbelieveable. We knew we wanted to fly non-stop there and back and that we also wanted to take the red eye back. With Caleb's adoption, we opted to stay the night in LA instead of the red eye, and it was a mistake. Caleb had slept 8 hours on the transcontinental flight and was ready to hit the town running. I got a meager 2 restless hours of sleep. And I don't think Patrick got any. So needless to say, we were not going to do that again. Red eye all the way this time. While there are several airlines that offer the red eye, only one of them had 2 seats together AT ALL! Same goes for our flight to LA. Only one flight had at least 2 seats together. It was unreal! Almost all of the seats avaiable on any of these flights were all single seat assignments, which you know isn't gonna work for a family of 4 with two kiddos 5 and under. I wanted confirmed seats together, and I was determined to get it.

So this morning, I called Amer*ican and quickly and painlessly booked our flights, using them for our departure and Un*ited for our return (as Ameri*can didn't offer a red eye return.) Pretty painless, and I actually saved money on the tickets vs. purchasing them online. Nice, eh? Then I had to call Un*ited to confirm our seats on their return flight. First time I called, I got all the way through giving our confirmation # and all our identifying information.....then click....the line went dead.....disconnected....AHHHH...I wanted to scream. I call back, go through the whole thing again. The rep is able to locate the rountrip tickets for the 3 of us but not Madeline's one-way. Um....what? He eventually located it. But as soon as he did, he told me that he was unable to confirm our seats and we would have to wait until we checked in at the airport. I told him no way was I going to return from a 12 hour flight with a newly adopted 2yo without a confirmation that at least each child was with a parent. Sorry, I wanted it confirmed. (And besides, I knew the seats were available because I saw them online. So I wasn't going to buy his story.) I added that Ameri*can confirmed our seats for a flight leaving in 2 weeks. So I find it really hard to believe (yes, that's exactly what I said) that he couldn't do the same. A few more "please hold" "I'm working on it" and whadda ya know, "they" opened it up and he was now able to confirm our seats. Man oh man. What a piece of work. I was so relieved to finally hang up....

...and then I realized I still have to book our in-Ch*in@ flight and hotels. LOL. Well, at least that part is over.

7 sweet words:

Fliss and Mike Adventures Wednesday, June 30, 2010  

AAAARRGGHHH!!!!!!! This is so exciting... see what happens when you go away for a few days... I am so happy for you... and to get the flights done... you stick to your guns and don't take no for an answer... lol... we flew China Southern back (red eye) was in LA for about 2-3 hours and then Delta back to Orlando... got in sometime in the morning??? The whole thing was a blur basically... I would love to buy her a little present of some kind... let me know what you would like or she would like... a toy of some kind? A few books? A dress or two? Serious... let me know... hugs to you all...

Love Lives Here Thursday, July 01, 2010  

Ah the fun of summer travel! I will be praying for safe travels for you all.

The Raudenbush Family Saturday, July 03, 2010  

Just found your blog again...do you remember connecting with me in the fall about the special needs program?? We are now home with our daughter! I'm so glad to hear that you will be traveling soon! It's been a LONG time!!!
Kelly
www.raudenbushfamily.blogspot.com
www.jiayindesigns.com

Colleen Cocci Sunday, July 04, 2010  

Glad your time to fly is almost here! I bet you that Caleb is the most excited little boy ever and will be the first one to hug little Maddy :-) Wishing you safe travels and many less stressful moments til you hold your little dream girl in your arms!

Stephanie Monday, July 05, 2010  

Oh, what a headache it all is!! But I'm so glad you are on the countdown! Your daughter will be in your arms and it will all be worth it. Praying for a measure of patience as you warrier through all the travel preparations!!

Fliss and Mike Adventures Monday, July 05, 2010  

Hi Eva... sorry I missed your call I was at work and saw your voicemail and since your sister was going to be here I thought I would wait to call back... I nearly started crying when I heard your voice I was that excited for you to be going - lol.. hope you will update one way or another...

Anonymous Tuesday, July 06, 2010  

Can't wait to follow your journey and pray for you all while you are in China!! May God give you peace during these final days...God Bless dear friend! Heather (Mama to Austin, Carson and Miss Maddie)

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About This Blog

This blog is a place where we have shared our lives with family and friends while we waited to bring our daughter, Madeline, home from China and while we actually traveled to China for her. It is also a place where we will continue to share our life experiences, as we try to glorify God and raise our two precious dumplings from China.

And now we wait to bring Havi home from China.

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