Over the moon
What a day! What a day!
But I must back up to last Thursday. That's when the tide started to turn. After getting nowhere fast with the passport call center (again), I hung up the phone pretty steamed and practically in tears. I decided that for the umpteenth time, I would search the house again for Madeline's passport, in case we never gave it to them in the first place. Only this time I decided to look in places it shouldn't be. And what do you know? There it was....mixed up with Patrick's business docs. Yep, it was under our noses the entire month, and we didn't know it. The last four weeks were extremely stressful, and I wouldn't want to relive them. But I'm grateful to have Madeline's Chinese passport in my possession, even if we did have it the entire time. Big big relief! Now we can apply for our visas.
Also on Thursday, I decided to give our immigration officer call. Remember, the one whose name escaped me? She informed me that our applications had just come across her desk that day and that I should call her back Monday afternoon, as she would likely have us approved by then. Great. I'm on it.
Then we had the cake we ordered for Havi...oh a month ago. We still hadn't received the photos, and it had us worried. Other families adopting from the same orphanage waited days to receive their cake photos. We were waiting almost a month. I expressed my concern to Ann at Red Thread China. On Saturday, she told me she was finally able to communicate with the orphanage, and that she would try to get us the photos on Monday. Well, it goes without staying I started checking my email like crazy Sunday night and Monday morning.
Sure enough, right in the middle of our school lessons this morning, I saw the email. So Caleb and I made a mad dash to the computer to pull them up. And here they are!!! And yes, for those of you who know your Chinese cartoons, that is Pleasant Goat on her cake!
Then this afternoon, as I called our immigration officer to check on the status of our applications, I could barely get a word in before she told me that she approved us this morning! So...that means the approval will be forwarded to the National Visa Center (NVC) where the approval notice will be cabled (electronically delivered) to Guangzhou, where the immigration interview will take place in China. It should take about a week to ten days to get the approval cabled. Then Havi's visa application (Article 5) can be dropped off. Two weeks later it will be picked up and then delivered to CCCW@ when we will wait for our Travel Invitation (or Travel Approval, TA.) TA will come 2-3 weeks later. So, we should definitely be able to travel in June, following Madeline's dance recital.
Today was truly an amazing day. To see our daughter smiling and laughing...that's priceless. To jump over one more paperwork hurdle...icing on the cake (couldn't resist saying that).
I do promise to give another update soon. Life just has us busy. A good busy, but still busy. I'll get those iPhone snapshots up soon.