I am now plunging into all the details of things which have to happen before we leave. The flights which I have tentatively booked work well, even if I have to fly on a carrier that I'm not overly fond of. The price and direct flights were too good not to use. It's still a big chunk of change, but not quite as big as I was bracing myself for. There are still quite a few details that have to be worked out, but here's the gist of our plans:
- Fly to Beijing, go to hotel for a night where we will meet our travel group. The next day, fly to Zhengzhou where the adoption will take place.
- After about a week in province, we fly down to Guongzhou where the US consulate is to do visa related stuff.
- On the 23rd, fly back to Beijing where we will spend two days touring and visiting Shepherd's Field Children's Village.
- Return home on the 26th! Hug all my children who stayed home. And then hug them some more.
A. and TM will be travelling with us. A. is incredibly excited and I think she will be helpful in making H. comfortable in her new family. A. is also very good with TM and he responds well to her. It should be a fairly easy trip as far as travelling companions. After much thought, J. and I have decided that we cannot squeeze a quick stop in Vietnam in. Our initial plan was to stop in Vietnam long enough to have a reunion with TM's foster parents. But two things changed our minds. First, we hadn't counted on how expensive it would be to fly from Vietnam to Beijing. Second, we became concerned that by trying to do this too quickly, we would be adding unnecessary stress to the whole trip. (But, boy was I looking forward to Vietnamese food, even for 24 hours!)
Good friends of ours (the H-S) family, will be watching the children who are not travelling. Along with their own, this will give them between 11 and 13 children to care for, depending on college spring breaks. It's a good thing we have a big house. And really good friends.
These travel dates also work well because it means we will be home to celebrate Easter with our family and J. won't miss any classes at which he needs to be present. God has planned this well.
The one thing we will miss is the play that Thin Ice Theater is performing which B. is in. They are doing You Can't Take It With You on March 23 and 24 at 7:30 and March 25 at 3:00. I would love a large audience to show up to support him since his parents can't be there. For more details go the Thin Ice Theater facebook page.
Now, I need to continue checking things off my to-do list. If you can believe it, it isn't nearly as long as you would expect. I've been pretty good about working toward this point all month. My bigger problem is everything going to fit in my luggage!