Sunday, May 29, 2011

Another date change

On Friday I received the latest news from the agency. Our requested dates of June 13, 14 or 15 are all booked. sigh. Our next available dates to request are June 21, 22 and 23. How frustrating! What exactly is the point of letting us choose dates if they aren't available. I have an idea. How about you just tell me the soonest I can have a date and I'll just be there. That's what they did for the court date and it worked out just fine. I think the 'appearance' of having control while not actually having any control is the hardest thing.

I remember people telling me that the wait from court to embassy was the hardest. Until last week, I didn't agree with that. I still felt the time to referral was the worst. The not knowing. Will it happen, what will she be like, will I connect when I see her face? All those things drove me crazy. Once I saw her, I knew it was going to happen and it was just a matter of time. Now, it's coming down to the last few weeks and I'm So.Over.It. Done. And yet, it's more waiting. Hoping to hear on Tuesday or Wednesday if the dates they've we've chosen are available. More on that next week!

In the meantime, I'm still getting ready and packing things here and there (without actually taking out suitcases, since that drives Riley into a tizzy and who needs that?). I have toys and clothes and first aid stuff, benedryl and children's tylenol. I'll pick up some diapers and formula and some other food once I find out what she's used to eating these days.

I also wanted to bring something back to the nannies and staff at the guest house since they've taken such good care of all the kids there. I racked my brain, what would be a good gift? It's so hard to say. In the end it came down to these...

I modified a crochet pattern for a stuffed heart and created an opening with a flap. With some fun buttons from my mom's old collection and a braided loop, I think they make cute little purse-y type things. Then what to put in there? I thought a Minnesota made soap or something would be great. I purchased some from a local place from their online store. When they arrived the smell was so overpowering I coughed for days until I took the box outside. So, that got nixed. Maybe some people like that much essential oil smell but I'm not giving anything away that makes me sick :-)  Some puttering around from store to store uncovered these cute little notebooks and tiny pens. With some (decidedly less smelly) lotion, I think I'm done. I hope they like them!

Friday, May 27, 2011

Inching ever closer...the sequel

Fingerprints are finally processed and the Embassy has confirmed they are there! Next step is to request three dates. I requested the earliest possible dates that we could physically manage. Sure enough, they couldn't do those dates. argh! How about you just tell me the three dates then. sheesh. So we are now waiting to hear about June 13, 14 or 15.

I thought I'd be able to book travel today. Then I remember that the Embassy doesn't work Fridays so we won't hear until Monday. The waiting now is actively, physically painful. ugh. Years from now we will look back and it will only be a distant memory. But today, it sucks.

I suppose though, it's good that we wait a little to go. First, the tickets won't be horrendously expensive. Second, I find myself with this...
My badge of honor for doing the right thing and donating blood. Apparently the needle didn't go in right and instead of pumping the blood out it pumped it back into my arm. neat. All those chemo treatments and doctor visits and MRIs and whatnot and this never happened. ishy. Now I'm sure it's probably not a problem to fly a long distance with that large of a bruise but carrying a toddler around might be challenging.

So what is your best 'traveling with a toddler' tip? I can use all that I can get...

Monday, May 16, 2011

Inching ever closer...

Last week I found out that my case has been cleared by the US Embassy! One would think I would be madly packing and booking flights. Sadly, we're still waiting on fingerprints. Ugh. If only. (see earlier post) Whatever. Have you checked your i-171H yet?

In any case, the Embassy is ready and waiting. Last Friday, I called USCIS to see if they'd been processed. They directed me to the NBC (National Benefits Center) and they said the package was in the mailroom waiting to go out 2-day air. Then they go to the NVC (National Visa Center). At the NVC, they upload the prints to a sharepoint drive and let the Embassy know they are there. Hopefully we will hear this week if the prints have arrived. Then we choose three dates and the Embassy lets us know which one is available.

So, in the event that the prints arrive this week, we've tentatively asked for May 31, June 1 or June 2. It's so far away! And yet so soon! I have yet to buy any diapers or get her outfits packed up in neat ziploc bags for the flight home (or a host of other things I probably should be doing or have done). I've almost completed the little gifts I planned to bring to the nannies and staff at the transition house. It's not much but I'm so grateful for the care they give all those kids.

It seems like many people I traveled with or whose kids she plays with every day have scheduled travel and are on their way. I'm so excited for their families to be reunited and I can't wait to hear their stories. Those of us still waiting are thankful for all the hugs and love you can give to our babies as they wait for us!