Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Travel Dates Set!!!

Wow things are moving fast now! Our agency got our consulate date for 8/22 so we will be leaving on 8/11. Two weeks from tomorrow! Thankfully we have friends who will be staying at our house with the animals! I can't believe it is all happening so fast after it dragged on for so long! The change of pace really has me spinning!!!

{update} Glinda has asked me to quickly explain the process from referral to TA to travel and comment on our time frame. No problem!

Our referral came on 6/30 as they are now normally coming at the end of the month. Because it was a holiday weekend we had some extra days in there to sign our Letter of Acceptance (LOA). With our agency, I think you may have a day or two to get this back to them. But in our case, we got our package on Saturday 7/2 instead of Friday, 7/1 because FedEx lost our package. Remember that? That was fun, right?!? Character building I like to say. Anyway, our agency asked us to have the LOA returned to them no later than Wednesday, July 6th (happened to be our LID). So with Monday being a holiday, I overnighted the LOA on the 5th, FedEx did not lose it, and CCAI received it on the 6th. They then sent our LOA off to China requesting travel approval. Then we waited. Well, I never really wait, I research, dig, sort through information, plot charts, and while my husband is looking at baseball averages, I am looking at referral to TA averages. In the 6 months prior to our referral it seemed that TAs landed at my agency about twice a month. What I couldn't tell was who those TAs were I had to go off the only bit of information I did have which was I knew that some people who got referrals on 5/30 got their TAs on 6/22. That's about 3 weeks from referral to TA. Which then got me counting days on the calendar and going into sheer panic because my two other children would be starting camp the last week of July into the first week of August. One of whom, requires a tin can in the sky to get home should we have to break early to flee to China. Many of those people who got their TA's on 6/22 traveled on 7/6. Five weeks from referral to travel people! Holy pickles, that's fast and it made me jumpy. Don't want to disappoint the big kids by yanking them out of camp. Don't want to rearrange already booked airline tickets for the return trip home from camp. I know, rearranging already booked air travel is such a joy, I don't know why I wouldn't want to do it! {snicker} 

But all was well, in the end. Our TA came on Tuesday 7/26, our agency requested Consulate dates, and then the Consulate informed them on Wednesday 7/27 that our Consulate appointment is for 8/22. And the answer to that math problem is 8/12. That is the date our agency would like to see our smiling faces in Hong Kong! So I dropped everything that afternoon and booked tickets for 4 people. My mother is also coming along on this magic carpet ride but she's riding on a separate, much fancier carpet which happened to be nearly free! She's going on miles, on a different airline and because of the FAA/Gov't snafu, the airline was not able to charge her taxes on said mileage seat and as a result she's traveling first class from mumble mumble to HK for $20. 

Glinda, one last thing, the agency does not allow us to book return travel sooner than 2 days after the CA because it can take a day or two to get the child's visa back from the consulate. So we are not allowed to leave any sooner than 8/24.


Debbie Sauer said...

Good for you. Blessings

Sherri said...

awesome, just awesome...congrats!!!

Glinda said...

Wow, that was fast! Congratulations...
Now, I know you have sooo many other pressing matters, than to sit around answering questions from inquiring minds, but if you were to indulge those of us who are hot on your heels as far as referrals go, could you be so kind as to enlighten me (us) on the process through which you just went, i.e., was yours a fast TA or an average TA, and how did you do it so fast, if it was? Clear as mud, that question.

Thank you and sorry for the imposition :)

Kay & Dan said...

Yes, same CA date! Cool! Will you be traveling with the whole gang? We will be staying at the Marriott in GZ.
We're new at this, so we'll be easy to spot--the ones who have not a clue on what to do as parents! Ha!

I just visited here for the first time--love your blogs! So creative! I am a foodie, too--well, I like to eat really good food...and I like to cook!

We'll be traveling on the non-stop from Newark to Beijing, then to Nanchang, and finally to GZ. Perhaps we will meet...! 8 )

Glinda said...

Bless you for taking the time to post this!

I can only aspire!

babyfun said...

We are traveling the SAME days!! (not the same route) but our CA is also on the 22nd.

Ben said...

Just wanted to chime in with my congrats!

We're oddly almost connected. You see, your husband works with my step-brother (Joe Hanson). I also have two kids adopted from China.

It's quite a journey! I wish you all the best of luck and remember to stop every now and again and just... enjoy!