We do not have our travel approval yet. But, I spoke with Ann, from our agency, and she confirmed that our names are down for the May 8th travel group! Based on the way things have been moving, she is expecting our official "Travel Approval" to come from the CCAA this week or next. Then Karolyn will make our appointment with the American Consulate in Guangzhou, China. Apparently she already knows about when she will be able to get this appointment since they already expect us to be in this travel group. We will not be making any travel arrangements until after Karolyn has confirmed the appointments and given us the "all clear" because we all know, anything can happen.
Our 14th wedding anniversary is May 7th so I guess we will spend our second Honeymoon in China! I know what I'm getting! From what I understand, we will spend several days in Beijing and then travel to Tianjin to get Claire. Maybe we will get her on Mother's Day! I guess I know what I'm getting for Mother's Day too! After a few days there we will go on to Guangzhou to stay until everything is finalized.
Now, we do have one little glitch already! In the midst of finding our sweet baby Claire, we were trying to renew our I-171-H. For those of you who do not know, an I-171-H is an approval from the Citizens and Immigration Services that gives you permission to bring an orphan into this country. Without it you need not leave the states because you will not be allowed to bring your child back with you! Due to the long wait times, ours, along with countless others, has expired. We knew it was going to expire and we began the tedious process of renewing it back in January. In order to do this, we had to each see our doctors, get doctors letters stating our health, see our social worker, have a SLED check done, have our social worker write up an update to our home study and send everything to DSS and then to CIS for approval. All that has been done thanks to the efficiency of our wonderful social worker who got every expedited for us. However, the last thing to do in that process is to have your fingerprints done and then run through the FBI database. CIS sent us appointments for that and the appointments were for March 28th! WHAT! I emailed them real quick and begged for an earlier appointment! The officer said there were no earlier appointments but she got us special permission to come in any day and wait until they could get to us. So, that is what we did Friday! It really wasn't so bad. I think we waited a total of one hour before they got to us. When we had this done in 2006 it only took a little over three weeks to get our approval so please pray with us that it does not take any longer this time!
The other fun thing we did Friday was get immunized! I got three shots-Hep A, Hep B and a tetanus booster. I still have to go to the health department and get a polio booster and MMR booster. AHHHH! My arms were sore all weekend. No wonder all those children are so cranky the day after they get shots!