We're in the single digits folks! Single digits till we hop on that plane, travel 7, 254 miles, meet our son for the first time and start our forever with him!
I was telling some friends a couple days ago, the he's had 7 birthdays, 6 surgeries, his first day of kindergarten, lost 1 tooth, surely skinned knees and bad dreams in the middle of the night, all without a mama by his side.
And I'm going to change that!
IN 9 DAYS!
Last Friday we received the last piece of the puzzle we needed to settle our itinerary. Wasting no time we picked the first possible date to leave and spent this weekend booking our flights and making hotel reservations. It was kinda surreal. It was kinda amazing how quickly I went from pushy and whiny to anxious and nervous.
Our itinerary will probably be like this.
Wednesday & Thursday 3/22-3/23 - We fly from Phx to LAX. Kill a few hours (which is kinda fun to do in the spirit of people watching in the international terminal at LAX!) and take the 1:05am (!!!) flight for 15 hour and 35 minutes (ouch!) to Hong Kong.
Friday 3/24 - We land in Hong Kong 7:40am and try not to fall asleep until a reasonable hour. We'll adjust to the major change in time zones and explore Hong Kong for a couple days.
Sunday 3/26 - We try to figure out how to take the train from Hong Kong to Guangzhou, Guangdong, China. It's only about a 2 1/2 hour train ride, and we can figure out how to use the taxi stand all by ourselves, right?
Monday 3/27 - Ru day! We go to the Civil Affairs Office and meet Ru! He will be ours forever and ever from that moment on! I'm excited and simultaneous really nervous already. I have no idea what he's going to be feeling, but I'm assuming it's not gonna be good. I wrote THIS 5 years ago right before we traveled to get Mimi, and it much sums it up what we're expecting. But in a 7-year-old body this time. I think I need to update it (quickly) to get my head on straight. Let's just that we're not expecting sunshine and rainbows. We'll spend the rest of the day (our lives) getting to know each other.
Tuesday 3/28 - These are the exact words our guide sent us... "Adoption Registration and notary work at civil affairs office. The child will be considered same as biological since this day. Adoption will be completed according to Chinese law. Grocery shopping." Grocery Shopping. A new child forever and ever. Life goes on new family member and all!
Wednesday 3/29 - Medical. Ru is required to have a medical exam prior to getting a U.S. Visa. He'll have a TB test among others.
Thursday-Tuesday 3/30-4/4 - We're on to explore the city and keep getting to know each other. We'd love to explore some of the sights, but keepin' it real, we're going to take Ru's lead on this one. He's the reason we're there after all. We might to to the zoo or the circus. Sample lots of dim sum. Or it may be best to hunker down in the hotel for a while. Or not. We're not sure how it's all going to play out, so Papa and I will be making it up as we go.
Wednesday 4/5 - Appointment at the U.S. Consulate. Government officials will ask us some questions and maybe even ask Ru some questions too. Then we all take an oath or something swearing our allegiance... I think. Something like that.
Thursday 4/6 - A visit to Ru's orphanage, or as China calls them, Social Welfare Institute or SWI for short. This is a tentative visit, we may or may not go, but it is our hopes that it will be a chance for Ru to say goodbye to the only family he has known for 7 years and hopefully provide some closure. I cannot image. It will also give us a chance to experience this home first hand so we can tell him as much as we can about it when he asks.
Friday 4/7 - Receive Ru's U.S. visa and pretty quickly hop on the train back to Hong Kong. No sightseeing this time because 1-there will be no time for it. And 2- I'm sure we'll be anxious to get home. The hotel that is attached to the airport will do fine thank you very much.
Saturday 4/8 - Hop back on the plane and fly 13 hours and 15 minutes (Thank you jet stream for shaving off a couple hours, but still! Double ouch!) to LAX, navigate through customs, and then finally fly back to Phoenix, arriving home that night and introduce Ru to the rest of the crazy us.
Find our new normal.