Saturday, May 10, 2014

Received Travel Approval today!

Breaking news, guys! Our Travel Approval (TA) has finally arrived...and double hooray for making it before the weekend! We've been waiting 16 days for this one document -- the official letter from China to invite us to go to China and adopt our child. Families, on average, typically wait 2 weeks for their TA, but I know some families have been experiencing a staggering wait-time of 3-4 weeks to receive their TA!! :O I know there was a Labor Day holiday in China during May 1–3, which partly contributed to the delay, but that's all I know.

Several weeks ago, after we received our Letter of Approval (probably the hardest and longest wait for most people), I knew we'd sail through the rest of the following steps. Panic set in as I realized my time with my oldest son -- our "Henry and Mommy" days -- was closing in. I remember having breakfast with Henry one morning while discussing our schedule for the day:
Henry: Is it "Henry and Mommy" day?
Me: Yes, it is "Henry and Mommy" day today! When Oliver comes home, we will call it our "Henry, Oliver and..." 
I couldn't finish my sentence and just let the tears flow. Will my beautiful and happy son stay happy when our new son joins the family? Will Henry feel neglected? Will he feel less loved? Will he be okay??? Every time I'd have my "magic moments" with my son, I'd turn into a watery mess fearing I'd lose this special bond with my first baby.

Then, last week I reminded myself that Oliver needs us. Oliver needs his big brother. Oliver needs all the love, hugs and attention he can get! We still have not seen a smile on any of his photographs and we are determined to make him giggle as soon as we see him for the first time! Henry WILL be fine. Yes, he will be jealous of his little brother, and Henry may regress, but he will be fine. We've all been talking about Oliver since December and we know he's super excited to take on the "big brother" role, so I'm pretty sure he'll be okay. (I think he'll enjoy bossing someone around; he's not having much luck telling our 13-year old Shih-Tzu what to do!)

Okay, the details: as we've predicted for quite some time, we are hoping to travel in the third week of May. Our agency is currently waiting on confirmation for consulate appointments (where we visit the US Consulate in Guangzhou to take the oath on behalf of Oliver for his citizenship), so I think we should hear back from them on Monday. Yes, more waiting! :D

As soon as our Consulate Appointment (CA) is confirmed, I will be contacting the travel agent to book our flights...and then we can apply for our Chinese tourist visas in person at the Chinese Consulate in Houston (the regular service takes 4 business days and I hope to avoid any kind of Express service!).

Let's go and get our baby boy!!!

As usual, here are some random pictures:

Here is our little guy again!
**** ****
Erm, the start of my packing
(the majority of the luggage is in another room)!!
 **** ****
Henry LOVES playing with the water!
**** ****
So, we bought the boys this super cool water table on behalf of
grandma & grandad! (Henry woke up at 6:15 the next morning,
put on his Crocs and went out in his PJs to continue the fun!)


Cynthia in Denver said...

We went through Chicago 3 weeks ago and got our visa's already. We've asked for CA June 9, 10, 11, 12, or 16.


linxx said...

Yay, Cynthia! Congrats to you, too!! I think our first option for CA is June 2! :)


Erin said...

Hi there!! I found your blog while searching for others waiting for TA and it seems we are on the same time frame. We are waiting to hear back on our consulate date too!! So, just wanted to drop in and say "hi"!

linxx said...

Hey Erin! Hope to meet you in Guangzhou! Congrats on getting your TA! :)


d e e said...

I don't know one mother that doesn't feel the same way about their first child when adding another sibling to the family. In the end it's such a great decision for so many reasons... I, for one, realized he had me all to himself where my second and third never really will (besides the occasional day out with just them)... adding siblings helped teach Liam to care for others smaller than himself. You are giving them a potential best friend for life... someone to help them learn and grow, someone to be there for them when life gets hard, the chance to possibly be an uncle someday etc. I know you know these things, it is still emotional regardless because a special time in your life is changing... but once you get Oliver it will be hard to imagine he hasn't been with you all the whole time. How lucky and blessed your sons are to have you and Dave and you them! I'm happy for you all!

linxx said...

Thank you so much for your kind words, Diana! You're such an awesome mom! Big hugs x