It has been a CRAZY week! We were assigned a consulate appointment for October 18th. This means that we will leave for China on October 5th, and we will meet our baby girl on October 10th. Gotcha day....the date will be 10.10.10.
We missed getting a September consulate appointment by 1 day. And, I have to admit that I was pretty disappointed. The Lord quickly reminded me that His timing is perfect, which He has reinforced just today (that's another journal entry).
Our international plane tickets have been purchased. We are traveling to Beijing one day early as this affected the combined total of our plane tickets by thousands of dollars. (AACK!) We will arrive on 10/6. The seventh is the final day of a national holiday, and that's the only reason I can come up with for such a crazy ticket price! So, we will arrive before our travel guide. Joel is quite comfortable navigating Beijing, so we will tackle it on our own for that one day.
Our general itinerary will be:
10/6 Arrive in Beijing, mid-afternoon (around 1 am Eastern Time)
10/7-9 Tour Beijing
10/10 Fly to Lanzhou (This is the capital of Grace's province)
10/?? Fly to Guangzhou (Around the 15th, this is the location of the US Consulate)
10/18 Consulate Appointment
10/19 Oath taking Ceremony
10/20 Receive Grace's US Visa
10/20 Fly to Hong Kong (overnight layover)
10/21 Depart for and arrive in US
Traditionally, from the other families I know that have traveled to Grace's province, the nannies and orphanage director are waiting at the hotel with your child when you arrive. We may very well see her when we walk in the front door. I have much to share about her province, but I will do that seperately. I will say this much, it is a remote part of the interior of China. We will most likely be the only Westerners in the area. It is definitely, "the road less traveled." We also understand that this will make us quite the novelty. We shouldn't have a hard time making new friends!
There will also be many other various appointments along the way, including a medical exam for Grace in Guangzhou. We may not have all of that in writing before we leave, but are confident in the expertise of our guides who will have navigated many adoptions before ours.
We will be holding our baby girl in just 37 days