It is hard for me to believe that last time we completed an adoption I didn't even know what Travel Approval was or when we got it. We just received a call about 4 weeks after our referral telling me to call some lady at a travel agency, have a credit card in hand and be ready to book the tickets. Ugh, ok. I completed the whole transaction at work where I was consulting at the time in a lonely little cubicle. I think that I called the Muffin Man afterwards to explain that I booked us on a flight leaving the States Friday the 13th of Sept. 2002. Which was 2 days after the 1 year anniversary of 9/11/01. No one but me wanted to travel on the 11th. Come on folks, don't you think that would be the safest day to travel? Wouldn't every policeman and their mother be expecting something weird? Alas, I lost and we traveled Friday the 13th, voodoo day. To this day I still don't unstand how that was better.
But this time the land of milk and honey comes with more complications, trials and tribulations. Are the TA's in with the new referral batch? Will they be here within 3-5 weeks of referral? Is Guangdong really giong to make us stay on Shaiman Island for 3 weeks? Does this mean we won't get to see Beijing with the 1/2 of our group that has babies waiting for them in Jiangxi? Will I get another mouth ulcer from stress? Will I pull a fistful of hair out of my head?
It is all for not. TA's made their way to my agency this morning without fanfare. The gang at the agency is busily applying for American Consulate appointments as I write this. I might get a call telling me to grab for the American Express card and call 1-800 We Ship You To China Travel Agency before the end of the week.
And how is Ava taking in all of the excitement of packing and visas and travel approvals?
"What's all the trouble for, Mon? Let's do the Pegasus movie in 3D. No worries."
(Yes, that is a peace, love and alligators tee shirt.)