Some other things we've prepared: frozen meals for while we're gone and when we return, donations bought for her orphanage we pray we get to visit, educating ourselves further on cleft palates and what's to come for her, figuring out her health insurance and how to make sure she's covered, researching the areas of China we'll be visiting, catching up on house projects, and preparing ourselves electronically (laptop, VPN, adapters, converters, etc) for our trip. Just to mention a few things. It was a lot and we had some late nights working on things, but I'm SO glad we pushed ourselves. Because as I'd hoped, we got it done a little early and are now getting to enjoy a few days without the to-do list breathing down our necks.
We're still waiting for TA (Travel Approval). The wait time is normally 2-4 weeks, and we're on day 10 of the wait. Once we received TA, things get wild and crazy. At that time we'll be able to make our consulate appointment in China for her and build our trip around that date. We'll be able to book our flights, and start the final countdown! There's so much we can't do until we get TA, and once we get it we'll spring into action to complete the last minute preparations. We'll do our final packing, talk to their teachers, bus drivers, make Maggie's first pediatrician, Adoption Clinic and specialists appointments for when we get home, figure out the final schedule of which grandma is going to be here which day, prepay bills, etc.
But we're in limbo right now. The list is as caught up as it can be until TA, so we're enjoying a few days of quiet, much-needed family time. The boys' soccer season just ended as well, so we really feel free!! It feels great. We're making sure to spend our time with the kids, playing games and hanging out together, keeping things low-keyG. I know it will be short-lived, but it sure is nice right now.
At the same time, I'm so ready for that TA call!! We were blessed with some new pictures of Maggie last week. While I'm so thankful for them, her appearance concerns me. While she looks healthy, I think she looks so sad and lonely, and she's still stuck in that crib with none of the loveys, toys and pictures we've sent her. Her head is partially shaved and she just looks desolate. Ugh. So while I'm enjoying these few lazy days, I'm SO ready to get out of here ASAP and get our girl!! Until then, I know that she is in God's hands and he is preparing her for us.
In other news, we had another great blessing for our family. We needed to buy another van in order to have 2 vehicles that all 4 kids could fit into. But we knew we couldn't really afford to pay anything, so we thought we were stuck. Until Jeremy came across a very old, but very reliable van that was sold to us at such a great deal we couldn't say no. Within a couple weeks we were able to sell his Camry for nearly the same amount we paid for the van, so we made just about an even trade for a car that is newer than his last, less miles and fits our whole family! We're ecstatic to have one more detail taken care of for our growing family.
Saying goodbye to that Camry is bittersweet, though. His Camry was originally my car. We brought Ben home from the hospital in that car and Jeremy has driven it ever since we bought our first van in 2007. We owned it for at least 13 years and it was so reliable. So it was bittersweet to see it go today, but we know we're ready for this new phase of our lives, which involves being the proud owners of 2 nearly identical, old, high-mileage but good-enough-for-us mini-vans! Doesn't hurt to be married to a Toyota mechanic who maintains and keeps our cars running forever. :)
We've come so far financially with funding this adoption. So far we've spent about $20, 240 to date.
In the next couple weeks we'll need to spend another $9000-$10000 in travel expenses and in-country fees to complete her adoption.
Round Trip Flights $2600-$4000
In-China Travel and Accommodations $3300-4400
In-China Fees $3200
We've been blessed by so many wonderful friends and family who have supported us financially through this journey. We've decided not to do any more official fundraisers, but will continue to have our Paypal link on our blog for anyone who feels called to help. As I've said before, we truly believe we're meant to be on this journey to bring Maggie home to us, despite not having the financial means readily available. We're fully trusting that God has the financial matters in His hands so that we can have her in ours very soon!
Keep your eyes open for our next news, which will hopefully be announcing our Travel Approval!!! We're still hoping to travel in November.
Here's her latest pics, taken by another adoptive mom last week when she was there getting her child. Please pray that the next pictures of her are with our camera and in our arms!!!!