I have not yet heard if the Article 5 processing times are back on track, but I would think that they will be in another week or so.
In contrast to the adoption from China world in general, and on to us specifically: Having the consulate re-open means that as soon as we are issued our TA, our agency can make the all important consulate appointment, and we can book our flights and hotels. TA could come this week or next week. Honestly, I'm starting to get a little antsy, even though I know we don't hit the "average" until Thursday.
I just want to have things settled, travel booked, and know when I'm going to get my babies.
One thing that has been different this time is that we've been able to get updates through our agency. Last time, we got one update between LOA and travel from our agency, and the others were from third party care package companies. We sent Katie a care package at Chinese New Year, just so that her people would know she had a family coming, but we didn't receive Luke's referral until after CNY. It recently dawned on me that we hadn't sent him a package.
I wrestled with it for a few days, torn between cheapness (as in, "we got pictures in April, is it really worth $75 to get 2-3 new photos in May when we're likely to travel in June?") and equality (as in, "Someday, the kids are going to want to see all the pictures and hear the story, and part of Hannah's and Katie's stories is, 'and this is the care package we sent you.' Do you want to look at his little face and say, 'but we didn't send you anything?' I think not.")
Equality won, and I placed the order.
Knowing that he's in foster care, I decided against a perishable cake package, not knowing how often his foster mom gets to the orphanage. I chose the PJ package instead.
Looks like pajamas, a blanket, candy for the foster family, a disposable camera, our translated letter, and a stuffed Lightning McQueen. It should be delivered to his orphanage this week. I am *hoping* that it will get to his foster mother and that we will get a couple of new pictures in return. But I know not to *expect* that, when we just had an update a little over a month ago. So we'll see what happens.
Ideally, it would be nice if he could bring the blankie and stuffie with him when we receive him, but I know not to expect that, too. Hannah did not come to us with any of the items from the care packages that we sent to her. However, I do not regret sending them. 1) It feels like we're doing something, when we really can't do anything; 2) It lets their caretakers know that someone cares about them; and 3) It is a part of the story we will tell them later, when we talk about how very much we wanted them and how we waited and prayed and hoped for them. And I suppose on some level, I'm happy to sponsor an extra blanket and pair of PJs for whoever ends up using them after Luke is home with us.
I wish I could see him in these pajamas. I wish I knew what size they were and how they fit him. I wish I could smell his baby shampoo, after bath smell and snuggle his sleepy body. Do you know how weird it is to miss someone you've never met?
If you would like to pray for us, please pray for my heavy heart. My mind says surely it can only be a few more weeks now, but my heart is weary of the wait. Also, as always, please pray for Katie and Luke's safety and that God will help prepare their hearts for the transition. I am getting a little nervous about travel, since I will be on my own the first week, and it has occurred to me that not all kids have the beautiful easy transition that Hannah did. I could end up with a very unhappy little person all by myself for several days. I know I can do it, but it's just one more hamster on the wheel of insomnia to keep my mind whirling at night.
Spare a click for us? Thanks!