So to celebrate her first day of off-trackiness, I decided to tackle her closet. It started with the urge to get down all the stuff I've been throwing up on her closet shelf. Holiday specific clothes that may or may not fit next time we hit that holiday. Stuff that was bought on clearance in the next size up. Stuff that was given to her too big. Stuff that she's outgrown that hasn't made it into my room. Stuff that Brianna outgrew and thinks we should save for the next 8 years until Hannah can fit into it (fortunately, not much of that!).
An "after" photo. I didn't think to take a "before" shot.
After sorting through all that stuff, I had a donate pile, a Katie pile, a too big for Hannah pile, and a holiday maybe fit pile. It was easy to move on to her dresser and root through all the stuff in there. I got the winter PJs out of there and added summer ones back in. I sorted through all the top drawer "miscellaneous" that I've stuffed in there over the past couple years, and weeded out enough that I can actually fit her underwear and stump socks IN the dresser instead of ON the dresser! This is a first.
I went through all her jackets and pulled out a couple that are too small now, and I went through a bucket of "too big" in the closet and pulled out some summery clothes. I went through a nearly empty bucket of "too big" from under the bed, and was able to relocate everything and generate an empty bucket. Which is good, because the Katie pile had grown to be bucket sized.
The blue basket is all stuff I took out of Hannah's room to save for Katie.
It's either spring cleaning or else it's nesting! I think we're ready. We have carseats, beds, high chair, booster seat. We have boy clothes, girl clothes, bottles, sippy cups, blankets. Paul let me buy the double stroller months ago, when I caught it on super sale and used a gift card and amazon credit to get a really fabulous deal. Which, of course ended up being perfect timing, as it arrived right before our Safe Families temporary babies got here. There really isn't any other shopping that needs to be done. Oh, we have a few wishes, but mostly things that can wait, or things that would just be nice extras. I think we're going to have to rig up some gates at some point. But by and large, we are ready to bring Katie and Luke home. The nest is feathered.
Our Article 5 should be picked up next week, and then we begin the last official wait. The wait for Travel Approval from China. China's invitation to come and get the kids. That's been running approximately 2 weeks recently, although it varies a bit. Which means we could have TA as early as May 23rd.
It's time to get started on our visa applications and make a couple last trips to the Chinese consulate in San Francisco. I am lucky that Paul works only about half an hour away from SF and can zip over when he gets off work, if he's coming off duty on a day when they're open.
There is one other thing I need to get started working on, and that is all the paperwork that goes with us. Our agency has a list of the documents we need to take with us, and I got a small plastic file to organize that in. I'm also planning to write up "questions for caregivers" for each of the children, so our guide can get some information for us when we get the kids. Our guide last time wrote the answers down for me, which was awesome. This time, I'm going to include a couple of photos in my question pages, because I want to be able to ask, "Who is this? Nanny? Foster Mom?" and possibly get contact info if there is anyone who wants to keep in touch. Hannah had both a special nanny, and 2 volunteers that adored her, and I'm so glad we got to meet and take pictures of them!
Mostly, what's left for me to accomplish is finishing the last 4 weeks of homeschool before I leave. We're wrapping up Russia today, and we only have Australia and Antarctica left. If all goes well, we should finish school on 5/31. It's not uncommon for us to have a couple things unfinished at the end of one week to spill over into the following week, though, so we're really going to have to stay on task to make that happen. We also have 2 last product reviews to complete before the trip, both of which are coming along nicely!
It's getting close enough now that I'm starting to believe it's really going to happen! I'm so excited!
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