6/11 I fly from Sac to Seattle, hang out with a friend in Seattle for a while, then hop The Big Flight to Beijing.
6/12 Arrive in Beijing 5 pm, fly out to Nanchang at 10:30. I can only imagine what I'll do in between. Walk around in a daze, happy to be on the ground again? Find something to eat? Blog?
6/13 Arrive in Nanchang in the wee hours, get taken to the hotel for a nap and a shower.
3 pm LUKE ARRIVES at hotel. I'm told I need to pay a 50 RMB delivery fee (about $8 USD) for the nanny to bring him to me. Which for some reason strikes me as hilarious, but no one else finds it funny, so I guess it's just me.
6/14 Guide will take me to change US money into Chinese money, then we'll go to Civil Affairs and complete the adoption process. (The first day, I just have temporary custody of him. A trial period, so to speak.) Afterwards, we'll be taken grocery shopping.
6/15 Sightseeing in Nanchang. Tengwang Tower, and possibly a porcelain shop.
6/16 Fly to Nanning from 2:20-4 pm. New guide meets us at airport, takes us to hotel.
In the middle of the night, Paul's flight will arrive and our guide will bring him to the hotel.
6/17 Katie Day!
6/18 back to Civil Affairs to complete adoption, then more grocery shopping
6/19 Museum visit
6/20 Sightseeing at Green Mountain
6/21 Katie's passport will be ready, then we can fly to GZ. at 6:30 pm
6/22 Medical Exam, TB test, consulate paperwork
6/23 Safari Park
6/26 Nanue King Museum
6/27 Consulate appointment
6/28 Pick up kids' visas to enter the US
6/29 Fly home!
Now, you might be wondering, "Why so many shopping/sightseeing days? Why can't you just go, pick up the kids, and come back home? Wouldn't that be cheaper?" Well, that's a good question, but it doesn't work that way.
Jiangxi province is generously allowing us to receive and adopt Luke at the end of a holiday week, but normally, all children meet their families on a Monday, and complete the adoption on a Tuesday, and pick their passports up on Friday. We are paying a fee to expedite Luke's passport. (The fee is certainly less than hotel, food, and guide costs for staying the full week, so it's a win-win.)
In Guangxi, where Katie lives, we will be following the regular schedule. After the week in their child's province, American families all go to Guangzhou for a week. The kids have a medical exam, required by the consulate, more paperwork happens, and the all-important Consulate Appointment takes place, after which the consulate will process and issue the kids' visas. The children cannot leave China without a visa to allow them to enter the US.
So, while it looks like an action packed adventure, the reality is, those activities take place merely to fill up the time we spend waiting for all the red tape to be processed to get from "gotcha day" to when we can go home. What we discovered with Hannah's adoption trip, is that a very happy "side effect" of all that sightseeing is a an appreciation for the wonderful nation and culture that Hannah comes from. I can't wait to see and experience more of China this time around.