The entire process took about 8 months, and compared to our first adoption which was 17 months (including 4 months of waiting to be matched) this one was relatively "fast"; however, not a day went by that it FELT like it was moving quickly. Looking back, the days were long...sometimes very, very long... but overall the months have flown by and I can't believe it's finally TIME!
This week we received our Travel Approval from China, and the past 48 hours has been a flurry of phone calls and emails in order to make arrangements to be able to travel within a few days!
Our flights, hotels, train tickets, and appointments are all confirmed now, and our 17-day trip will look something like this:
Wed-Thurs Fly from Detroit to Hong Kong
Friday adjust to the time zone...at Hong Kong Disneyland!
(we had to think of something that would keep us awake all day, right?!)
Saturday Fly to Nanchang, the capital of Hudson's province
Sunday Hudson will travel to meet us!
This is our official "Gotcha Day" as they call it in the adoption world.
Monday Adoption Day!! We (& Hudson) will sign to make it official!
Tue-Thu Paperwork, hang out, bond, explore Nanchang...
(wait for his passport to be prepared and returned to us...)
Friday Travel to Guangzhou by Bullet Train! (5 hours of views!)
Saturday Hudson's medical (required for immigration visa)
Sun-Mon Paperwork, hang out, explore Guangzhou...
(wait for his medical results to be prepared...)
Tuesday Interview at the U.S. Consulate (required for immigration)
Wed-Thur Paperwork, hang out, visit the Safari Park zoo!
(wait for his immigration visa to be placed in his passport...)
Friday Fly HOME!! With our new family of 6, under one roof! Hooray!!
Not only am I over-the-top excited to finally meet Hudson, I'm also thrilled about the opportunity to bring Evie along on this amazing adventure. She is going to LOVE this (I hope!) and it will be an experience she'll learn from, grow from, enjoy greatly, and never forget.
Let me pull her into the office for a quick interview...Hey Evie, what are we doing next week?
"We're going to China to adopt Hudson! My brother!!"
What are you most excited about for this trip?
"The airplane, because last time I rode in a plane I was a baby and I don't really remember it. The hotels, because I think they'll be fancy and I heard the breakfast buffet is huge. And getting to meet Hudson before everyone else!"
Is there anything you are worried about?
"Trying new food because my parents said I should try at least one new food every day. And that Hudson might not feel happy because he left the orphanage that he's been at for a long time. And the toilets outside of the hotels because they are squatty potties!"
What would you like to say to the family & friends who helped support you to go on this adventure?
"Thank you so much for helping me go to China. I'm really excited to visit there and meet my new brother and practice my Chinese! I'm going to take a lot of pictures and write in my journal so I can tell everyone about it when I get home!"
We were so proud of Evie's fundraising efforts, and so grateful for the MANY people who jumped in to support her!! In the end she raised about $3,000, which has turned out to be the perfect amount to cover all of her flights, train tickets, guide fees, meals, passport & travel visa, etc... WOW! Thank you all so much for being a part of this. I know she'll be eager to share her experiences with you!
I'm off to finish packing, but I'd love to leave you with a few prayer requests!
- Hudson: for his heart to be prepared for this transition, for him to feel safe & loved, and for much patience when it comes to communication.
- For good bonding time while we're together; that attachments and trust can begin to be built between us.
- Safe travels, and good health for all of us as we encounter new foods and environments.