I figured this out today. Kind of interesting. And weird that I didn't see the 'sign' before now. If you are new to reading this blog -- I'm big into seeing signs that let me know I'm on the right path.
Sonny and I got married on September 5th, 2003.
Our Gotcha Day (the day we get Cassie) is May 3rd, 2009.
Those are the exact same set of numbers -- coincidence or faith?
We have been blessed with being able to get a copy of Cassie's 'finding ad' from the Kunming newspaper. It's the first picture we now have of Cassie -- she was 1 month old in the picture. I just love the picture. It's my favorite of the 4 pictures we have of her. The other 3 that we have are from when she was 4 months old. In this picture she appears to be sleeping. She looks like a little sleeping angel. I'm sure she doesn't know it -- but I know that Jesus was watching over her smiling because He knew that her parents would be there to take her home in about 1 year.
The envelope with a photo of the newspaper ad came in the mail yesterday -- which was April 24, 2009. The date of the newspaper when her ad appeared -- April 24, 2008.
And now in less than 6 days we will be leaving to bring our angel home. In exactly 7 days and 12 hours to the minute -- she'll be placed in the loving arms of her forever parents.
First the surprise -- we get Cassie on Sunday instead of Monday!!!!!!! I'm so very happy about that.
Here's the itinerary for our trip:
05.03.09 - 11:55am - Arrive in Kunming 05.03.09 - 2:30pm - We go get Cassie!!!! 05.04.09 - 10:00am - Go back to the Civil Affairs Office to do paperwork 05.04.09 - 2:30pm - Visit Cassie's orphanage 05.05.09 - 10:00am - Shopping for Cassie 05.06.09 - 9:00am - Sightseeing tour to Green Lake 05.07.09 - 9:30am - Sightseeing tour to Shiboyuan 05.08.09 - 5:00pm - Pick up Cassie's passport 05.09.09 - 8:00am - Fly to Guangzhou 05.09.09 - 9:55am - Arrive in Guangzhou 05.10.09 - 9:00am - Sightseeing tour to Chen Family's Temple 05.11.09 - 9:00am - Cassie gets photo for visa and medical exam 05.12.09 - 9:30am - American Consulate appointment 05.13.09 - 3:00pm - American Consulate Interview/pickup Cassie's visa 05.15.09 - 9:00pm - Fly home
I'm sure there will be lots of other things going on for us -- this is just the outline of things we are doing.
Sorry I'm been a bad blogger. I didn't mean to go that long between posts -- I've just been crazy busy with all the little details. Just trying to get the house ready (meaning all my piles of 'stuff' in every room put away), getting the spring yard work done so that Cassie and I can plant some flowers when we get home, and trying to remember everything else that I need to do . I have about 6 lists started of things to do. 4 are in my purse, one on the kitchen counter and one on my dresser -- I need to get everything on one list. Tomorrow I'll do that. Maybe.
Last Thursday I was able to get our flights to and from LA upgraded to first-class. It only completely stressed me out -- because I some how unlinked Sonny and my reservations -- I spent 2 hours online and on the phone to get it all fixed and upgraded. Then once it was all done I doubted my decision to upgrade. I'm ok and glad about it now. It was just too much for me to handle that day.
NWA was having a special -- how weird is that -- that if you transferred points to someone they would give you a 100% bonus amount of points. Of course they charge you to transfer points -- a per point value and a processing fee. I had to transfer points from my dad's account to my account and pay a fee. Then transfer points from Sonny's account to my account and pay another fee. Then I had to pay to upgrade the booking class on both flights home -- at $18.99 each -- and of course there was a $150 penalty per ticket to change that booking class. Then I was able to upgrade these flights with my miles. It was all very confusing because I tried to do it all online myself and messed up the reservations. Which by the way I had called NWA twice to add Cassie on with a lap seat on the way home and she had never got added.
So after 5 phones calls -- Cassie is now showing up under my reservation, we both are in first-class on the way there and home, and it only cost 60,000 points and $479. (It was suppose to be more -- but I think they felt sorry for me and didn't charge me one of the penalty and upgrade fees). I know it was worth the extra time and money -- we'll be very happy in first-class. After all it's really only $120 each per way. And since NWA charges $15 per bag and for food/snacks -- this way we also get free checked bags and free airline food. That makes it all worth it. I'm kidding of course.
We should have our itinerary tomorrow -- Tuesday. I'll post that when we get it. Nothing much happening -- just trying to stay sane and keep busy until we leave. Not sure either of those are going to happen.
That's what I have been doing for the past 2 hours. DCB. Repeat. Repeat. Repeat. And Repeat.
Our flight home from China has been cancelled. Really -- no joke. I wouldn't joke about something like that. And we will no longer be leaving China on the 13th. We will be leaving on Friday the 15th of May instead. Why not come home on Thursday instead of Friday? There are no flights home on our airlines on Thursdays. Big smile. Another slug of my margarita -- ok it's really limeaide -- but I'm pretending -- another DCB too.
On the bright side, the weather is wonderful in Guangzhou in May, I'll have my daughter the whole two extra days we are there, and I have lots more time to shop. DCB.....DCB.....DCB.
Here's the new and improved plan -- see how positive I am.
05.01.09 / Friday -- Fly to LA, then from LA to Guangzhou 05.03.09 / Sunday (China time) -- Fly from Guangzhou to Kunming 05.04.09 / Monday -- Gotcha Day, aka - the day we get Cassie!!!! 05.09.09 / Saturday -- Fly to Guangzhou in the morning 05.12.09 / Tuesday -- American Consulate appointment 05.13.09 / Wednesday -- Pick up Cassie's passport 05.15.09 / Friday -- Fly home 05.16.09 / Saturday -- Arrive home as a family
Ok -- so we are booked and ready to go. We'll not really ready but pretty dang close to being ready.
Here's the plan:
05.01.09 / Friday -- Fly to LA, then from LA to Guangzhou 05.03.09 / Sunday (China time) -- Fly from Guangzhou to Kunming 05.04.09 / Monday -- Gotcha Day, aka - the day we get Cassie!!!! 05.09.09 / Saturday -- Fly to Guangzhou in the morning 05.12.09 / Tuesday -- American Consulate appointment 05.13.09 / Wednesday -- Pick up Cassie's passport, fly home that night 05.14.09 / Thursday -- Arrive home as a family
That's how long it took to get our new I-171H in the mail.
Yep, it came today.
We mailed it on March 6th, it was delivered to the USCIS office on the 9th and it came in the mail today! Yippee -- that makes me very happy. Even through Rebecca was able to move our trip up a week so we didn't need this update -- it's nice to know we have it -- just in case.
It's all falling into place.
We are getting really close to bringing our daughter home!!!!!!
I just got an email from Rebecca -- she was able to work her magic and get our trip moved up a week. So now we can use our I-171H that is good through May 17th!!!! She also requested a new CA for us. However, the Consulate is closed until Tuesday for the Chinese Holiday -- 'Tomb Sweeping Day'. Everything is closed in China Saturday, Sunday and Monday.
So thank you Rebecca -- I never doubted that you'd be able to get us there in time to use our 'old' paperwork.
I'm hoping Rebecca hears something back from the Consulate on Tuesday and then we can book our flights!!
At this point and time -- the estimated travel dates -- subject to change -- are: April 30th through May 14th.
Rebecca called at 2:52pm with wonderful news -- 4 weeks after our LSC our TA arrived.
So now the not so great news. Our CA is scheduled for May 19, 2009. Our I-171H expires on May 17, 2009. Rebecca is going to try and work her magic and see if there is a guide available earlier in Kunming and if she can get the CA changed to the 12th, 13th or 14th. So everyone needs to pray that Rebecca will be able to work it all out for us. It should all be confirmed by Tuesday. If the magic happens we'll be leaving on April 30th.