Friday, November 21, 2008

Kazakhstan bound!

I got the call yesterday afternoon that the Letter of Invitation had arrived! It confirms that we'll be traveling to Kazakhstan to meet my future daughter, leaving the weekend of December 6 (most likely, to get there before the 8th). My mom and dad will make the trip with me and we'll most likely be there over Christmas.

It was so hard to be here at work, instead of at home or with family and friends, since I wanted to laugh, cry, dance - all at once. Except for the ongoing dilemma of how to get my mom a travel visa with more than 30 days for the second trip ... the world is a happy place. Now, to rush around updating the last documents and figuring out how to pack light (LOL!)

Please keep us in your thoughts and prayers for a safe and successful trip.

omg, this is so exciting!

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Marginally relaxing

What’s new this month?
It’s possible I’ll get the Letter of Invitation as early as next week, although they say it still looks like the earliest we would travel would be sometime during the week of December 8th. How’s that for good news?

This means I’ll continue to update some documents (doctor, employer, immigration fingerprints, FBI fingerprints … all are close to expiring. That also means another round of notarizations and apostillings (okay, it's not a word, but if I have my way Websters will acknowledge it by 2010). Plus, travel visa applications and passport style photos to be taken. Still, a far cry from the preparation needed for the full dossier.

What about when I get there? As is normal in Kazakhstan adoptions, you go in blind. No referral, no photo, no medical information. When you meet your child, you have a day or so to make a decision and possibly fax medical reports to an adoption doctor here in the States.

I’m in a quandary over whether to take the international fees with me in cash or to try to take travelers checks and get them cashed. Most agencies recommend the cash option, but that’s a scary proposition. Hmmm. Checking into the options, there.

My agency’s contact from Kaz. has hooked me up with a family that just returned from their first trip. What a nice family. The mom emailed back to me with her impressions and suggestions – wow, was that helpful! I admit to being a bit stressed and worried over all the little details. I may call her tonight for a chat. Did I say nice family?

My boss also gave me a great contact person … his father-in-law, who travels all over Asia for his job and very nicely offered to talk with me also and says he has friends and contacts in Kaz. if I need them. That sound you hear is me, marginally relaxing.