- Celebrated Mark's son Abe's wedding at the SC beach (this was our vacation, too) and welcomed new daughter-in-law, Karen, into the family
- Celebrated Mark's son Caleb's wedding in the NC mountains (yesterday, in fact!) and welcomed new daughter-in-law, Leslie, into the family
- Traveled to Florida to visit my parents and grandparents
- Traveled to Ohio to visit Mark's parents and brother's family (and bring home a crib for Anna Kathryn)
- Many phone calls with Hillary about Alie's impending arrival
- Registered for baby stuff
- Shopped for and selected a day care
- Gathered our visa paperwork, and mailed numerous documents to our agency!
- Painted the nursery, ordered and set up crib bedding, clean out closets (sadly-- not done with that part yet!). Mark put the crib together early one morning while I slept in a little-- I'd better enjoy that while it lasts! We are recycling some of my childhood furniture and a few "pre-owned" and loved items into nursery furniture.
- Packed up Mark's classroom at his former school and moved him into his new room at another middle school
- Spent an afternoon at my school-- I needed Mark's help with assembling media carts and hanging new signage in the media center
- Spent a LOT of time on the phone and on e-mail discussing the good news!! Also much time has been spent online gathering travel and packing information, and reading more about attachment and bonding. A little too much time, as always, has been spent on Rumor Queen's site.
- Survived a week of teacher workdays (meeting after meeting, mixed with some visiting, and not enough shelving) and prepped for the first day of school-- August 25!
I bet I've forgotten something... but you get the idea! The time moves so fast, and yet so slowly as we wait.
Friday afternoon at 4:30, as we were driving up for Caleb's wedding rehearsal and dinner, the phone rang just as we got into Boone (and better cell service). It was the travel coordinator at our agency telling us that we just received our Invitation to Travel from the Chinese government! Well, we were floored-- I was driving and had to pull over so I could listen and take notes without wrecking the car. Mark had been snoozing and at first didn't know why I was pulling over. Much excitement ensued as we headed on to the rehearsal, despite getting totally lost on Beech Mountain.
We have two possible windows for travel; AWAA is trying to make sure we travel with a group. We could travel September 11-24 (or 25, depending on travel arrangements), provided we can get a consulate appointment (CA) in late September. The CA is crucial because that gives us Anna Kathryn's travel visa and citizenship papers. If we can't get a CA in Sept., we will have to wait until mid-October or later to travel. We are praying hard that we can get a CA for September travel. (September is very busy, sandwiched between the Olympics this month and the National Holidays and Trade Fair in October. I've heard that appointments are becoming scarce.) Obviously, we would rather travel sooner than later!! Still, we know God has this all planned out-- if it's in his plan for us to be united with AK sooner rather than later, it will happen.
It's been six weeks exactly since we first saw Anna Kathryn's sweet face. They have been some of the busiest weeks of my life! Sometimes I wish things would slow down just a little, so I could catch my breath and really reflect on all the changes in our family right now.