Today 2009 comes to an end and way back in May I thought we'd be spending it with family and introducing our newest daughter to people who have long awaited to meet her. We all know that is not how it has gone. Despite this disappointment I am truly at peace with sitting on the couch catching up on my blogs while I listen to Back to the Future blast from the TV downstairs and smile at the occasional giggles I hear from my three children and husband.
We have waited a full three weeks since our Article 5 was signed at the US consulate in Guangzhou. And while I really hoped to get a phone call this week from our agency announcing that our travel approval (TA) had arrived I really braced myself that the phone call would most likely not come until next week.
I have heard through the grapevine that our agency is hoping they receive a big batch of TAs next week. Another agency has been informed that a package is on its way to them containing a good number of TAs so I've got my fingers crossed that the same is true for our agency.
The last travel group to leave before Chinese New Year will be on Jan. 27th. That means we must receive our TA by the 2nd week of January to travel with this group. If that doesn't happen we will have to wait until mid-February to travel.
In the meantime, we have done a trial pack with our suitcases to check the weight. We are only allowed 44 lbs of checked baggage for each of us while in China. I thought that would be a hard requirement to meet but it might not be so difficult after all. Claire's suitcase is completely packed and sitting in our bedroom, just waiting for the call.