Airline tickets have been purchased.
Airplane seats have been upgraded. (5 more inches of leg room, oh yay)
Beijing hotel has been decided.
Hotel room has been upgraded. (Being in cold Beijing for 10 days made me think that a suite might be a good decision; we may spend a lot of time in our room.)
And now we wait.
Only 15 days until we leave and my list contains 13 things yet to do, and it is still growing. I taped a piece of paper above my desk and add the items as I think of them.
I have a whole house to clean; oh my, why did we buy a big house? Jeramie said "just hire Merry Maids to help you" and I told him no; that would be a waste of money that we need right now.
I'm putting together a list of things for the kids to do each day we are gone. If I'm really on my A-game, I'll take pictures and post on the blog what I've left for them each day. Let me add that to my list.
A note to other PAPs (that's potential adoptive parents for all you outside the loop). Our travel agency booked our tickets in the regular economy cabin; I think they have to. We took advantage of a "club" through the airlines that allows you to purchase an economy plus option good for an entire year for $425. After you purchase that, you and a companion fly free in economy plus for an entire year. I don't know if this is available on every airline but it was the airline we are flying. The individual price to upgrade would have been $600 for the both of us so that saved us $175. I purchased Claire's upgrade separately so she's sitting with us and not hanging out in economy by herself.
We aren't clear where Claire is living right now. According to every other child from her orphanage, children in foster care are moved back to the orphanage and then processed for adoption. We were told Claire was still in foster care in August. We're waiting on updated pictures right now and the delay is supposedly caused by the snow inhibiting the staff from getting the "countryside" to take a new picture. Hmmmm...
I actually really hope she is at the orphanage. My heart breaks at the reality that it was probably a traumatic move for her but if she stays with her foster family up until we arrive, it will be extremely difficult for her to accept us. We will be taking her away from her family, the only one she's ever known so it will make an already tough start, even tougher.
We did get new measurements. She is the same height but gained 4 lbs. Woo hoo! She is about the size of an average 5 year old here in the US but smaller than any of my children at age 5. So even though she and Matthew are only 8 months apart in age she will appear to be about 2 years younger than him. The update told us that she can count to 100, do simple calculation and tell a complete story. They have found her an English teacher, at our request, and said she knows a few basic words. I'm still very concerned with the cost of the tutor. We have not been informed of the cost and since the teacher is already performing services we are stuck paying whatever they request.
OK, after 2 snow days the kids are back in school so I really must scurry around to get all of this done.