Last night, we had a phone meeting with our agency. I felt that maybe the phone call should have happened earlier than five days before we leave. Some of things that I found out I need to do before we leave are not making my days any less stressful. Added to that, my kids' colds have gotten worse, so we had doctor's appointments and pharmacy visits which were not planned for. And $180 I wasn't planning on spending today <sigh>
We have to take a lot of cash with us and the hard part is getting new-like bills. I gave my bank a heads up two weeks ago (because I had read my agency manual, not because they had reminded me of this) and they began to gather bills for me. They were awesome! However, they didn't have too many. And I just found out that I need to bring more than I expected.
We are going to be staying at the Youth With a Mission (YWAM) apartment outside of the city. This is such a blessing. I had found a cheap hotel, but I just wasn't sure. Some reviews say there was no internet, etc. At the apartment, we'll have access to a shared kitchen, nearby stores and internet. Pretty much everything we need, and the two girls that live there speak English. There is no fee to stay there, just whatever the Lord puts on our hearts! This is so huge! We will be saving so much money on food, lodging and internet. We will be a little farther away from the orphanage, but it seems worth it in the end.
I have to get several documents notarized and sent to my agency before we travel. I also am trying to be proactive and bring some of our updated docs with us as to not cause any delays. However, this plan might have backfired on me. To do local apostilles, we have to go to our County Clerk and then to the L.A. Secretary of State. It ends up costing almost double per document: around $38 each- yikes! Good thing there are only 7! Won't be doing that again! It was so weird, when I went to get the certification at our County Clerk office, I started trembling a bit. This is becoming so real and my nerves are kicking in!
Now for the exciting part: We arrive Sunday and will probably meet with our coordinator to go over details of our trip. Monday morning we go to the Ministry of Education to review Maria's file and maybe learn something more about her. We will probably be asked some questions too. Then they will give us permission to meet her. And off we will go! Then we will need to go back and tell them that yes we want to adopt her and will have to notarize some documents. In that country, they charge $50 per document. We're not exactly sure how the schedule will be, but I would love to be able to visit her two times a day. By law, we have to visit her a minimum of 10 times before our court date.
I have a feeling that we are going to be exhausted after this trip. I think emotionally we will be drained from the excitement of finally meeting our daughter and then having to leave without her, and on top of that is the jet lag and all of the pre-trip preparations.
We would sure appreciate your prayers for health for us and our children and for endurance during and after the trip. We are also still raising Maria's ransom, so you could pray that God would provide for all of our needs too!