When our agency originally called with our court information, they told us that we would have our travel dates by Wednesday at the latest. No worries....They told me that it would be approximately 4 - 6 weeks after our court date, but to be prepared for closer to 6 weeks because of how busy things were. I whipped out my calendar. Okay, 4 weeks from June 23 would be July 21; 6 weeks would be August 4...so we probably wouldn't travel until August 4. That's plenty of time to move Hannah into the bigger room, get the baby's room ready (I need to show you the hot pink walls I have to paint over.), have a baby shower, and shop for all of the essentials....
When Wednesday came and we hadn't heard anything, my worrying rador kicked in. What if there is an issue with our paperwork and they couldn't schedule us an embassy date? What if the guest house is full and they are having difficulty finding us a place to stay? What if....
Thankfully, up until that time I was still in Chicago. However, by the time my colleague and I arrived at the airport, I had "what if'ed" myself into calling the agency...I only got the voice mail of the director. I resigned myself not to leave a message, but to just wait for a while longer....So, we had lunch at the airport and then I called again. When I reached her voice mail again, I left a message telling her that I was worried that something was wrong because I hadn't heard from them. I also told her that if there was an issue scheduling the guest house, that we could stay at the Hilton. (I have no problem staying in nice hotels. :o)) Then, to make sure no stone was unturned, I called the assistant director too. "Please tell the director to call or email me just to let me know what's going on," I said.
My flight landed in Atlanta at 7:05, early! Hurray! I quickly turned on my cell phone...but no messages were waiting. By the time I retrieved my bag from baggage claim, I had called the agency once, okay maybe 3 - 4 times, but I only received their voice mail. Hmmm...I'd try another tactic. Hannah was home; I called her to check our emails. Perhaps they had sent us the travel information. However, nothing was there. By that time, I had resigned myself that we would not hear about travel dates until Thurs.
My ride home was relatively uneventful. I say relatively because I was pulled over and given a speeding ticket for the first time in my life....I guess my brain was elsewhere.
My in-laws were at the house when I arrived; they had been helping Tim watch the kids when I was away. I hugged and kissed Hannah and Zach and sat down with them for a bit to catch up....Tim came home....I went up to do a final check of emails (routine)....and I saw it! Finally! Our travel dates!!!!
However, it was not 6 weeks away; it was not even 4 weeks away; it was 2 1/2 weeks away!!! Yes, 2 1/2!!!! It stated that we had to be in Ethiopia on July 14 or 15 and could leave no sooner than the evening of the 21st. Our embassy date would be the 17th.
We were thrilled! Surprised! Shocked! And scared! How were we going to get everything prepared for our little man and get us prepared for travel in 2 1/2 weeks???
Tim and I didn't sleep that night. I know I had "to do" lists running through my head....After having a couple of days to let it sink in though, I am calmer. We'll get what we can get done, and what we can't get done, we'll do after we return. The important part is that we'll have our son home and he will have precious time with Tim and the kids before they have to go back to school. That is truly a gift!