This has been a week of very high HIGHS and very low LOWS...
On Friday, May 10th we received an email from our agency that our Travel Approval was just received! Immediately we were given two options - we could join an existing group that was leaving on May 16th or we could travel on June 13th - there was no questioning we wanted to leave in May -- giving us six days to get ready to go! It was already Friday night in China, so our agency put the request into the computer system for our appointment at the US Consulate - this is the final step of our time in China that gives Makenna her visa and citizenship paperwork. Our agency didn't expect any problem because they received the same appointment just earlier that day. We went into crazy mode - letting our Employers know, packing, working on schedules... The fun, exciting craziness!
We were expecting to receive our confirmed Consulate appointment on Monday morning - then we would book our flights and finalize travel plans. By Sunday night, we were virtually all packed and ready to go! Monday morning we woke up, and in my usual fashion, I checked Facebook while drinking my coffee -- news all over my Facebook news feed was that the US Consulate had shut down Monday afternoon due to a security threat involving white powder. My heart did a flip, but we wouldn't know anything for sure until our agency opened at 9:00 AM -- it was still possible that our appointment had been confirmed before the shut down. Around 10:00 we received an email that we did not receive confirmation yet, but maybe Tuesday... There was little news about the consulate and the only way to know was to read what families stuck in China were saying. By Tuesday morning, we were hearing the Consulate would be closed through Friday - major disappointment! We received an email from our agency Tuesday morning that we could not travel this week and they were going to schedule us for June 13th travel! Emotions shifted from disappointment to devastation -- FOUR MORE WEEKS??? We had been told from the beginning that we would travel 2-3 weeks after travel approval - this was five weeks!
We put a lot if pressure on our agency to travel on May 30th - they started working on it, but couldn't confirm anything until the consulate re-opened. On Thursday morning, I woke up to news that the consulate re-opened and was processing families o they could go home! We were immediately in touch with our agency again. On Thrsday afternoon, we found out that our original appointment request had been confirmed, but the email notification had not been sent before the shutdown. It came through on Thursday when they re-opened. Our agency made contact with the officials in China and they said there was not enough time to get everything ready so fast. We were now on a mission to try and leave on May 30th - we fought hard and called multiple people but in the end we were given a "NO" over and over again. I honestly can't tell you why, because I don't know - somewhere between our agency and the officials they want a certain amount of time and with a holiday week in early June, there was no budging. We were heartbroken - we tried everything we could, but to no avail.
Friday morning we received confirmation of our new Consulate Appointment, Friday afternoon we purchased our plane tickets... We are moving part the disappointment (trying to at the very least!). We have 3 1/2 weeks left as a family of four, then Makenna will be part of our family forever! We know and trust that God's timing is always perfect, so we look forward with anticipation to our Gotcha Day on June 17th - we will meet Makenna on Monday, but it will still be Father's Day on this side of the world - a memorable Father's Day for sure!