The past month (really, the past 10 months) has been a whirlwind.
While waiting to get through all of the final steps, we (and by WE, I mean I) have been prepping for the next 60 days. Picking up prescriptions for travel, school clothes shopping, school supply shopping, ordering stuff for travel (all kinds of over the counter medicines, new shoes, travel routers, money belts, etc), setting up doctors appointments, getting immunizations (you know I love someone when I'm willing to get shots to go and get them from China!), discussing Jakson's needs with the public school and his current therapists/psychologist, buying gifts for the notaries and other government officials we will be dealing with (fish oil for all! Weird gift, huh?), setting up lawn care for the time we will be gone, making freezer meals, booking attachment therapy appointments for Zak and I, arranging for a new social worker to do our post placement visits (our home study social worker is no longer in Houston), getting paperwork notarized and printed off for the trip, sewing the girls' dresses for the sealing, and prepping the kids for the trip by making slide shows of every dang thing we might encounter (ever been to an FHE lesson about squatty potties???).
Oh, and both kids have been stung by a wasp in the backyard in the past week, so I gotta find someone who can come take care of the wasp problem we apparently have. And I broke Zak's lawn mower while trying to mow the yard as a Father's Day present. Thankfully, we went ahead and hired someone to mow the lawn one week earlier than planned to solve that issue.
With the estimated dates we had been given for travel, our family would arrive back in the country TWO days before school started. That would be a nightmare, especially since Jakson is going to public school for the first time and jet lag is brutal (in other words, we would be starting school a week late). Because of that, I asked our international adoption doctor to request a medical expedite for our Article 5 (one of the steps in getting Mabel's visa) and instead of it taking 10 business days (normal timeline), it took ONE! What a huge blessing and answer to prayers. It's been amazing to see each how prayer has impacted this entire process. The Lord is absolutely in the details. The expedite changed our travel schedule immensely and we think we will be traveling a lot sooner than originally planned, a really great thing (though possibly adding more stress)!
Tonight all of the stress was worth it as I opened an update that our agency sent us of Miss Mabel. It looks like she may be crawling now! They are starting to grow out her hair and one of the pictures included some of the items we sent in her care package, which means she got it! What a relief. Sadly, she spent almost a week at the beginning of June in the hospital. The update says that it was pneumonia, but I'm not sure if that's accurate or if it was more like RSV. Some things like that get lost in translation. It made me really emotional to think of our little girl sick and in the hospital without her mommy. I am hopeful that her foster mom was there to comfort and hold her.
The update also gave us new information about her sleeping arrangements. Apparently she sleeps in the bed with her foster mom. I am glad that her foster mom cares for her so much, it is such a blessing, but this fact makes me worry about her adjustment to us. It also said that she is scared of strangers. Yikes. Double whammy. Already we've been told that adopting an older child is the same kind of trauma as a kidnapping and I am nervous about how much more difficult this will make it for her. Poor sweet baby. Please pray for her.
Currently we are waiting for our travel approval. We are hoping to have it later this week and then we can finally buy plane tickets and make plans!! For this control freak, that is definitely something to look forward to!