This has been.... brutal.
I'm not saying that in a despondent, dragging my hands behind me on the floor, feel-sorry-for-me kind of way, it's just what it is. I remember it being a challenge to get things done last time because we worked full time and couldn't get everything done the exact same day, but I can do that now.
AND THANK GOD.
On Monday, we traveled to the capital to get the state seal on some documents and that sucked up an entire day. We drug through the door at 10 p.m. where I found emails that needed answers yesterday, so I stayed up another 2 hours to get that done.
And it continued the next day
A few days later, on Thursday, it was back to the capital in Austin, then down to Houston where we would hit the Chinese consulate the next day. Bright and early. We were like, 3rd in line. I drug my mom with me this time since my husband couldn't make it. She said she would go which was great because Chanz has no clue of personal space and "Do Not Enter" signs. She was able to keep him wrangled while I took care of the paperwork part.
We stayed at the Holiday Inn Express which was right downtown and a short few miles from the Chinese Consulate. It had an indoor swimming pool but most importantly: a hot tub. It was Chanz's favorite. I joined him and felt my muscles just relax and release from all the stress and driving. Complete bliss. I slept very well that night.
The next day, we awoke early, got dressed and enjoyed a nice breakfast then headed to the Consulate. We arrived shortly before 8:30, dropped off the paperwork and arrived back at the hotel by 9:30 where we took a breather. We met up with another family we had traveled with for our first adoption and had lunch at this Chinese food restaurant that was sooo good. Here's Chanz and Julia looking all cute and stuff, getting a lot of attention.
.We had another hour to kill and our hotel gave us tickets to the Houston Science Museum so we went and watched a neat planetarium show narrated by Tom Hanks about the universe. It was pretty eye-opening, but not so for Chanz; he fell asleep almost immediately.
As soon as the show was over, we rushed to the car, headed straight for the consulate on an empty tank of gas, and I got the paperwork picked up! I was ecstatic! I was so afraid that something would be wrong. Like the rest of this adoption process, it went on without a hitch.
We headed to Walgreens to get some drinks and snacks for the road so we could high-tale it HOME. I cleaned out my car while I was there :D
And then, there was traffic. Lots and lots of T R A F F I C from the pits of traffic hell. Thankful we had drinks and snacks! We drove and drove and drove. My mom started digging out her camera muttering something about a statue. I saw the signs to see the statue of Sam Houston, so we took a little detour to stretch our legs.
Chanz was a little scared of the big head.
He touches his nose then ran away
Me and Chanz looking so tiny!
We got back on the road but soon had to pull into a McDonalds for some coffee because my lids were getting heavy. We finally rolled into town around 7:30 p.m. Whew!
2 DAYS LATER
Back on the road. Headed to Dallas with my little family of 3 to jump in line and get our fingerprinting the next day. Although our appointment wasn't until July 24, we hoped they would let us in early. We stayed at another Holiday Inn Express. Comfy beds, but no hot tub :(
The next morning, same routine: up early, dress, breakfast, hit the road. We were the first in line.
When they opened, we presented our paperwork and never pointed out the dates. They didn't seem to notice, so we anxiously waiting to get fingerprinted. I was the first fingerprint of the day, Tim second. Then it was done! With so much relief, we got back in the truck and began the trip back home.
Aside from all the paperwork and logging countless hours at my computer and hitting the pavement over and over, this adoption has done something to me... FOR me.
I have met and connected to the most AMAZING people! People with hearts for God, hearts for orphans! People like us. I've never felt so full of life and love! I feel beyond blessed. The support for this adoption came out of nowhere, we can't even comprehend it all. Even more important, I feel like I've finally found myself. I finally feel like I have found my place. Orphans. I can't adopt them all, I wish I could, but I have found myself submerged into a strong, supportive community that advocates for these kids with everything they have. I've decided to join them. I'll fight with all I have for these kids without families whether it be through adoption or prayer. It feels good to make a difference. It feels like it's the right thing to do. I'm amazed every day. What a life!