We sent our little L a care package this week. It's really hard to decide what to send to prepare an almost-3-year-old for what's coming. In the end there really isn't any way to, and we know that....but we tried. So we included:
*Lil People cars--the few pictures we have of him all show him playing with various vehicles so this seemed logical.
*A recordable book called Under the Same Moon. It's a lovely book, and at least he'll hear our voices. And yes, it's in English so this idea may be moot, but it's worth a shot.
*A teddy bear--we really should have sent a black dog and three orange cats, but there's time enough for him to learn that he's moving into a virtual petting zoo.
*A picture album--including his room, toys, us, us holding his picture, Maggie, and the cats (Tripper, Dee, and Goose). I used an online translator to explain each picture, so hopefully it makes a little sense and doesn't turn "Our dog Maggie is nice and gentle!" into "Our dog Maggie has large, slavering teeth and eats little boys for breakfast!".
*Some stickers to share with his friends.
In other news:
- Our Article 5 was picked up today and forwarded to Beijing, so we are now officially waiting on travel approval. This should take 2-4 weeks, but as of tomorrow I will be back to checking my email roughly every 20 seconds, you know, just in case.
- Visa requirements for us to enter China have changed as of August 1. We are trying to figure out what this means, but it looks like we will need confirmed hotels and flights before we can apply for a visa (no longer available through a rush service), which will push everything out further, as we now need a visa to enter China before applying for a Consulate appointment in China (kind of a major part of the process). US embassies/consulates seem to have different information, however, so it's all a bit up in the air. There is a chance we can apply for a visa with unconfirmed travel, which is what we are attempting with our travel agent. One more set of instructions to follow and things to figure out...but it still feels pretty darned awesome to actually be talking about travel. To China. To pick up our son. Holy moly, that feels good.
- We celebrated our 5 year anniversary last week. We went diving for Dungeness crab in the beautiful, hot Seattle weather. The Pacific Northwest may actually redeem itself this year. We cooked 'em up right on the beach--very fun. I got pretty crispy, as my gleaming white skin was touched by the sun for more than 30 seconds, but it was totally worth it.