Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Travel Itinerary and More

We got our travel plans last night, complete with hotels and guided tours to the "hot spot" sites listed. In broad brush strokes, here's what you can expect to see on the blog in the coming weeks. Keep in mind, China is 12 hours ahead of the East Coast, so when you read my posts, I'll already be well into the next day's activities. (Ha, that sounds like my normal life, with a good cup of coffee under my belt!)

Our Adoption Itinerary
9/11 - Depart for China. I'm sure there will be tears. Just thinking of it now is making me tear up!

9/12 - Arrive in Beijing. Check in, settle in and get dinner. Likely to be followed by a big, early CRASH!

9/13 - Visit the Summer Palace, Tian’an men Square & the Forbidden City

9/14 - Climb the Great Wall in the morning (Please pray for me. I dislike heights and narrow, steep stairways are NOT my thing!). Visit a Living Hope Orphanage Training Center. Eat lunch at the Friendship Store. See the Olympic stadiums (Bird’s Nest and Water Cube). Go to a Chinese acrobat show & and try to stay awake for whole thing!

9/15 - Visit the Temple of Heaven. Fly later to Xi’an (Shaanxi Province, in northern/central China) and set up house for next 7 days!

9/16 - We get Aidan! And then sign the paperwork to make her "officially ours" at the Civil Affairs office!!!

9/17 - More in-province paperwork and documentations

9/18 - Visit the Terra Cotta Soldiers’ museum

9/19 - Visit the DaYan Temple and the City Wall

9/20-9/22 – Hang out, play with Aidan. There will be lots of hugging and kissing! These will be the days we spend getting to know each other at our own pace.

9/23 - Pick up Aidan’s passport (How cute is that, she has her own passport!). Fly to Guangzhou (south eastern China).

9/24 – Do Aidan’s visa and exit medical exam. Do more paperwork.

9/25 - Consulate Appointment. After this interview and finalized paperwork, in the US government’s eyes, Aidan will be a Whitney! Forever and ever AMEN!

9/26 – Swearing ceremony/oath at Consulate offices. It’s all official-like, but also pretty casual too, from what I’ve heard. Pick up Aidan’s visa.

9/27 – Our expanded family will finally be united around 2 p.m. EST – I can’t wait for this happy day. The thought of the kids finally getting to hug their little sister is wrecking me right now.

There you have it. And now, I must go strip beds and make some more notes for my MIL. That poor woman. She has no idea what she is in for. I literally made a book, complete with dividers and a break-down of The Gang's days according to our "hourly routine." Not completely hour-by-hour, as the majority of their hours are spent in school, but it is a lot of stuff.

Seeing it all in black and white, what we do in a day, with all the steering and guiding I do, makes me realize that I am SERIOUSLY underpaid. SERIOUSLY! But I guess a three-day mini honeymoon to Beijing is pretty good compensation.

If I can just stay awake and adjust to the time change early enough in the trip, that is!


Carol said...

I was so wired in Beijing I don't think I slept......enjoy!!!!!! and they do keep you busy!!!!

Cindi Campbell said...

Hey, We have tentative travel plans for our CA appt. that is on the 25th also. We may see each other . We are having to skip Beijing tour because of all our dancing around these hurricanes down here.

Classic MaMa said...

I love the guide for the grandparents. I wish they made one of those for parents. You know, they could give it to you as you are leaving the hospital. ;)

I love reading all about your journey. It's so exciting!!

ComfyDenim said...

Ditto what Classic said.
It's all so very exciting!!!

BuzzKnitter said...

looks like not only will you and the Boss be busy, but Grandma & Grandpa too! (i love that 'discipline' gets it's own tab... it would be that way here too! lol)

i'm getting so excited for you, and know that there is a whole family praying for you up here!

Livin' Life said...

Can't wait to hear more!!!!

~~ said...

I am so happy for you! You have the same Gotcha Date as those friends of mine!

Hands-Free Heart said...

So exciting! Here's a tip to help with jet lag:

All your mentions of trying to stay awake reminded me of an article that Trish sent to me. It has helped me with my sleep disorder, which is very similar to chronic jet-lag. I'll sum it up in case you don't have time to read the whole thing:

Research has shown that to reset your body clock (sleep/wake cycle), don't eat for 12-16 hours before you'd like to wake up in the morning.

"For example, if you want to start waking up at 2:00 am in the morning, you should stop eating between 10:00 am and 2:00 pm the previous day. When you wake up at 2:00 am, eat a nice healthy meal to break your fast.

"Another example: If you are travelling from Los Angeles to Tokyo, figure out when breakfast is served in Tokyo, and don't eat for the 12-16 hours before Tokyo's breakfast time."

Maybe you can try it this week and see if it helps you with the jet lag. Don't forget to do it again for the trip home so you can be awake to enjoy your entire family together at last!

Heidi @ GGIP said...

If you aren't prepared, I don't know who could be...

Becki said...

Congratulations! I am so excited for you. Safe traveling and hurry home with your new daughter.

Salzwedel Family said...

Sounds like it will be an AMAZING trip! I am looking forward to taking the journey with you.

Kate said...

WOW WOW WOW WOW!!!!! How did I MISS this BIG NEWS???!!!! Holy wonderfulness.....I am SOOOOO excited for y'all, yay yay....cannot wait to hear all about it and SEE your new darling!!! Congrats and prayers for safety and smoothness of all details!! :)

Jonni, John & Sofia said...

YAY, only one more week until Aidan day!!! Congrats on getting your itinerary finalized and I love the manual for your MIL. We are soooo much alike, it's scary. :)

China.....it's right around the corner!!!!!!


bobby & regina said...

I can't believe in just 2 days you will be on your way!!! That precious little girl will soon be in her momma's arms!! I can't wait for those first pictures of you with her. We will pray for safe travel, and a wonderful time of bonding! Pick up some "No Jet Lag" It really works!! You can probably find it at an all natural store. Michelle Hauck found it before they traveled. Love, Regina

David and Sarah said...

Wonderful! You're just a few days away from your precious girl.

julie said...

I'm so excited for you!!!!

Kateri said...

Ok, so now that I have an itinerary, it will be all I can do to not be at the airport on the 27th. All I can do, I tell ya!!!!
I woke up this morning...at 4:15am...in your honor. In the weeks that preceded our trip, I woke up every day at that time and my mind went crazy!!! You'd think that I was the one leaving TOMORROW!!!
Did I just write that?? You leave tomorrow! Holy Smokes!!! I can't believe it's here.
My only advice for tomorrow...could you possibly hold back the tears until you are out of the kids sight? I tried, had a few roll down my cheeks, which then got Troy going. I balled in the car after we left him and Mom said that he cried a little more after I was gone but for the most part was fine. We also kept it together every day on the phone until we were within 3 or 4 days of coming home. Then he would hear it in my voice and I would hear it in his voice and we'd both being trying unsucessfully not to fall apart:)
I guess what I'm trying to say is that, for my son, he needed to think that I was ok with leaving him for 2 weeks and he certainly didn't need to see how big of a wreck I really was about the whole trip and the flying and the scariness of it all. He's too emotional, much like me, and I forced myself to be strong in his presence. Obviously, you gotta do what you gotta do or what you are capable of doing but I have this picture of you and the four kids parting, and it's not sad. It's happy!
Speaking of...are they going with you to the airport tomorrow? I don't when you fly out?
Ok, so I'm planning to call you tonight. I know that you have a million and one things going on but I just need to hear your voice for 5 minutes before you go!
I'll talk to you later, K??!!
Love ya!

mylittlenest said...

Yay!...it's almost here! I am so excited about these next couple of weeks. I'll be following your itinerary daily. This little gal will have lots of love when she comes home...so many aunts, uncles, grandparents and cousins to get to know over the next few years. Oh man...take lots of pictures of the terra cotta museum, and the Great Wall. I had to laugh about the book...that sounds just like you. But I'm sure it will be much appreciated by grandparents who are a little nervous about running a household for two weeks. Love you guys! Aunt Robin