Wow - who said WAITING was the hard part? Good grief? Today was trying!!
About 11 a.m. I got a call from my agency that I need to get 10 more documents completed and notarized and apostilled before I go!! What?? This was AFTER what I thought was the last one, was done yesterday... I have already Fedexed that one to Richmond and asked them to rush it and turn it around in a day...
Today, I had to have 10 more. 3 of these requested are birth certificates, so I have to order them from NY STate and then have them apostilled. (For those who haven't adopted and have no idea what apostilling is... it means, basically, the state where the document was notarized guarantees that the notary who signed it really is a notary in that state. It's like notarizing the notary.) So, I have to order my birth certificates and then send them to NY State to be apostilled. I'll already be gone... so someone else will have to send them in to NY after I'm gone, and then when they get here, they will have to be shipped to Kazakhstan.
The other 7 are copies of items. I need 5 MORE copies of my passport. Mind you, I have already given 4 (or maybe it was 5) in my initial paperwork months ago. I have NO IDEA who or what needs 9 or 10 total copies of my passports - and notartized, and notarizing the notary... but I'll have them. Then I needed 2 copies of the INS paperwork allowing me to bring an orphan in the country. I am taking the original of this form with me, so again, not sure why a total of 3 will be neccessary, and I previously provided copies of this as well... The frustration here isn't that they need them... I'll give them 100 copies if they need them. The frustration is that I sat around for weeks since knowing my trip was getting close and now I have to rush to get these together and processed and fedexed out and fedexed back to me, by Monday. It just seems like the country (whoever that is) could have told the agency before today that I need 5 more of these, 3 more of these, and 2 more of these, in addition to the one yesterday that was found out. Anyway, that took over my day and was just so hard!
The next HARD part was... I had to get a notary (at the bank) to verify that I had 5 copies of my passport. Well, my passport is in NY trying to get a VISA... so he could not see the original, so how could he verify that it was a true copy of my passport?? That didn't go so well... in the end, I finally got it accomplished, but I'll tell you, it was NOT easy!
So, I came home after all that and collapsed in a chair for a few minutes before Matthew was going to arrive home. I fell asleep and was asleep maybe 2-3 minutes and the phone rang. It was my travel agency. She said, in her heavy eastern european accent, we have problem. I thought, OF COURSE we do! :) So, I'm supposed to leave on Tuesday (which was a change from the original Wednesday). The problem is, the Consulate in NY will not issue my VISA until Tuesday, therefore, the earliest I will have it is Wednesday, so now we can't leave until Wednesday. It's really not the end of the world, but just one more thing. It's like we sit and sit and wait and wait and then we are rushing around fedexing and asking people to make exceptions and rush this and rush that while we were twiddling our thumbs for the most part a week ago. Frustrating! The travel agent is going to try tomorrow to request them to 'make the exception' (or change their cold hearts) so that they process it Monday and I receive it Tuesday... but I won't know that until tomorrow. So, there is still and chance, and again, it's not a huge deal, but it is just the total unknown and it's like I won't know when I'm going until I get on the plane!!
I've been so busy since Tuesday that I keep forgetting to eat. Now, that doesn't happen very often and it takes an awful lot for me to forget to eat! But about 5:00 p.m. today I realized (after destressing a bit) that I had forgotten to eat today and was hungry all of a sudden.
You always hear that you hurry up and wait, and that people rush around the last week before travel all crazy. I never understood this. I just thought *those* people weren't prepared enough ahead of time. NOPE. Totally wrong. It's totally out of your control and you are at the mercy of others to complete the NECESSARY steps to get out of the country. It's hard not having control over the outcome and frustrating that there is still so much paperwork to do now. But, with any luck, nothing 'else' will come up tomorrow... I'm not sure I can take much more paperwork! I thought that part was OVER! :)
So, now, Matthew and I are both sitting here with our laptops doing our thing. We will chill out tonight and watch Are You Smarter than a 5th Grader together. We are supposed to get some freezing rain or ice tonight, so school may be an issue in the morning. And, he doesn't have homework tonight - those are my favorite nights! I hate homework! LOL.
And then I think, regardless of which day I leave, Tuesday or Wednesday, I'll NOT be sitting here one week from tonight. I'll either be in my home away from home for two months in Petropavlovsk, or I'll be boarding the small plane between Almaty and Petropavlovsk for probably the most terrifying flight of my life... :) (I'm real excited about THAT flight, can you tell?) I'm not sure how they land on INCHES of ice, but I hear they do, day after day, flight after flight. I guess it's like driving here in the states, you just have to know how to DRIVE in it!! (And people in Northern Virginia do NOT know how to drive in the snow, that is for sure!) Let's hope the pilots know what they are doing, anyway. :)
Well, this probably sounded worse than I anticipated. My point here is, it is harder than I thought after getting the great news that I'm leaving. Maybe it's just because I want to leave and not do another blooming thing. Things are really going quite well, overall and I'll be there soon enough - it just seems that this process would be a little more streamlined after all the adoptions Kazakhstan has done and not quite so last minute... but then again who am I fooling - I signed up for Eastern Europe and I knew what to expect - so don't mind me - I'm just tired and ready to go!! :)
Stay tuned, no detail is yet final... but we are getting there!