All going well, Hannah will be placed in my arms FOREVER 7 weeks from today!!!
Sunday, November 1, 2009 should be Hannah day!!!
We had our travel group meeting yesterday and it was such fun to see everyone now that we've all 'met' our beautiful daughters! It was an absolutely beautiful day and we gathered in Toronto in the backyard of our agency's representative's home. Our babies range in age from 6 1/2 months (Hannah is the youngest of the 10) to 20 months. Each one is absolutely beautiful and all of us are super excited to travel to meet our daughters! It is quite a feat arranging travel for 10 families and coordinating this with the consulate appts. with the Canadian Government too.
Our little group which is made up of myself, my mom and dad and friend Norma will be flying to Beijing on Thursday, Oct 29th. We'll arrive in Beijing on the Friday the 30th' spend one night there and then travel to Changsha, Hunan province on Saturday, October 31st. The following day is HANNAH DAY!!!
We received a lot of great information about our trip yesterday and discussed:
- money for our trip. Thankfully our agency now has us travel with Canadian travellers cheques for the orphanage donation. Rather than carrying over $5000 US cash we'll now carry the majority of our money in travellers cheques and purchase Yuan in China to pay the orphanage donation. Phew....so happy not to be carrying that much cash and it also greatly decreases the amount of money we need to obtain in 'pristine' US bills. That in itself can prove to be quite a challenge!
- hotels were discussed but at this time it has not been determined what hotels we'll be staying at
- gifts for the nannies, orphanage director, guides and more were also talked about and we now know what babies are from which orphanages which will allow us to coordinate gifts. Our 10 babies come from at least 5 different orphanages which are spread out around Hunan province.
- it had always been my dream to visit Hannah's orphanage but I think yesterday I finally grasped (for now :o) that it probably won't be possible or wise to attempt that this trip. Her orphanage is more than 5 1/2 hours away from Changsha so it would mean another really long trip for us to get there. This saddens me greatly as I would love to meet those who are caring for her and see where she is living but I just don't believe it's going to happen. One more reason for a Homeland visit in the future and hopefully at that time we could get there!
There was so much more that we talked about but right now I just can't remember what it was. We chose a couple in our group who will be amazing group leaders and help to keep us organized and where we need to be, when we need to be there along with the help of our guide.
Ooooo....can you believe I have a travel date??? 46 more sleeps until we leave for China and 49 until I meet Hannah!!!
PS - For our entourage of loving family and friends who want to come to the airport and gaze at my beautiful daughter when she comes home, our tentative return dates are either Friday, November 13th or Saturday, November 14th. I'll be sure to let you know more when I know more. Probably not until late this month.
Also, all of these dates are based on the Canadian Consulate inviting us when we think they're going to and flight availability. They could change but until they do I'm holding on to what we've been given and celebrating the final countdown!!!