I'm really disappointed that we're not leaving next Wednesday for China. And with the way things have fallen, we won't be going to Beijing. National Day is October 1. The holiday is celebrated for several days. Many people flock to Beijing to see the sites and visit the capital. If we wanted to fight the crowds, we could go to Beijing and see the Great Wall, Forbidden City, etc. If we wanted to take Meili, we could go after Guangzhou. Ben and I talked about it at great length last night and decided that we'll for go Beijing. Ben is very upset about this decision but does agree that we'll be too exhausted at the end of the trip. I think we're just going to fly into HK, take the train to GZ, complete the adoption, take the train back to HK, and fly home. We'll also be in GZ for a few nights during the trade fair.

While I would love to sight see, there are quite a few factors at play - a holiday, increased cost due to the trade fair, Ben's work schedule, and my class schedule. We'll get to tour a few places in GZ - probably the Six Banyon Tree Temple (I think it's called that), the Chen Clan Academy, Safari Park, various shopping places, and a night cruise on the Pearl River. That's enough. The reason why we're going to China is to adopt Meili, not sight see. We can do a homeland tour when she's older and see all the cultural sites that we missed on this trip.
she's going to the SWI to get her passport photo taken at 3:00 pm China time. This is 2:00 am USA central time. Hopefully, this means we got a confirmed CA for the last week of Sept. They usually get the passport photo taken when travel is imminent. I guess we're imminent - Woohoo!!!
Our TA finally arrived today. My agency called me @ 8:30 am at work. I requested a CA of the last week of September or the second week of October. At the earliest, we could leave next Wednesday. I'm very excited. Ben was in disbelief about leaving as early as next Wednesday. Whatever happens - happens. I can wait another 4 weeks for travel. I don't want to but I can. Much prefer leaving next Wed though.
It's really not that hard waiting for TA. The wait for LOA was horrific. This wait has been a walk in the park. Maybe it's because I know that we have been approved as Meili's parents and are just waiting on one last piece of paper from China. Then, we'll be waiting one last thing from the US goverment - the Consulate appointment. But that is just an email/fax requesting an appointment. It takes a couple of days to receive CA but again it's really nothing compared to the long wait of LOA.

FYI - if you cannot see the 12 in the above graphic, it means that you are color blind.
For the past 3 weeks, we've been talking with Meili on Tuesday nights. We had to cancel this week as we had a very important meeting that we had to attend. While I love talking and seeing Meili, both Ben and I are over it. We're ready to just be there and see/talk with her IRL. On the bright side, across the street from our meeting place is a new Vietnamese soup restaurant. It was packed full of people so maybe it's really good??? I'll have to try it in the upcoming weeks.
I got word from my agency that the Article 5 was picked up yesterday from the USA consulate in GZ. It's now on its way to the CCAA where it's processed and the TA is issued. The current average wait time for TA is 2-3 weeks. It'll be here before we know it.
the Article 5 is picked up from the USA consulate in GZ! If everything goes accordingly, the Article 5 will be picked up by my agency's rep on Tuesday, 8/16/11 - this is 3 days from now. The CCAA needs the Article 5 in order to issue TA.

What comes next?

The rep will mail the Article 5 to the CCAA. Currently, they are taking 2-4 weeks to process these and issues TAs. My guess is that we'll receive our TA during the week of September 5 and travel the last week of September.

Our visa application was dropped off last Tuesday at the consulate. They have 10 business days to process it and issue the most valuable Article 5. The pick-up date should be next Tuesday, August 16 - one day after my birthday. I can't think of a better 31st birthday present than to receive the Article 5 on time!

There's really nothing else to report. We still have not done anything to Meili's room. It's still filled with random junk, including the giant wreath that I purchased for 90% off after last year's Christmas. Her crib is sitting in pieces in her room. It'll get done before we travel. If not, then we'll worry about it when we get home.
Just got word from my agency. Their China facilitator dropped off Meili's visa application to the USA consulate in Guangzhou. It takes 10 business days for the consulate to process it and produce the Article 5 letter. Looks like 8/16 for Article 5 pick-up!
I received an email today that we've been 'cabled' to Guangzhou. The actual date was 7/29/11. NVC also emailed the pdf letter to me. I sent this onto my agency. Hopefully, the Article 5 will be dropped off at the consulate this week.