Friday, March 11, 2011

Travel Plans

The big day is getting closer and closer.  It has been a busy week trying to make final plans, make arrangements for things at home, work, and at the church and carry on with day to day life.

Heather and I had our final travel phone conference call on Thursday afternoon, so pretty much everything is in place for the trip.  Thursday was her last day at school due to furlough days Friday and Monday, and planned off days Tuesday and Wednesday.  I think she has the most difficult job of getting all her boys ready to travel, plus packing for Lilly and herself.  Keep in mind China has a 44 pound per bag weight restriction on air travel checked luggage.

Our travel itinerary will keep us on the go.

Thursday, March 17th & 18th, leave Jacksonville at around 11:30 to Atlanta, about 2:30 on to Seattle arriving at 5:19 PDT, leaving for Beijing at 6:05PDT for Beijing.  We will arrive in Beijing, Friday at 9PM Beijing time (which is about 9 AM, Sat our time).  I think it is going to be a long day….roughly 24 hours of travel. Where did our Friday go?   I’m thinking by the time we get to the hotel In Beijing we will be tired enough to sleep before a busy day on Saturday.

Saturday, March 19th is filled with sightseeing to include Tiananmen Square, Olympic Park, Great Wall of China and anything else we can squeeze in.  Are we tired yet?  Right now the weather looks to be mild for them at this time of the year.  Thank you God!  He knows I hate cold weather.

Sunday, March 20th, we will travel to Wuhan City.  Earlier we had been told we would get Lilly that afternoon, but this week we found out it will be on Monday morning.

Monday, March 21st, “Gotcha Day” We will travel to the Civil Affairs Office where we will finally have Lilly placed in Heather & Brian’s arms.  I just can’t imagine how wonderful that will be.  I think I will feel the same way  I did when I was fortunate enough to be with Heather and Brian when Hampton and Walker were born.  After some time to settle down, Heather & Brian will begin the paperwork to officially adopt Lilly.

Tuesday, Wednesday, & Thursday, March 22-24….Happy Birthday Will ( Mrs. Nance would have celebrated  #97)  on the 22nd!!!  We have not missed that our Lilly Rae joined our family on such a special time of March.  These 3 days are set aside for sightseeing in the area. Wuhan City is a city of 10 million people on the Yangtze River.  It is called the “Chicago” of China, as it is a banking and financial center.  We are hoping  for Atlanta type weather.   Heather & Brian have to be available if any questions occur with Lilly’s adoption papers.  Hopefully on Thursday she will have a Chinese Passport and Visa that will allow her to travel to the United States.

Friday-Thursday, March 25th-30th, we will leave Lilly’s birthplace on Friday.  The Harmony Express (bullet train) will take us to Guangzhou.   Thank goodness the weather is close to what you experience in Miami.  YEAH!!  The American Embassy is located here and all U. S. adoptees must go through legal paper work here.  The week is filled with doctor’s appointments along with filing of paperwork at the Embassy.  Lots of sightseeing is planned for us, too.

Wednesday,   March 30th at 10 AM Lilly Rae Huling along with her family will travel to the American Embassy where she will be fingerprinted and her parents will take an oath for her to become an American Citizen!!  She will have full rights as an American citizen when we land in Detroit Michigan on our trip home.   I think that will be another emotional day for all of us too.

Thursday, March 31st ….Happy Anniversary John Ben & Miranda….10 years since that magical day.  We will pick up Lilly’s Visa from the embassy and head by bus to Hong Kong.  I just hope we get to see some of the beautiful city. 

Friday, April 1st….home to Georgia….Yeah!!...Hong Kong to Detroit to Jacksonville leaving at 9 AM and arriving at 6PM Friday evening.  With the time change we will once again be traveling 24 hours again.

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