Mike here – Annie’s doing laundry in the bathtub and asked me to post an update while she makes sure we have clean socks, underwear and what not.
We met with our agency reps again this morning and there is still no good news. The consulate is still waiting on the State Department in DC to fix whatever system is down so they can start issuing visas again. We’ve been told to brace ourselves for staying here through the weekend as it’s already Friday late-morning here now and nobody has any idea when things will be resolved. My guess is that unless they decide to have mercy on us they won’t be working through the weekend.
Just a clarification for everyone about what exactly is the holdup at this point. As far as the Chinese government is concerned, we have legally been the parents of Joseph and Marianna since last Tuesday. We have all of our Chinese paperwork complete and ready to go. We have already submitted everything we need to submit to the U.S. Consulate here, been interviewed, sworn an oath, etc. We are literally waiting for nothing more than for them to print a piece of paper, insert it into the kids’ passports and get the passports back to us. That’s it.
We can use a couple things right now.
First of all, prayer. Pray that the State Department gets their systems back up and that they prioritize adoptive families first so we can go home. Pray that we can stay sane as we continue to wait hour by hour by hour for some sort of news. Finally, pray that the airlines have mercy on us and don’t charge us change fees and/or higher prices on our now canceled flights home.
Secondly, if you are so inclined, please contact your U.S. Senators and/or Congressman and let them know about the fact that there are adoptive families caught in foreign countries due to this issue. There aren’t many reports in the news other than a standard “State Dept database glitch delays Visas/Passports for thousands” but I get the feeling that most people picture foreign nationals unable to get clearance to enter the U.S., not Americans stuck in other countries with children. Feel free to share our blog as background.
I’ve already contacted one of my senators and several local news channels – we’ll see if anyone is interested in an international human interest story with local implications. I just got word from WBAL that they want to interview me at 10am Eastern time tomorrow.
Finally, we sent our dear travel companion Linda-Anne home this morning on her original flight – I didn’t see any reason to keep her away from her husband any longer and this has allowed us to drop one of our hotel rooms and just hunker down as a nuclear family. Having to continue paying for hotel nights is bad enough but getting it down to one room certainly makes it easier to swallow.