It’s hard to believe that it’s been a week since referral day. Time for an update, I guess.
We were in Pennsylvania for our travel meeting this past weekend. We drove to Conshohocken on Friday, the meeting was in Wynnewood on Saturday afternoon, and we drove back on Sunday.
Since January, the agency has been deflecting all questions regarding travel, responding, “Don’t worry about that. You’ll get all that information at the travel meeting.” On Saturday, they made good on that promise. In four hours, they covered the tentative itinerary, travel arrangements, customs in China, medical issues, and more.
The only information they couldn’t provide was a firm travel date. Adoptions From The Heart received nearly 50 referrals in this last batch, covering five different provinces. That means as many as five different groups will be travelling. Travel dates will be anywhere from mid-September to the beginning of November. The specific date for a group will depend on how soon CCAA processes the paperwork. We do know that groups will be travelling in October, regardless of the national holiday and the Guangzhou trade expo.
We had a chance to meet most of the eleven families that we’ll be travelling with and exchanged email addresses with them. We were lucky enough to have dinner at the Olive Garden with several of the families bound for Guangxi, as well as folks headed to An Hui and Sichuan. It’s an extremely diverse group, brought together by this common goal. One of the most amazing things I’ve discovered is the immediate bonding and sense of community shared by people adopting internationally.
The evening’s entertainment was provided by Bernadette’s 2 1/2 year old daughter, Gracie. Gracie demonstrated a flair for improvisational comedy, using two drinking straws as walrus tusks and horns, then using them as chopsticks to eat her tossed salad. Waiters from all over will come to respect her, as she commands them to bring “CHEESE!” Gracie is also handy with a fork, as Elise discovered when Gracie decided to share Elise’s dessert.
As we were all leaving the restaurant, Gracie made the rounds, distributing hugs and kisses. “Gracie,” Lauri asked, “am I going to get a nice baby like you?”
Gracie raised one eyebrow and put a finger on her chin. She pondered for a moment, smiled broadly, and said, “SURE!”