January 28, 2012

I'm Learning Chinese

While waiting for Article 5 for the adoption (should come by Feb. 8) I'm learning Chinese.

I bought one year worth of Rosetta Stone. I completed 21% of it and realized it was pointless for me to try to learn the Chinese characters, so I axed that part of the curriculum and am now 37% of the way through.

Here's more or less what I can say in Chinese:
- Hello
- Goodbye
- This boy is running.
- I am American.
- What is this?
- That's true.
- I drink/eat milk/water/rice.

So, when I run into Chinese speaking-only people in the park in Nanjing, here is how our conversation might go - in Chinese:

Them: Hello.
Me: Hello.
Them: Where are you from?
Me: (smile)
Them: Where are you from? (louder)
Me: (smile...) (and nod)
Them:  (confused look) Are these your children?
Me: uhh, this boy is running.
Them:  What?
Me: uhhh, I am American.
Them:  (big smile) Yeah, you are. (turns to friend, laughing and says - she's an American idiot)
Me:  That's true. (smile) (I turn to Steve) See, she understood me, I told you I knew some Chinese.  (Steve beams with pride for his wife, then back at the hotel blogs to the world about how great she is.)
Them:  You don't speak Chinese.
Me:  No.  I drink rice. (smile)  I am American.
Them:  (laugh) Good-bye.
Me:  Good-bye. (I turn to Steve) Why were they laughing?

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January 18, 2012

NVC Packet taken to Consulate

Our visa packet was taken to the Consulate last night (Jan. 18th, China day time).

One step closer.  I'm sensing my anxiety and excitement increasing.  We're trying to get everything done/accomplished/cleaned/ready as quickly as we can.

According to our adoption timeline here's what's left:
- Article 5 to be issued (14 days from Jan. 18 - Chinese New Year may slow this down)
- Article 5 to CCWAA in Beijing via CAWLI (2-3 days)
- Travel Approval (TA) (8-30 days)
- Leave for China (about 2 wks later)

So absolute earliest would be Feb. 24th to leave, but that's like really unlikely.  More realistic is early to mid-March or even late March.  I hope we make it by her 3rd b-day (March 30th).
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January 09, 2012

We got our I800 approval!

We received our I800 approval from NBC on Thursday and it was in our hands by Saturday. The next step is the cable.

NBC mails the approval letter to NVC.
NVC will cable my file (approval of my visa petition) to US embassy in Guangzhou and I'll bug them to send me a .pdf of the NVC letter and then...
I'll email that to my agency and they'll send it to their courier in China - I think.

I could use the excuse of my cold and the fact that I feel like a bobblehead doll with my head so full of guck that it's bouncing around in the space above my shoulders, but we all know from previous posts that I just don't understand this whole process and that there are too many steps for me to keep track of. Years ago I put multi-tasking on my resume as one of my strengths - I don't really believe that anymore. Now I'm more like Butt-head from Beavis and Butt-head, looking at this paperwork with my mouth hanging open, saying, "uhhhh" and laughing at myself. So, today, I could accurately call myself a Butt-head Bobblehead Doll.
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January 02, 2012

Care Package Sent to Autumn

We sent a care package to Autumn last week. Here's a photo of what was included (the picture in the bottom right corner is of us):

The five shirts/sweaters in the center column are a donation to the orphanage. I'm not sure what the significance of "Vintage Denim Jacket" and the Charlie Chaplin-looking guy is on each of the shirts. Often people in China will wear t-shirts with English words scrawled across the front that don't make much sense, like: "Century 21 Doritos" or "Try My Delicious Salt Beef." My favorite one though is "Fart Sexy Style."

I wonder what my shirts with Asian writing say.

Wait! I found a picture....with a golden A.

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