Monday, December 25, 2006

Travel Dates!

We're leaving for Kazakhstan on January 7th!!! It's time to turn preparations into TURBO mode!

We've got the neighborhood alerted that we will be gone and they will be keeping an eye on the house as well as my parents, who will be stopping out on a regular basis to take care of the cats and keep them entertained.

I don't have any bags packed yet, but the crib is unusually full of all things travel related. I have a mental packing list put together but will not pack our bags until a few days early so we can avoid over-packing. We can only take 2 suitcases each and they each have to be under 50 lbs. Yeah, right. Like that's going to happen!

Mom and Dad came over last week to help me sort through all the donated clothing and we filled the dresser in the nursery with all the clothes from 3-9 mos. and have about 6 boxes and bags of larger clothing that we need to haul back downstairs to save for a rainy day.

In the meantime, we're working on ordering the money we need to take with us and trying to make arrangements to get fingerprinted all over again for INS.

I've been working on locking in the cash order for about 3 weeks now. I asked about the procedure several months ago and was assured it would not be a problem and there are not extra costs involved. However, when I went to the bank to place the official order I was told there was now a $110 fee for this... not charged by the bank but by Brinks for handling fees. Jon at the bank did everything in his power to try to get this fee waived for us but could not... so we are stuck with either paying this fee or asking the tellers to start holding back like-new bills for us. With the stress of everything else in our lives right now I'm biting the bullet and paying the fee to order the bills. I guess in the whole scheme of things what's $110? But, when we're already scraping the bottom of the barrel to pay for travel, apartments, etc. it's less we have to take out of our savings account. And, if nothing else, it's the point of it all. I'm tired of getting charged extra fees by banks to use my own money.

Fingerprints... again? Yup! In total, this will be the 5th time we are each getting fingerprinted for this adoption! I've honestly started to lose track! I know we initially were printed for INS clearance and again for FBI clearance and I "think" we also had local police reports run on us. Then, in the past couple of months our FBI prints expired (were over 1 year old) so we had to have them done again. Now, we're told that our INS paperwork (our 171H) is still good for another couple of months but the fingerprints for that paperwork will expire while we're in Kazakhstan. INS will allow us into Kazakhstan but unless we get reprinted we might have quite a bit of trouble getting clearance to re-enter the US on our way back home! Sheesh!

You know, all in all... these snags are really starting to get kinda funny... in a really demented sort of way.

Well, enough for now... Merry CHRISTmas everyone!

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