Now that we’re down to fewer than three weeks until liftoff, I’m getting a little antsy about the things which must be done that I don’t have a lot of control over. For example, it was recommended to me that I get my visa from the Embassy of Ethiopia here in the US, so I sent my passport and application off last Monday via FedEx, with a FedEx envelope tucked inside for return, and I just have to wait until it gets here. I am really nervous about this one because I fear being a week away from leaving and not having a passport and having to pay a quadrillion dollars to expedite getting a new one, then having to do the airport visa thing and possibly overstaying my official visa-approved welcome and having to pay another quadrillion dollars for being a visa-overstaying outlaw.
We are also waiting on our new I-171H (“notice of favorable determination concerning application for advance processing of orphan petition”) to come, and though we are assured that the National Visa Center has received the approval for our new age range, we do not have our appropriate piece of paper. We’ve had a bit of an interesting time with USCIS regarding this age change, as they were changing their process for it right at the moment that we sent in our amended home study and age change request. Instead of someone dealing with our paperwork properly, it accidentally got filed, and then when it did get dealt with (after I called and they realized the mistake), we never received our precious piece of paper in the mail. I am told it is coming, and the officer I spoke to was quite nice, so I don’t want to badmouth them, just highlight that following up after a reasonable amount of time is a good idea.
Everything else that needs to get done is squarely on our shoulders, mine mostly, since I am in charge of paperwork and other various details around these parts. (Though don’t let me fool you into thinking that Jarod isn’t doing much, as he’s in charge of things which involve heavy lifting and tools that are not a hammer.) (You do not want me to build things that require precision. Trust me. You especially do not want me to use a drill.) (Or a table saw.) Plus, we are planning our dinner fundraiser thingamabob, and I am making all the desserts and some coffee toffee for the silent auction myself. We are working hard to make it a fun and delicious evening for everyone, and if you haven’t received an invitation and would like to come, please do let me know (marymuses at gmail dot com). You may have to duke it out with my friend Judy for the coffee toffee, as rumor has it that she plans to bid on all eight boxes. Be prepared is what I’m telling you.
I’ll do my best to be prepared, too, for every foreseeable circumstance we may encounter on our trip. And in the meantime, I’ll worry enough about getting it all together that I’ll have dreams about forgetting to pack things. Good times. I bet you are glad you aren’t me for the next two-nearly-three weeks.