So now that they have the approval, the consulate is ready to allow us to choose a consulate date! Yippee! Oh yeah, that is once they get their waiver fee.
Remember we had to submit that waiver regarding his TB condition. Well, as with everything, there is a fee. A pretty hefty one with this, $585.00. That is for USCIS to review and process the waiver. Originally they had said that the fee might be waived. Then they said that if we still had to pay it, we could pay it when we got there. Now they are saying, nope-- we want you to pay it now before you can choose a date.
Sooooo, we submitted another waiver. This waiver is to ask them to waive the waiver fee. Confused yet? Yeah.
They should get back to us on whether we have to pay it or not sometime today-- I hope. We told our agency that if it were to take them too long to review our application then forget it, we will just pay it. We want to set a date. But after reviewing airfares yesterday, any penny we can save will help. A lot!
We have a gracious friend who is offering to donate us her airline miles to help pay for my ticket over there. We were hoping that this would cover the whole ticket, but from the prices I found yesterday it will be about $500 short. Then of course that also means that Gideon's ticket home will be more expensive too. Plus there are still the other expenses like hotel, food, and re-doing Gideon's medical exam which he must have again because the previous one is no longer valid.
Oh, and that brings me to another thing-- the doctors there are going to require him to have the TB skin test and x-ray again. Yes, you read that correctly. Again. And for what I ask? Not sure really since we already know what it will show. So that means that unless our agency can get the orphanage to take him for that before I arrive, I will have to tack an extra two days onto my stay because you need to wait that long after the test to read the results. Just ridiculous.
So, again we ask for prayers. Pray that everything will fall into place for this trip just as God intends it to. Pray that all the finances will come together and that the trip will be a safe one for both of us.
We have so much to be thankful for in all of this. The outpouring of love from friends, and strangers, has been awesome. And finally we can say--
We have reached the homestretch now! It feels like it has been an upward battle and I must admit it has been frustrating and mentally exhausting, but I know it is all worth it. I just can't wait to see his precious face again.