On Wednesday, Eric and I contacted a travel agent that specializes in helping adoptive parents plan their trip overseas. Todd Gallinek came highly recommended and has been a tremendous help to us. It is such a relief to let someone else do all the legwork, finding the good flight itineraries, booking the best hotels, finding great prices, etc. And, we love that we'll be able to call on him for assistance should there be any problems during our trip. Holly from His Hands is taking care of booking our hotels in Kaohsiung and part of our time in Taipei. The last night our travel agent booked us at one of the airport hotels, approximately 45 minutes from AIT.
ITINERARY (August 25 - September 3):
We fly out from Chattanooga Thursday morning and arrive in Taipei Friday night. We'll stay at a hotel next to the airport since we will be a smidge tiiiiiired.
Saturday morning we take the high speed train to Kaohsiung...Selah will be waiting for us at the train station along with various members of the His Hands ministry team!!! We will also get to stay this night at the House of Hope (yay!) because our Kaohsiung hotel is fully booked that night.
Sunday we'll attend church with our HH friends.
Monday is a free day in Kaohsiung.
Tuesday we register the adoption at the Household Registry Office in Kaohsiung. That evening we will take a train to Taipei and check into our hotel to stay for 3 nights.
His Hands processes the adoption paperwork so that parents meet their newly adopted child before the adoption is officially registered in the new parent's names. This is very, very cool. It means Selah will be able to come home on an IR3 Visa, which makes her a U.S. citizen as soon as we touch down on American soil. The other option would have been an IR4 Visa, which means she would have received a green card after entering the U.S. and we would later apply for American citizenship.
Wednesday we have an early visa appointment at AIT. Some of the His Hands folks will accompany us to the meeting. Assuming all goes well, Selah's visa will be ready that afternoon.
Thursday and Friday are free days in Taipei. Friday night we will head out of the city center and check into our airport hotel.
Saturday morning we board a plane and head back home. We arrive home in Chattanooga that Saturday night (yeah, it seems weird...it's the whole time zone thing). Our whole family of four will be united!!!