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Monday, January 10, 2011

they made me STAND

Every day is a bit closer to the Tongginator's mei mei. Despite my near-death status (sinuses! oh, sinuses! you slay me!), we managed to keep quite busy last week. On Wednesday we took the Tongginator with us to a local post office to apply for her passport. Because yes, y'all, she IS going with us to China this spring. Tonggu Grammy is also coming along to help.

I seriously don't know whether this makes us brave or stupid or brilliant.

(Possibly all three.)

The Tongginator felt so! very! excited! to apply for her passport until we actually arrived at the office. Direct from the Tongginator's mouth: "It was boring because I just had to sit there doing nothing. Actually, I didn't even get to sit down; they made me STAND. " I'm not positive, y'all, but I'm guessing that standing around in a dark, dusty room for 10 minutes kinda strips away the glamor of the moment for a six-year-old.

She did smile pretty for the camera though.

But only because I made the post office employee take three photos while the Tongginator rolled her eyes at me. Implacable, I informed said six-year-old imp, "you will thank me later. You will have this passport until you are nearly twelve. And I don't want to hear any complaints of the 'mom! why did you let me smile that way?!?!' variety." Third time was a charm, although I'm sure the Tongginator will find SOMETHING to complain about as a precocious tween.

Probably her choice of shirt. Or her headband.

And I'll be able to reassure her, just as my momma did to me way back when, "it's okay sweetie. EVERYONE looked like that. It was the seventies (... er... exactly what DO you call this past decade? inquiring minds want to know). I promise, honey bear. LOTS of people wore brown earmuffs for two solid weeks trying to look like Princess Leia."

(Too much info?)

(Stop laughing at me.)

Before the Let-Down Of Epic Proportions, the Tongginator announced her reason for early dismissal that day to her class... the school librarian... the cafeteria ladies... even the principal. The principal has been wonderful about this entire process and asked the Tongginator if we were getting close. The Tongginator said "I think so" and the principal replied, "well, we'll have to have you on the news when you are almost ready to travel."

I hope that wasn't just a passing remark.

Because the Tongginator is now All About Being On The News. And by news, I mean the video morning announcements at her school. I think the principal mentioned that possibility to the Tongginator because Tonggu Grammy and our beloved little first grader have Big Plans during our China adoption trip. They plan to co-author a super secret blog for the Tongginator's school and also Tonggu Grammy's former school. It will focus on the experience of China rather than the adoption aspects of the trip, per the Tongginator's request. And no, I shall not be advertising the link or password to said super-secret site.

Because then it wouldn't really be super-secret, now, would it?

I will blog the trip here though; never fear. And I may quote from the Tongginator's site now and again, so y'all don't miss anything important. The school plans to map chart our trip, and learn about historical sites like the Great Wall and the Forbidden City through curriculum and the Tongginator's blog. They are ALL being so very supportive. And yes, I know how fortunate we are. I've heard some horror stories about schools around the country, with administrators who fight to the death before allowing the children to disappear from school for two or three weeks.

On Friday the Husband and I also headed into Baltimore to have our very! last! fingerprinting done. It felt good to know that this was it. The only other boring administrative task we face is heading to the consulate in DC once we receive travel approval. Which may actually occur in April. April! Whoot! Whoot!

And for those of y'all interested in applying for your child's passport, know that you need to bring with you:
  1. your child
  2. your spouse or child's other legal guardian, if applicable
  3. your child's adoption decree
  4. your child's social security number
  5. your child's Certificate of Citizenship
  6. photo identification of all parents
Some officials also require the child's birth certificate, but ours did not. We brought it along just in case.


Walking to China said...

Very, very excited for you! Love the blog idea.

Sunday Koffron Taylor said...

Wow, that is all very exciting! I totally want quotes from the supper secret blog! I am kind of bummed I can’t share it with my kids (my kindergartner is “homeschooled” ya know, LOL) I hope you all have a great time and I am looking forward to reading all about it.

Kim K. said...

Emma blogged and skyped her fourth grade class while we were in China. We had to jump through a million administrative/network issues to get skype installed on her teacher's classroom computer, but it was a great experience for everyone. I'm so excited for you all.

Aus said...

Well now - we would never have considerer NOT taking the adopted kids with us when we added to the family! The trip for Chase (this time last year - within a week or two) we made with a 6 year old first grader, and 3 year old pre-schooler - and it was only Marie and I as the adults! Doable - and - Brianna got to meet her foster mom in Seoul en-route to Chase! It was a trip of a lifetime!

Brianna also blogged for her class at school - and they sent us 'homework' that we were able to do in China - it was all very cool!

Just remember to tell T to 'go slow' at custom's and points of entry - but we never found an official that had any issues with us - all completely cooperative!

hugs - aus and co.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

She is one funny little girl and I can only imagine what will go down on the trip to China. I am sure there will be many funny stories.... HOW COOL that you are going to have them do a secret blog to document things for a different point of view! That is such a great idea!!

Of course I am looking forward to your posts. Can't wait to follow your journey.......it will be happening VERY SOON!!! Are you in a total state of shock yet that you are really this close after all these years?

Have a wonderful week and HOORAY for those last fingerprints! It's such a good feeling to know you will never have to do that again.



Laurie said...

Oooh, I get chills just thinking about how close things are getting for you!! That's great that Grandma gets to come along to help- that'll be wonderful, especially since you're taking T with you! Yippee!

Desiree' said...

you're getting closer!!

Thanks for the passport FYI, didn't know you needed all that...

Claudia said...

Heh - I can't help thinking: if this is how she reacts to ten minutes waiting for a passport, she is going to just LOVE all the standing around while you're in China. I'm also expecting some outrage that she doesn't get to be the one who holds meimei all the time. I'm pretty sure when you're the Tongginator's age, every life event that isn't a) instant or b) all about you is basically a bit of a shock.

Well, that's what I was like anyway :)

Carla said...

Um, do the re-adoption and get the US issued birth certificate...then it's MUCH easier. ;)

We have Katie's so that later in life her last passport was a US issued one.

COME ON APRIL!!!!! especially as I sit here with 10-12 inches of SNOW on the ground.

LucisMomma said...

I hope one of those photos is without the smiling. They want grim faces in the photos.

Glad it's getting closer. Must be really hard for Miss T.

My DD is also a Princess Leia--so you have good company. She's decades behind her time. LOL

a Tonggu Momma said...

Carla, we actually have a US birth certificate for her. And we didn't have to readopt to obtain that... not in Maryland. In Maryland you can simply go to the vital statistics office with all of your stuff and obtain one. You still need the Certificate of Citizenship at the passport office, though, because the birth certificate is stamped with "not proof of citizenship." But that would happen regardless of readoption or not in Maryland.

the meaklims said...

Gosh TM I am so excited for you all! This is going to be a very exciting year for you.

And no, I don't think you're crazy bringing along the big sister, in fact, I can't imagine it any other way. I would say that you are very blessed to be able to bring along TG though.

God is good.

Holly said...

When we took DS to get his passport (in the mayor's office for some reason?), we stepped out of the elevators, all very hushed and formal, and he threw himself on the ground and screamed he was hungry.

That's when we knew our trip to China would be great. LOL

It actually was, despite the OMG this will never end waiting around in China, the worst fit was getting his passport.

The blog is a great idea. How exciting.

Mia_h_n said...

Hi Leia! *giggles*

I absolutely think it's a good idea to bring Tongginator with you. Even though I also predict some boring or maybe acting out moments I think in the long run it'll be a very valuable thing for her to be part of. She's been part of the waiting so she should also get to be part of the getting.

Here we call the past decade the zeros - of course ;)

Patricia/NYC said...

Sooo exciting that you are finally at this stage in planning your trip to China! Can't wait to follow your adventures & "see" it through the T's eyes!

Re: sinuses...I suffer a lot too & here's what I found has warded off infection:
1. working out daily (yeah, I know, it's a drag)
2. Sitting in the steam room for 5 minutes everyday
3. Netti pot
Since I've been doing that combo, it's been pretty good!! And I had MULTIPLE infections a year the past few years...FEEL BETTER!!!

Sharie said...

I have all of the paperwork filled out for Amelia's passport but have yet to get us both to the office, which means mine has now expired -ARGH!

I signed up for my company's legal plan this year with is less than $5 a month and includes the cost of 1 adoption....I plan to do the re-adoption this year, so I don't have to worry about losing any of her Chinese paperwork in the mail. Scares me to death!

So glad T will have something special to share with her school. That should give her something to focus on during the trip so her and TG can allow you and TD to bond with Mei Mei:)

Wendy said...

I only know this because my daughter was Marian the Librarian in the Sound of Music and had a line where she used this term, but the first decade of the 1900's was called the "aughts." However, I don't think this first decade will be called the aughts as well. I think 2000-2009 is just considered the 2000's. Just some useless information I have floating in my head.

If you adopt a foreign born child in this country (by that I mean the adoption is finalized only in the U.S., though I think this applies to re-adoption as well), you get a Certificate of Foreign Birth, which looks exactly like a U.S. birth certificate. Our post office did require that we show our girls' birth certificates in addition to their adoption decrees.

Gail said...

Well to me you're brillant, for bringing her along (miss Grace was 5-almost 6) when she went with us for Will. She loved China and it helped her to understand her own adoption and story, really first hand.

And also brillant for doing the super-secret blog...how fun! I'm also happy you'll be blogging about your trip.

I don't have a clue what to call the 00 decade, my husband and I were talking about that recently.



planetnomad said...

Very excited for you and I think the blog idea SUPERB!! :) Also I think it is most sensible to take TG and T with you.
And don't worry--she'll rarely if ever even LOOK at her passport once the trip is over.

pickel said...

I actually blogged way back in 2004 when Eric and I went to Thailand for my brother's wedding. My student's loved that they could keep track of my trip. :)

SO excited that it is getting so close for you.

lmgnyc said...

WAIT! WHAT???? You did not need the Birth Certificate? You didn't need either the Chinese Birth Certificate OR the Certificate of Birth Record???? How is that possible? I had to give them BOTH the Certificate of Birth Record issued by our state AND her Chinese Birth Certificate AND her previous NON expired American Passport. What gives????

I think New Yorkers are far more skeptical people than they are where you live TM. Apparently, they require much more documentation......sheesh.

Kristi said...

Oh my. The Togginator is going too? Now you have no idea how much I wish we would end up in GZ at the same time. Sadly though it looks like our travel is more likely to be in late May now...
So wonderful that the Togginator's school is so supportive! She's gonna be the rock star of her elementary. Or maybe she already is. ;)

LaLa said...

Sweet!! We took Annslee to Vietnam with us (she was barely four) and it was absolutely the best decision. She and Coby bonded immediately and they still have the best relationship. The passport thing cracks me up. If I remember Annslee didn't have to stand for hers LOL

Briana's Mom said...

Briana didn't enjoy waiting for her passport either. The line was rather long I remember. I really remember being happy when it was over - LOL!

Aunt LoLo said...

1. April!
2. April??!
3. April!!!!!!!!!!!

hehe. That about sums it up. ;-)

My old town got 18+ inches of snow this morning. How'd y'all do??

Special K said...

I really really REALLY hope that we get referrals at the same time. That's the only way there's gonna even be a remote possibility of crossing paths in Guangzhou. Which I'm also really REALLY really really REALLY hoping for. LOL!

Yours hopefully thriving said...

Last decade was the noughties, in the UK anyhoo, lucky you being allowed to smile in your passport pics - they don't let you here! If you have six pics taken, the worst looking one (a blank face - read serial killer look) is the one you need to go with - boo!

All the best for this coming year and your travels to meet your second daughter - we'll be praying for you all.