The good news is that we have received our travel dates. The bad news is that they are in November. We had been anticipating travel in October, so it's difficult not to feel let down.
Besides, we were told (one of the minor revelations about the Taiwan adoption process) that the First Decree really is the one that matters. The Final Decree isn't the Holy Grail we thought it was and I can't help but feel slightly robbed of the thrill of knowing the significance of the First Decree when we received news of it. As of this moment, we still have no word of a Final Decree and apparently that's A-OK with everyone who is scheduling one of the most important days of our lives so who are we to question this tiny piece of goodish news?
As for the delay in our travel dates, I am perplexed. How can it possibly make sense that a baby spend even a single extra day (let alone several extra weeks!!!) in an orphanage when they have a family that is legally and lovingly bound to them? This seems especially critical knowing that our eight month old is now starting to "grasp what it means when someone leaves his sight, the result of a growing understanding of object permanence." What's another 2 weeks when we've waited this long? It is a lot in a life of only 32 weeks.
Interestingly enough, it sounds like we will be sharing our pick-up day with two other families. Although we've been assured that lumping us all together has not caused any delay in our pick-up date, I am skeptical. Very skeptical indeed. We suspect that once the First Decree is issued, the orphanage schedules such things at their convenience rather than as expeditiously as possible.
Skeptical or no, we are excited to meet these other families and share the experience with them and even more excited to bring our Island Boy home. Despite all the frustrations along the way (and I'm certain there will be more ahead), the bottom line is that:
The real countdown has officially begun!!