Sharing a quick update on the visa situation before our daily recap.
We are in Guangzhou as scheduled and trying to focus on enjoying this last leg of our trip and our last anticipated experience in Eli’s home country. Looming in the background is a visa crisis that has never occurred before. An IT glitch has brought the US Visa system down and dozens of families have been stranded in our hotel and another in the city for almost an entire week. We are scheduled for our consulate appointment Tuesday and then SHOULD get Eli’s visa to leave for Hong Kong late Wednesday and then home early Thursday. For each hour that passes, that possibility is becoming less and less likely. The backlog of visas is piling up. There are children here (including Eli) that need medical attention and parents, like us, whose other children are waiting at home. The US Consulate is coming into work on Sunday here in Guangzhou. We’ll find out at 10am if the systems are back up and operational. I’m still holding out hope that the system will somehow be fixed, they’ll get caught up, and we won’t be impacted. If this isn’t resolved in the morning though, it’s something that our government needs to fix *now*. Families are stranded around the world trying to bring home their children. These are US citizens-stranded. Many of these newly adopted children have disabilities. Families, like ours, have worked hard to save, fundraise, and budget down to the dollar for our spending here. When these backlogged families DO get their visas, they will all compete for buying last-minute flights to China. I cannot imagine the cost and hope we don’t have to! Remembering to BE HERE NOW has been a little tricky but it helps that this hotel, city, our guide, and this process has been incredible. I’m not allowing myself to think about more days away from our Hannah, the homecoming moment I’ve been dreaming of for a year dashed, and the hard decisions, long-term consequences for our family if we, too, are stuck. Please join me in hoping and praying that these families who ARE impacted now, get their visas tomorrow and get home.
I’ll post an update to our page tomorrow as soon as we hear. I will also post the stories of some of the incredible families we’ve met here who are stuck…Now, on to the fun stuff!