Last night, I said to Alicia that like a Pavlovian dog, I have been conditioned to expect everything in the process to take longer than we are told that it would...and so, as we lay down to bed last night, I was hoping for good news and all the while, expecting to hear absolutely nothing. I was pleasantly shocked, as I lay in bed after being awakened by children ready for another day, when Alicia walked into the bedroom with a slightly shocked look on her face. She began to read the email from the National Visa Center telling us that our paperwork was approved and sent to the US Embassy in Honduras. Once the early morning fog in my mind faded enough to process what was just said, I leaped out of bed and we began to work feverishly on the next and final steps. I worked on completing the last forms that we needed to complete and Alicia contacted the Embassy. The kids could tell that we were excited so we shared with them what the email meant, and that Lord willing we would be going home before the end of the week. Now, they were excited and it took the rest of the day to help them understand that we are not leaving tomorrow. After we didn't hear anything back from the Embassy, Alicia took the advice of someone that completed an adoption previously and called the Embassy. This was actually a mistake, because she spoke with someone that didn't know our case and didn't know what they were talking about and he told her it would still be a long time, possibly weeks. I walked into the room as I saw panic set in on her face, and in my very calm and patient way told her to get over it and ignore the guy and move on...as you can see I am a very patient and understanding counselor. By late morning, we actually received a call from the woman that does the exit interviews. She asked Alicia a few questions, assured her that she would work to keep the process moving for us, but it could still be a few days. We settled in and got ready for a few more days.... By mid-afternoon though, we received an email from the Embassy saying that they had all of the necessary approvals and if we were ready for our interview, we could schedule it for the next available time...we reviewed the list of documents needed for the interview, and we were ready. We asked them for an interview and a few minutes later, we were told to be at the Embassy tomorrow morning at 8am. We are not sure how long it will take for the visas to be processed, so we haven't secured our flights yet, but it looks like we will be home by the weekend. With this news, we began to go through the apartment and started cleaning and packing...
...6 and a half years of paperwork, appointments and approvals...$16,000
...Agency, Government and Lawyer fees...$13,000
...2 trips to Honduras and related expenses...$17,500
...Ashton and Alia...PRICELESS