I realize the last few posts did not have any pictures, but a lot of the paper work that we could scan in looks like they have some very important numbers on that I don’t want out in the public eye.
Anyway, in the mail yesterday we got our passports back with a fancy little sticker in it with our travel visas for China. Everyone traveling from the US to China has to have a visa. In order to get this visa, we had to deliver our passports to the Chinese consulate. The nearest one was in Chicago. Now here was the catch….our passports can only be hand delivered. And since I was not about to make an 8 hour trip to hand deliver our passports, we mailed our passports to some lady in Chicago who has a cat named Zoey!! (It’s a little weird what you tend to learn about people during this process.) We paid her to walk our passports into the consulate and a week later we paid her to go pick up our passports with visas and drop them in the mail for us. For the most part, the visa process is relatively fast and straightforward. The visas are returned to our courier in about a week and then we just have to wait for the mail.
This whole process reminded me of the time Ted and I were down in Nicaragua and he lost our passports. We had to go the US embassy and get emergency replacement passports. They sent us across the street to some back alley, where a couple of men held up a white sheet for a background and took our picture with what looked like a Polaroid camera.
Surprisingly, the process worked for us in Nicaragua and we made it back home again. Likewise, we now have visas to get to China. At first, Ted and I thought there had to be a more secure way, like completing the whole process through the mail with tracking numbers. But apparently that is not how government works.
We learned that this courier has adopted children too, so she understands the process we are all going through and is happy to work with us. I would recommend her and her cat to anyone who is going through the same process.