The abundance of communication devices & accessories makes my head spin. So, here is what we are taking/doing:
- Computer loaded with Skype: From what I can gather, where we are staying has wireless capability, so all we have to take is our laptop. I have heard about Skype from other PAPs for months. We finally had all the equipment we needed to use it and downloaded it a few days ago. IT IS AMAZING! It is basically chat that can also include video. We can buy a phone number and call landlines (people that don't have a Skype account). I chatted with Tricia in Kostanai yesterday morning. It worked so well. I also received messages from Susan yesterday afternoon when I was offline. Luca and I have chatted with Scott while he is in his office. The video capability is the best. This is how we will communicate with Luca and my mom and others. Scott has tried using a couple of headsets to no avail - we may just use the speaker in the computer.
- Cell phone: We are renting a cell phone in Kazakhstan. We will be able to receive calls from the U.S., however, we won't be able to make them. We will only be able to call out in Kazakhstan. This phone will be used if my mom needs to get a hold of us at times outside of out Skype "dates". It also may be used to communicate with the in-country team.
Can that be it? After all this talk and thinking we are just taking a cell phone and computer! Of course there are also the extra batteries, headsets (?), cords, etc. We also have our digital camera and a video camera.
Visas arrived just now! I did not know what to expect. I assumed that a visa is a separate piece of paper. Isn't everything in international adoption a separate piece of paper? My heart sank when I opened the FedEx envelope only to find our passports. Then, I started flipping through and buried on pages 21 & 24 were our visas!
Tickets are purchased.
Travel insurance has been purchased. Scott took care of this yesterday - he found out that the people who run the company have adopted themselves - once from Kazakhstan.
Scott also placed a big order with Amazon a couple of days ago - things like microfiber travel towels, extra battery for the computer, power strip, money belts, passport lanyard, etc. He also ordered a Magellan Eurosurge protector.
We have almost all of our paperwork - just missing my notarized medical form. My doctor's office does not have a notary. I used a traveling notary last time, but she is recovering from surgery and is unable to drive until next week. I am trying to get my doctor to meet me at our credit union . . . to no avail yet. I am calling her again today.I started working on a detailed schedule for Luca and the house - details, details. Pretty amazing how many details make-up our everyday lives! I am now started to understand why I am exhausted at the end of the day.
I think things are coming together.
UPDATE: My doctor's office called and they have located a notary to use. The last piece of paperwork will be notarized on Friday! What a relief! Now I can go to Springfield for Apostilles on Monday. Last night, I felt like I hit a wall . . . today I feel like the clouds are parting. Almost there!