Friday, Saturday and Sunday - January 5th through 7th
Only three days left before Tori and our adventure begins!! Tori's passport DID ARRIVE on Friday!! I immediately packaged it along with Maria and my passports and sent them overnight to our visa contact who received them Saturday and has already processed them as well!! She will be sending them via overnight mail on Monday so they should arrive Tuesday before 3:00pm. Everything seems to be in place but I'm still quite nervous because I still don't have all of the visas and passports in hand. We are cutting this far, far too close and there is zero margin or error at this point... I shudder at the thought of "What if I hadn't started this process so far in advance?!?!"...
Our living room is now the 'packing room' and there are 5 very large sized suitcases, 4 medium sized suitcases, 3 carry bags and a large backpack strewn across the floor. We are packing 175lbs of Tori's liquid Jevity food because it is unavailable in China. Of course some of that has to be carried onto the plane so Tori can eat during the travel time. Also in our hands will be all of her medications and other medical supplies. I have been in contact with the airlines and the TSA and have all of the proper documentation needed in hand so we 'should' not have any issues. Packing for a 32 day trip isn't easy and since there are numerous items we can't afford to forget we have created a large spreadsheet and will be checking off items as they are packed. I can just see the faces of the airline staff already when we pull into the airport in two cars, Tori and all of that heavy luggage :-)
Tori is remaining healthy and has been watching the packing exercise from her room since our living room sits directly across from it. We keep asking her her if she is ready for her trip to China but she is most attentive when we mention the stop in Paris along the way. Going to Paris was one of her dreams and it is too bad we will just be changing planes there this time... Touring Paris will have to wait for now.
Tori was also entertained by some more photographers and interviewers over the past couple days. Combined with the numerous visitors and well wishers she has been keeping very busy. She has to know something different and BIG is coming soon. Tori's recent media attention has brought us in contact with numerous other families and individuals in similar situations including several who are now scheduling for the same stem cell treatment in China. We are always very willing to share our knowledge and experiences with others who can hopefully provide the same information to us. Sharing and learning from others is vital to continued progress for Tori. We are quite open and will at the very least investigate ANY possible treatments or solutions that may help Tori. But that certainly doesn't mean we will act on them all. We know that we can always do more for Tori.
Brendan, Whitney and Grandpa and Grandma Schmanski are also getting prepared to maintain the home and daily activities. Maria and I have little worries because Brendan and Whitney are in the best hands they can possibly be in. But we are already missing them and we haven't left yet...
Thank you as always for your love, prayers and support.
The Schmanski Family