Here's what you need to know first - this week my sister came to South Africa.
She took the long 30 hour trip across oceans and continents to meet her niece and walk with us in the last of our journey in South Africa.
Jill's presence here has helped solidify the idea of family for Caroline and has been a much needed support for me as we get through these last days. It's been fun to see them bonding and forming the relationships of family.
And since it's Auntie Jill's first visit to South Africa, it's meant a lot more activity as we try to introduce her to as much of South Africa as possible.
We've pet lion cubs, fed giraffe, played with babies, drunk tea with friends, eaten sushi, visited the Hector Pieterson Museum, walked through Nelson Mandela's former home, eaten traditional South African food, swam, eaten ice cream, shopped at the Lesedi Cultural Village, watched He-Man, toured the Cradle of Humankind and spent hours sweltering at the Department of Home Affairs.
All in three days.
We spent our sweltering hours at Home Affairs this afternoon applying for Caroline's abridged and unabridged birth certificate. The abridged certificate, we received today, but we will wait several days for her unabridged birth certificate to be processed at the home office in Pretoria.
We also tried to apply for Caroline's temporary and permanent passport, but the computers were down in passports. We will have to try again in the morning.
As soon as we get her passport, our lawyer will schedule an interview at the US Consulate for Caroline's visa. We're hoping and praying we will get to leave as scheduled on Friday of next week, but we're not for sure. We will be able to go without having her permanent passport, but need the unabridged birth certificate before we can travel.
We would appreciate your prayers that everything comes through because we are all ready to come home and start the next chapter of life together.