If you’re happy with him you can have him.

Today consisted of heading to the DSDW board interview and the US Embassy to apply for James’ visa. Thankfully, the board interview went well and they granted us approval to take him home. They asked questions about schooling, our jobs, whether we are prepared to care for him when the “honeymoon” period is over (how much longer do you all think we have? Want to take bets?) and asked him which of us he likes best. He told her he likes us both equally, which has been his answer each of the three times he has been asked that question. Imagine our relief!

The interview ended with one of the women telling us that “if you are happy with him, you can have him,” and that was basically the official blessing from Thailand. She didn’t say it in a way that was meant to be offhanded, but it did sound a lot like someone might give away a puppy. We left the meeting in pools of sweat, but also very relieved. James was very polite during the meeting but spent much of the morning dazed by the activity and formality.

The visa interview went well, though we discovered upon arrival that we couldn’t bring our backpacks in the embassy (we seriously had to go ask some shopkeeper to watch our bags for us and thank goodness they did), and then discovered the embassy credit card system wasn’t working, so Jason had to run to find an ATM. They told us that James’ visa will be ready to pick up at 3pm tomorrow, which is AWESOME, since it means we will be on track to fly home as planned. Thank you, God.

Once we arrived at the hotel, all three of us collapsed onto the ground and made exaggerated sighs of relief. The day was trying and the trials were compounded by the 104• temperature, James’ confusion (too many people, too many transitions), my super-fantastic cramps, and Jason’s extremely unpleasant gastric disturbance (those are the most polite ways to describe what was seriously the worst day health-wise for both of us).

Tomorrow afternoon is James’ goodbye party with other kids from the home. We are praying that he has a good time and that it will be a day of closure and joy for him. Now, we are off to the pool, because the boy is a fish (that sinks like lead) and they told us we can have him.

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