The purpose of our trip to Hanoi was to apply for An's American visa at the U.S. Embassy. The process involves a $380.00 fee and an interview. I was a little bit concerned about the interview, since we were asked to complete several confusing federal forms and to also bring copies of our tax returns. This was our last hurdle in being able to bring our son home. So far, the process had been very smooth and I was hoping our good luck would not run out on us. I was assuming that the Embassy would be a stately and impressive building. But it really looked like a nice office building with beefed up security. Once we were in the waiting area, we paid the fee and were told to wait for our names to be called. When we were called, the clerk behind the glass went over a few of the forms we had already submitted and asked me sign them. Then, he told us our visa would be ready by tomorrow at 4:00 pm, provided there were no Vietnamese power-grid failures. That was it. A two-hour flight for a less than 5 minute exchange with a clerk behind bullet-proof glass. I would have been outraged if I weren't so relieved that it had been so painless and that the completion of this step meant we could go home.
We are currently trying to book a flight out before our scheduled departure date on Sunday. Our agency is preparing us to not get our hopes up too high, as our airline tends to have very full flights going back to Seattle. If we can't leave before Sunday, we'll make the best of it and do some sightseeing.