Tuesday, November 12, 2013

The Consulate.

Today was our last full day here. Tonight is Sarah's last night to sleep in china. It's a little bitter sweet. We have had a wonderful trip. I'm so anxious to see will but very aware that my baby is leaving her homeland behind. Her world is changing again. She is leaving the land of her birth. 

Today was the final piece of the puzzle. The end. The period at the end of a year long sentence.  Our consulate appointment. It was here that we applied for Sarah's visa to enter the US. She is still a Chinese citizen entering the us with a Chinese passport. To enter the US you have to have a visa just like we had to have one to enter china. Once our plane lands in the US she becomes a US citizen. I can't wait for those wheels to touch down!!!  

We went down for breakfast as usual this morning but there was a line to get into the buffet. This is an extensive breakfast buffet that is included in our room price. The manager told us the dining room was full but we could go up to the 30th floor and eat. He said it was the same buffet and gave us a card to give them. We went on up and discovered that the buffet was in the carousel restaurant  on the top of the hotel. It's one of those restaurants  that turn while you eat. It wasn't  turning this morning but the view was fantastic. I sat there watching my baby girl eat to her heart's content sitting in a fancy restaurant  on the top floor of the finest hotel I've ever been in thinking about how much her world has changed in a week. Amazing. 

After that we met in the lobby and got on the bus to take us to the consulate. Between us and the family we have been traveling with there are 7 kids, several of which are small so we have been carrying strollers and diaper bags and purses and snack bags with us all week, but not today. We were only allowed to bring our passports, and a clear plastic bag with necessities like diapers. No phones, no watches, nothing. We had to park at the medical clinic and walk to the consulate because cars are not allowed to stop in front of the consulate. As out guide said, " Your government has a lot of security precautions."

Sarah wore her red, white and blue to head to our appointment. 

She looks like she is trying to say the pledge to me here. Wrong hand sweet girl!

As we walked up the consulate we saw this waving in the windy weather.  

It made me tear up seeing it. This was officially US soil. We belonged here. 

As we walked along the security fences to the entrance there were 100s of Chinese people lining the sidewalk. I'm not sure what they were doing maybe waiting on people inside. It felt a little strange to walk past all them. We were pretty obviously Americans. We got to the entrance and there were two lines. One had no one in it and one had a long line. We were told to go to the empty one. We waited for just a second and a guard came out. Aron handed him our passports. He checked our names on a list and opened the gate. Aron left us at this point with instructions but she couldn't come in. That felt weird too. We made our way through security and up to the 2nd floor. There were several adopting families and we visited while we waited. One family was adopting 2 little girls through the non special needs program and they had waited 8 years. 

After a little while a man came to a window and gave us all some instructions. We all stood and took an oath on behalf of our children. We were then Called up one by one to review documents. We will get Sarah's passport back tomorrow just before we leave. It will have her visa in it and we will have all the paperwork that allows her to officially immigrate to the US. Exciting stuff!! I have to say that we have had a good expirience with USCIS. That is not the case with everyone but we had a great officer and today went fine too. I'm not looking forward to dealing with them at LAX as they are notoriously rude but we will get through it. 

Here we are just before we entered the consulate. We were a little obnoxious with our red white and blue, But we are proud to be Americans. 

After lunch in the room and a little rest we caught a cab and went back to the island for a few more things. We are now feeling the effects of the awful typhoon with some wind and rain and it made for a yucky afternoon. We enjoyed finishing shopping but catching a cab back proved to be tricky. 

Sarah kept dry while daddy tried for half an hour to find a cab. Not many people on the island so not many cabs on a rainy afternoon. We made it back though and had a good rest and play time. 

We met in the lobby again at 5:40 for the river boat cruise. On the pearl river. That cracked us up. It's a little bigger and prettier than our pearl river. 

The buildings and bridges around Guangzhou have spectacular lights at night and the river is a great place to see them. It was a nasty night but we still had fun there was a buffet of Chinese food. Aron made Sarah a plate of food special to Guangdong province and she loved it!!  There were also chicken feet. 

We passed on those but found plenty to eat. Except Jenny but she ate before hand. She had a great time and took lots of pictures of thlights. She really enjoyed the night. 

As I was putting her to bed she said she couldn't believe that today was the end of the journey. That we get to take her home. She asked how long  exactly it had taken. Eleven months to the day almost since we sent our application to Lifeline. Not bad at all but I felt everyone of those days. She wasnt growing safely in my womb for those 11 months. She was surviving in place I don't evr want her to return to but that I will never be able to forget. 
As we talked Jenny began to tear up and so did I. It's been such a journey and now it really gets to start. We get to bring our girl home. We get to watch God work miracles in her life and we get to watch and be a part of the plans he has for her. 

Below are pictures from the cruise. Jenny took most of them and wanted to share them with you. Some are blurry because the boat was moving pretty fast. 

Goodnight from China one last time. 

This is the Canton tower. It is huge. We couldn't see the top tonight because of the clouds but it was still beautiful. 

She had so much fun tonight. She has been a trooper and we are so proud of her. 

This lady put on a little show for us. Juggling and balancing things on her head. Sarah loved it. They also played American music sung in Chinese and she danced and danced. 

We have loved our time here but we can't wait to be home!

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