Thursday, September 9, 2010

Red Couch and more Pearl Shopping


We are just now getting a chance to write our post for the day. We had an early breakfast and then met for the famous Red Couch Photos. It was nice to watch as each family sat on the red couch and all the other families snapped pictures or waved and cheered to get the kids to smile. It was really beautiful to see the new families! After that, we did pictures with the people from the same Provinces. As we were the only family to travel to Nanning, we had Hattie on the couch with a few other girls who also were the only ones from their Province. The sweet thing is Hattie loves this other little girl and they always hold hands when they are together. It just so happens that the family also lives in Michigan and shares the same social worker with us. So Sarah, check out the photos.

After those photos we did mom and baby/child photos, followed by a big huge group photo.

We then had ten minutes to change clothing and then we met a few of the families to go with our guide to shop for more pearls. This was a different from our Province shopping. This was a huge building with wholesale pearls, jade and other jewels. Really quite amazing. I instantly get overwhelmed and can't think-but Kory keeps his focus! We went to the fifth floor and they had BAGS and BAGS of pearls. You pick a strand you like and then they string them right in front of you. We picked up some nice things for gifts. Then we took a taxi back with Shiyan (our guide/helper through this entire process) to the hotel. We had about an hour to get ready for the US Consulate Oath. We dressed Hattie in red, white and blue and we tried to dress up a bit from our limited wardrobe. We had to travel through lots of traffic and it took an hour to get there. When we arrived and saw the American Flag it was quite a moment. We then had to leave all phones and cameras in security. We put our bags through security and then went to a room to take a seat. It was a big open room with many seats. We all sat together and strained our ears in the noise to hear our childs Chinese name called. Once her name was called we had to step up and give our passports, sign a LAST document and then had to sit back down. One dad said he would be going up every other name as he still can't figure out how his child's Chinese name is pronounced:)

After all the names were called and there were maybe 50 families, a woman came out and talked about what goes on at the US Consulate. She mentioned a few names of special kids, like one who had a birthday, and another who turned 14 and was there to be adopted. In China, after 14 a child can't be adopted, so this was very special! Anyway, the woman talked about how their small staff of 7 does 1/3 of the worlds adoptions and how they are well aware of each of our files. Then she had us stand, raise our right hand and take an oath. Most of us were teary eyed. I think to be in our own country's consulate, to be reminded of the TONS of paperwork that led us to this moment and to be aware that the journey to China really was coming to a close was just overwhelming. It was also sad to hear that in our travels home to be careful as our new children are" no longer Chinese Citizens" and we need to follow the proper steps in our travel home. When we land in Chicago, we will need to do some paperwork with immigration to finalize the process.

I think Kory and I are getting over tired or slap happy. As we were riding the bus back to the hotel, he said, "the delay in traffic is due to someone changing a tire." I thought he said, someone is chasing a tiger!" We laughed about that because here in China that doesn't seem to be too far fetched.

I also had to laugh at Kory. I looked over and he was eating the Gerber Banana Puffs as a snack-he was starving! The dad to our left was eating his third Z-bar of the day.......see what happens after days and days in China?

Also, walking back into the hotel, we were met by name and we were able to respond back with her name -the girl at the store/laundry. You know it is bad when you recognize people out and about!

We changed yet again, then went to the Thai place one last time. The food there is delicious.

Tomorrow will be our last full (non travel) day in China. We are ready to come home but sad to leave China. This has been wonderful. Hattie is a wonderful little girl. We can't believe we get to bring her home!! WOW!

Hopefully, there will be no delays in our travel home. It was raining and is supposed to stay that way for the next few days. Our guide told us there is a storm coming in.....stay tuned!

1 comment:

  1. I just can't beleive how beautiful Hattie is. She looks like she is getting really comfortable with you guys.

    Maybe we can come up some time this fall to stay at my in-laws and we can meet up with you. I really want our girls to know each other and keep that connection. It is as close to a link to their pasts as they have here.

    WIth much love,
    Laura & Bailey