U.S. Consulate Appointment
Today was another busy day! We boarded a bus for the U.S. Consulate and drove from Shamian Island into Guangzhou for our appointment with the U.S. Consulate. After passing through security checkpoints and showing our passports to verify that we were who we said we were, we waited in a large waiting area with 56 other families to take the oath that all the information we had provided to the U.S. government was true. The room suddenly became quite (with the exception of a few screaming babies :0) ) when the Consulate appeared and explained that our children would become U.S. citizens as soon as we landed on American soil if both parents were traveling together for the adoption. For families with only one parent traveling a readoption in their state would be required in order to apply for citizenship for their child. As a group we raised our right hand and took the oath that we have waited almost two years for! It was quite emotional to think that this was the final step to completing our adoption in the eyes of the U.S. government. There was lots of applause and tears of happiness when the Consulate congratulated the families! We then made our way back to the bus and back to the island to start the task of packing for the long journey home!
We had one last dinner with Karen, Curt, Shelby and Samantha Howard from Michigan at an outdoor restautant on the riverwalk to celebrate our new families! It is amazing how two families who have never met before can become such good friends in just two weeks when you've shared something as special as Gotcha Day together. Our girls are from the same orphanage and it will be very special for them to have each other as they grow up. Even though our families live far apart geographically, we will always be close in spirit. Who knows...maybe someday we'll live closer and our girls can get to know each other even better.
We were truly blessed with meeting so many special families on this trip. It has been amazing to see how each child fits so perfectly with the family that adopted them. There is no explanation other than it being God's perfect plan.
Our travel day home will start bright and early with a 4:30 a.m. wake up call (that is 3:30 pm on the 24th in Louisiana). Our checked bags need to be outside our door by 5:15 a.m. and our bus leaves for the airport at 6:00 a.m. Needless to say, we are leaving with an extra piece of luggage and we are still not so sure that everything will fit. If all goes well we will land in New Orleans on the 25th at 10:00 p.m.
I'm attaching a few pictures from today. The first picture is a favorite of ours. These are squeaky shoes. They squeak with each step that the baby takes. They cost anywhere from 25-35 yuan per pair which is equal to about $2.50-$3.00 per pair. As you ca see, we bought them in several sizes and colors for her to grow into. They didn't have any small enough to fit her now so I guess it is a good thing that she is not walking yet. By the way, the squeakers can be removed when needed...I'm sure we'll appreciate that when she does start walking! The chickens were hanging in the window of a restaurant across the street from our hotel. It is certainly not something you'd see at home. I'll update the site once we are home and also after Brea has had her appointment with the pediatrician and pediatric cardiologist. Thanks again for your prayers throughout this journey...we are blessed beyond measure with wonderful family, friends and now with three beautiful children. Enjoy the photos!