Wednesday, June 09, 2010

And God said, "Let there be sound" ...

And there was :>) David here. Not sure where the switch was, but God must have flipped it over night ... Hannah woke up happy this morning. She smiled at everyone at breakfast and started grunting and moaning more than usual. Then while we were waiting for the bus to go to the toy store, she and Rachel had a "give me 5 down low" moment:

On the way to the toy store, she started giggling, squealing and making all kinds of noises (of course, I wasn't thinking very clearly, so I didn't get any of it on video :>( The toy store was pretty disappointing, basically just one section of a department store. I was envisioning some huge mall with floors and floors of toys ... Oh well, with such a limited supply, we didn't buy much :>) However, the whole time I wheeled Hannah around the store, she was babbling and squealing and grunting and pointing; touching things, swinging her feet in the stroller - all in all, more interaction, sounds and exploration than we have seen from Hannah since we got her. And she has been going ever since ...  We have thoroughly enjoyed watching come out of her shell - each day has brought something new and exciting.  We are so blessed and so thankful for what God has done, though there will probably come the time that I'll be asking God where that switch was so I can turn it off for a while :>)

Today was our oath ceremony - bascially, anyone who gets a visa from China has to swear an oath that all of the information they gave was true. Since Hannah can't speak yet, we took the oath for her (and since I filled out all of the paperwork, it makes sense that Lois and I should take the oath for her :>) Being that we were going to the Consulate's office, Lois dressed Hannah up in a pretty dress, complete with hair bow and new shoes - of course, Hannah loved that:

It turns out that the oath ceremony is really a very informal thing, and it was hot, and we had to wait about an hour before taking the oath - the dress was really overkill.  The seasoned veterans new this and dressed their new children comfortably, us newbies had our children all dressed up.  Oh well, it made for a good picture or two :>)  The Consulate's office is in the process of building (the new building will be ready in 2013), so in the mean time, they have rented the 4th floor of this rather non-discript office building.  But, since they wouldn't let cameras inside, this is the best I can for a picture of us in front of the Consulate's office:

They told us that they process around 25,000 visa requests a year (for all of China), and that last year was the first year that special needs adoptions surpassed non-special needs.  So far this year ~61% of all adoptions have been special needs.

After the ceremony, we came home, changed clothes then headed out for dinner and a trip to the "Trust Mart", kind of like a local supermarket.  Dinner, was, well, interesting.  The Chinese food this trip has been really disappointing.  Maybe it was the cities, or maybe the culture is just changing.  You used to be able to get kung-pao chicken, sweet & sour pork, sizzling beef, and lots of other stir-fried dishes just about anywhere.  This time, we were hard-pressed to find any kind of stir-fried dishes on any of the menus.  We've been told that as the Chinese people have become more affluent, they want "exotic" food when they go out to eat, and so the restaurants are catering to this new clientèle.  All kinds of sea "creatures" and animal parts; I guess it's good for business, bad for Americans looking for simple Chinese food ...  It's not been all bad, but it's definitely been better.  I think that has been the most difficult part of this whole process - finding a suitable lunch and dinner for us and Hannah (thankfully, a large breakfast buffet has been included with all of our hotels).  We've had McDonalds and Subway for lunch more than I care to admit ...

The main reason we went over to the Trust Mart was to buy a relatively inexpensive stroller for the trip home.  We've been told it would be a wise investment as the Hong Kong airport is one of the largest in the world, and the Chicago airport is one of the largest in the US.  A stroller will certainly help save the back, and should be well worth the $20 ...  We should be able to check it at the gate (ie take it all the way to and from the plane).

And so with that, the China portion of of our journey will soon come to a close.  Hopefully, we will be boarding a train to Hong Kong at 4:17 tomorrow afternoon, arriving in Hong Kong sometime around 6:30 or so.  We'll spend the night at the Marriott near the Hong Kong airport, then fly out of Hong Kong just after noon on Friday.  If I can get internet access at the Marriott, I'll be sure and make a final farewell post from Asia ...

Until then, have a blessed day - we certainly have!


Chris said...

Lisa and I just read the blog together! So excited that she is coming out and showing her personality. Be safe, can't wait to see you guys!

Anonymous said...

Can't wait to meet Hannah! Hope that you have something to soften the sounds of the engines and help with the altitude for Hannah's ears. We will be praying for your trip home.


Virginia said...

She is just blossoming! Isn't it the most wonderful thing to be witness to?! I'll be praying for safe and comfortable travels for you all. I'm glad you decided on the cheap-o stroller for the me you (and your backs) won't regret it.

Gin =)