Tuesday, June 05, 2012

Guangzhou Day 12 - Final Paperwork

Hello Everyone, David here.  Thank you so much for praying, I am definitely feeling better, I wouldn't say I was 100%, but then, chasing after 2 four-year olds can do that to you :>)

Today was the visit to the American Consulate General's office here in Guangzhou to take the "Oath" for Andrew and finalize his paperwork for his Visa.  Andrew had a slight meltdown on the way to the Consulate's office - we think it was a combination of waking him up early (from a very deep sleep), and some sibling rivalry (he didn't want to share Mama with Hannah this morning).  By the time we got to the Consulate's office he was better.  Everything went well, and we should have his Visa in hand tomorrow afternoon!  We weren't allowed to take camera's into the Consulate's office (or water bottles, sigh, we had just bought one that we had to throw away ...), which is too bad, because there was a chalk board for the children to play with and Hannah thoroughly enjoyed herself.  She was covered in chalk dust by the time we left (Mama did a quick clean-up job on her before the picture below was taken).  For the "Oath", they asked all the adoptive parents to stand and raise their right hand and then promise to abide by all US laws and to affirm that all of the statements both verbal and written in our paperwork were true.  After that, they called each family by name to come up to one of the designated windows to give them our Visa paperwork and sign yet another form.  Here are a couple of pictures from after our appointment:

The line outside the Consulate's office for Chinese Nationals trying to get a Visa into the US.
We got back to the hotel in time to skype the grandparents (we hadn't had time to do that the past 2 mornings, and they were going through withdrawals :>)  Then we headed out for an early lunch (we had breakfast at 6:30 this morning).  We had hoped to find a restaurant that sold dumplings, but could only find a place that had noodles.  Andrew ate his fill, Hannah, not so much, though she did eat some (with some coaxing and help).  We made our way back to the Hotel and all took much needed naps ...  After nap time we headed back to the pool again.  I'm sad to say the children's pool is still not open, but we had a lot of fun in the big pool.  Andrew is getting more confident and trusting of us as time goes on.  We bought swim rings for the kids yesterday, but neither Hannah nor Andrew trusted them or us enough to take them out into the big pool.  Today, Andrew was again tentative, but within a few minutes he slowly climbed down the steps and them let me hold him in the deeper water and finally walk around the pool holding him.  We gave him lots of encouragement and praise and he was really excited.  That would have been enough for us, but he climbed out of the pool and walked to the edge and just stood there.  I held out my arms and asked if he wanted to jump - and he did!  Right into my arms - giggling and laughing all the time.  After the first jump, he wanted to do it over and over again, which was fine with me :>)  Maybe I'll get tired of catching him one day, but not anytime soon :>)

This afternoon we dressed the kids in traditional Chinese clothes and then headed downstairs for a group picture in the lobby.  Many of you may remember this picture of Hannah in her Qi Pao 2 years ago:

Here she is today:

Our little girl is growing up ...  Here are a few more.

Andrew's favorite mode of transportation these days :>)
For dinner this evening, we enjoyed a dinner cruise on the Pearl River - the kids had a blast; Andrew, in particular was so excited to be going on a boat ride.  I tried to get a video of him clenching his fists and shaking all over, but I was just a tad slow and missed it - maybe next time ...  Here are some pictures from our cruise.
So excited to be on a boat!  (there is glass between him and the water :>)

That's the Canton Tower in the background, all lit up ...
Mama's done, and so are the kids :>)
So, that was our day.  The kids are now sleeping and we'll be joining them soon.  I'll have to re-cap the zoo some other time ...  Tomorrow morning we head to Shamian Island for some shopping (that used to be the island that all adoptive families stayed on, because the Consulate's office and the medical office used to be there - that has all changed now ...).  Some of the families here with us will be heading out tomorrow, the rest of us leave on Thursday.  It's hard to believe Andrew has been with us over a week now.  Each day he is becoming more trusting and comfortable with us - as I mentioned earlier, the sibling rivalry kind of hit a new level today.  We all have much to learn in the coming days, weeks. months and years ...  Thank you again for your prayers, comments and encouragement, they mean a lot to us!

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