Wednesday, October 13, 2010

US Consulate appointment day!

We enjoyed a nice morning today.  After breakfast we went walking with one of our new friends to see the local wet market (where they sell animals for food).  Don't worry, no graphic pictures here (though, there were definitely some graphic things to see.)  The pictures below are of Jian looking at the scorpions (we don't know if they're snacks or meals) in a bucket - we have plenty at home in Texas we can send to them here!  Jian is standing next to some pigs, chicken feet and squid (everything else except the scorpions was dead).  It was very intriguing to see all of these different things (including whole goats (skinned), jellyfish, huge squid, duck, one dog :() and seeing what local people do and eat.  I was a little concerned about what happens when the goat is not sold that day, but, I decided to not dwell on that too much! The last picture is walking back to our hotel holding my new friend Carrie.  The boys really had fun playing with her too. Since she's Chinese and spoke little English, she was used to gesturing, so they all communicated well with each other. The last picture is a man biking down the street, a common occurrence with big packages loaded onto bikes and motorcycles (including propane tanks!!!)

Then we did a little shopping for a few more gifts to bring home.  We enjoyed some lunch and saw a Chinese movie being made!  After lunch we all took a little rest before leaving for the consulate.  

We were at the consulate appointment with 10 other families who were also adopting, and had seen several of them around town and in our hotel, so, it was fun to share this together.  To be honest, it was a little anti-climactic in the end.  No one is allowed to take their cameras or phones inside the consulate, so we couldn't get any pictures.  We all waited together, then, were called up family by family to sign a document that we'd previously sent in through our agency, and waited for everyone else to do the same.  After that, we all sat together and listened to the instructions for when we receive the visa and paperwork for immigration.  I interpreted for the boys and was impressed that both paid attention so well with all that was going on.  The lady introduced herself, talked a little about the building, then announced there were 2 children's birthdays, one girl who just turned 2 and then had a few nice comments about Jian having just turned 14 and that his adoption happened just under the wire.  Everyone clapped for him and as he looked around, he seemed a little embarrassed, it was cute.  I did get teary when we had to raise our right hands and take an oath that all of our information was true and accurate, though, it was hard to raise my right hand and sign at the same time :).  As soon as that was over, everyone clapped and Tanner jumped up and down hugging Jian.  It was really adorable how excited he was and seeing the two of them hugging each other (I wish I could've had a picture!)  We spoke to the lady there at the consulate for a few minutes before leaving and she said all the people there commented how they loved Jian's passport photo (the one where he was always giggling) because most of them are very serious or the children are crying, and it was nice to see him so happy.

So, that was that!  We went back and grabbed some dinner and now the boys are swimming again.  Tomorrow we'll be packing up and getting ready to go.  We'll leave in the early afternoon to go to the US Consulate one last time to pick up Jian's passport and visa and the paperwork we will need to give to US immigration when we arrive in New Jersey.  Our plane stops in NJ, and we'll need to de-plane, and go through customs.  At this time, when he walks off the plane, he will become a US citizen.  After picking up the passport and visa, we'll head to the train station to go to Hong Kong.  That was a bit stressful this morning, apparently something is going on in Hong Kong right now as most hotels were completely booked, we both were becoming anxious and wondering what we would do, when finally we found a hotel as well as a service that will bring us to the airport Friday morning.  Phew!  We're hoping it's not too bad, but, we're just happy to have a room to sleep in!

Today we are really ready to go.  Tanner was a little sad tonight and said he missed his hamster.  He asked me later who I was missing, I told him "my bed!" and he replied "and my hamster??"  I'm finally done with all being in one room in a small, hard bed and wearing the same 5 outfits all the time!  BUT.... I would not have traded this experience for the world.  

This morning at breakfast, JIan and I we were discussing all of the children who were being adopted and how wonderful it was for them to go to a home with a mom and dad.  He told us some things in a very general way that he had seen at the orphanage (children that had died) and it caused me to cry.  He said "it's ok, don't cry" and I told him it was ok to be sad and cry.  It reminded me again that though we have an amazing new son who has a new beginning and a new life, he still has a past.  He has a history that we were not a part of and a history that will always be a part of him.  This history does not define him, it is not who he is, but it will always affect him.  Our prayer is that he will use it for the glory of God!  I was reminded of Philippians 2:14-16 "Do everything without complaining or arguing, so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing."  

Well, the boys just came back!  So, it's time to do a little packing.  We are really looking forward to being home soon.  To seeing how Jian adjusts there, to being a family back home.  He is so excited - I'm hoping his expectations aren't too high! :)  Hopefully we will be able to update tomorrow from Hong Kong - if not, it's possible our next update will be from America!!! 


Diane said...

Praises and prayers for you last hours and your travels home. Wow! What a journey! Give hugs to everyone and WELCOME BACK TO TEXAS!!! Love you!

Anonymous said...

Oh my! I am soooo excited to finally see you all again and meet Jian. Brighton has been reading your blog, and he is very excited to meet Jian too! In the scorpion photo, Jian is crouching exactly how Brighton crouched to rest all over China. I'm praying for your safe travel!

Remember, it is not polite to shove in the US...hehehehe

Love you all so much,