When we got back from dinner last night, we had a message to meet in the lobby this morning at 8:30 for a group picture of the kids. I let Samuel sleep until 8:15 and then threw some clothes on him. He woke up in a great mood. Cole was the only one dressed, so he took him down. He did fine until they reached the lobby and he saw the other kids. Cole said he cried the entire time they were down there. They were never able to get a picture of all the children because some were confused over the time, some just didn’t show and others were just not cooperating. I hate I missed it J! Cole and Samuel returned to the room and by then SK and I were dressed and ready for breakfast. We ate at the breakfast buffet in the hotel. Samuel’s appetite seemed to be returning to normal. He ate eggs, watermelon, and ¾ of a doughnut that I had gotten for myself.
We decided to visit a local park today. Nancy & Mark (Sarah’s parents) had gone the day before and recommended it to us. We strolled around, rode in a boat, and let Samuel play on the playground. He had a ball. His smile is back and it is a comforting sight. We were the only non-Asian’s there. It is weird being the minority and getting so many stares. Most are friendly though. It was a HOT day, but it was better than sitting in the room watching the clock! We took a taxi back to the hotel and walked to get some lunch. Cole, SK and Samuel ate at KFC and I went to McDonalds. Samuel ate more spicy chicken bites than SK. I don’t know where he puts it in that small body of his.
We met our group in the hotel lobby at 2:30. We had to go to the US Consulates office. We couldn’t take anything in except our passports, so I couldn’t take any pictures L. We were there about 1 ½ hours, but most was spent just waiting. They checked to make sure our passports matched our face and then we waited for all the other groups to do the same. Eventually the only person in the office who looked like an American came out with a microphone. We all had to raise our right hand and pledge, in unison, that everything in our paperwork was accurate. It was such a joke. We were then given our “prized” brown envelope. It cannot be opened. We must give it to US customs and they send it off and we receive his US citizenship papers in about 1-2 months.
Sarah Kathryn stayed in the room to work on homework while we were at the consulate. When we returned we ordered dinner from Danny’s bagels and had it delivered to the room. It was our last official meal in China!! We then began packing our bags! What a great feeling! We must have our bags outside at 5 am, be downstairs at 5:30 and leave on the bus at 6 am. We will be turning our Panda Phone in to the hotel in the morning, so we will not be reachable by phone. Hopefully Cole’s blackberry will work if you need to reach us. His e-mail is: email@example.com
Our flight leaves Guangzhou at 8:20 am (7:20 PM on the 7th in Montgomery) and we fly to Hong Kong. From there we fly to San Francisco and on to Atlanta. Our flight arrives in Atlanta at 6:30 pm on the 8th (5:30 Montgomery time). We will be traveling for over 24 hours total since we leave the hotel at 6 and still have a 2 ½ hour drive to Montgomery once we arrive in Atlanta. Please pray for our safe travel and that Samuel will do fine on the long flight home. Please pray that our adjustment at home will be smooth as we reunite with our other two children and adjust to a different time zone.
Thank you for the prayers, advice and encouragement you have given us prior to and during our trip. We loved hearing from each and every one of you. Even those who didn’t send messages, we were encouraged by the “counter” on each page. We felt connected to home, even if were half way around the world. Technology is amazing!
God is so good! I leave here amazed at this whole experience. Every family in our group has an amazing testimony of how God led them here. No two are the same, for some this is their 1st child for others their 5th. Some cannot have children, while others felt led to adopt before even trying to have biological children. Some were scared and cried the night before meeting their child, but they were obedient to what they knew God had called them to do. I will miss each of them dearly, and hope to reunite with them in the future. May God continue to guide and direct each of our paths…and may each of us be obedient, even if it takes us out of our comfort zones.