Today was the big day – we got to go to the US Consulate and take “THE OATH”. Basically, we were promising that all of the information we have provided thus far has been true, etc.., etc…. It was the very last step before our kids would be granted a Visa. Upon touching down on U.S. soil, they will now be American citizens. I love that we will be arriving with our friends the Smiths, so our kids will become U.S. citizens at the same time.
All of our families traveled to the Consulate together. They used to be housed right next door to our hotel, but the building was way too small and so they had to move – it is now about 45 minutes from here. Abby enjoyed the bus trip and looked out the window the entire time, watching everything intently. I’m sure she’s seeing a lot of things for the first time.
When we got there, we had to go through all kinds of security screenings, much like at the airport. We were all ushered into a giant waiting room, where they called families’ names one by one from these little windows. When they called your name (actually, they were calling out the children’s Chinese names) you had to step up to the window and sign some documents. It was really nice to have such a large group, because every time they called up one of the families, the entire group would clap for them. It was great to have all those people sharing such a happy moment. Everyone was afraid they would not understand it when they called their child’s name, and it actually did happen to a couple of families. After everyone had signed their papers, a worker stood in the front and guided us all through the oath as a group. Done!!!!
We celebrated with dinner at Lucy’s, which by the way serves Western as well as Chinese food. I had some Scichuan (I have no idea how to spell it) chicken that was to die for. We had a good laugh when I let Abby try a bite of my chicken. It was pretty spicy, and I already knew from previous reactions that she doesn’t really do spicy. She asked for a bite, though, so I let her try it. She took a giant forkful, popped it in her mouth, and it took about two seconds for it to hit her. Then her eyes got as big as saucers, and she started fanning her face, and reached for the water. The poor thing was a very good girl, though – she did not spit any of it out. She still sat there and chewed and swallowed the whole thing. And then she was enough of a good sport to laugh about it!
Tomorrow is our last full day here, and I can’t say we’re a bit sad about it!! We can NOT wait to get home to everyone else – and to start the next leg of this journey!!!! We will be doing our red couch photos in the morning, a tradition among China adoptive families. We’ll get the kids all dressed up in their traditional Chinese outfits, and have them all pose together for a photo on the red couch in the lobby of our hotel. It should prove to be quite interesting with a group this size. You won’t want to miss those shots, though, so make sure to check in tomorrow. Hopefully, I can get to Starbucks and get the pictures posted before we’re gone from Guangzhou for good!!
Disclaimer: Due to time constraints, I am not proofreading these posts at all - it's just type and post. So please don't scrutinize my spelling or grammar too much!!!! Just be glad I posted something and leave it at that.