Friday, April 19, 2013

Journey to ChinaBean's US Visa in Guangzhou, China

Our time in Guangzhou is nearly over.  In about 4 hours we'll be on a flight to Shanghai to begin our long journey back to Central Illinois.

All US adoptions are processed through Guangzhou (formerly known as Canton) at the US Consulate's office.  This is where all the children obtain their US visa, so that they might fly to the US.  

We arrived on Tuesday morning after a very early start (4:30 am) to catch a plane from Wuxi to Guangzhou.  We settled into our room at the China Hotel, grabbed a quick bite from McDonald's (which happens to be next door) and then we were off for ChinaBean's medical exam.  

The medical exam is standard for all adoptive children and it was very basic.  If ChinaBean would have been older than 2 years, then she would have had a few additional requirements.

Here we are waiting for the exam to begin.

First we saw the ENT (ear, nose, throat) doctor.

What terrible thing is this nurse doing to ChinaBean?!  She is taking her temperature.  ChinaBean has already developed White Coat Syndrome during her short life and does not like doctors or nurses.  I hope the Children's Hospital is ready for this feisty one!

ChinaBean (by that I me "we") survived the medical exam and our guide, Lucia, sent us back to the hotel.  Lucia stayed to wait for the medical report to be finished so we could take it to our consulate appointment on Wednesday.  We celebrated by jumping in the pool!

Pool time with Baba (daddy)
Wednesday morning was our consulate appointment.  We, along with 4 other families, met at the consulate's office just before 10 am.  We raised our right hand and took an oath swearing that the documents we were presenting were true and accurate.

At this point several things were going on.  We had three girls running around and playing  with the toys in the office.  EBean was being assertive (in a good way) and telling an aggressive little Chinese boy how it was going to be.  He kept trying to block the door to the playhouse and EBean yelled "bu ke yi" (you can't) repeatedly.  

At the same time I was begging for a little mercy because I had overlooked a small step in the paperwork and did not have one of the documents notarized.  Notary services in China require a visit to the closest consulate's office-no bank people or church secretaries to call - which for us involves a 2 hour car ride to Shanghai.  The consulate's employee was very kind, but it did require me going to the payment window to get a receipt that said $0.00 (the service was free for us) and return back to our consulate's employees window.  At this point I realized I had been in China too long.  You have to understand that China has over 1 billion people and it is survival of the fittest.  If you don't push your way to the front of the line you might not ______ (fill in the blank with: eat, get medical care, get on the elevator, etc.)  So, being under a bit of pressure, I cut in line.  And, I got called out, by a Chinese person none-the-less!  Oh boy, I need to get back to a place where people wait patiently in line because I have forgotten my manners.

We got the paperwork submitted and decided to do a quick bathroom break before our 30 minute taxi ride back to the hotel.  We were just about ready to leave and EBean got pushed/helped (accidentally?) out of the playhouse by another little Chinese boy.  She banged up her nose and was crying.  It's too bad because just minutes before she and the little boy had been playing very nicely together and it was going well enough that she kept yelling "Shen me ni de ming zi?" (What is your name?)  I don't think it's quite the proper Chinese sentence structure, but impressive still.  

I know my girls are going to roll their eyes some day at being
dressed alike.  But, to me, it says "we belong together."  
We're a family!
We celebrated our consulate appointment with a picture.  Too bad EBean is still traumatized by her experience in the play land!

After we returned to the hotel we continued the celebration with ice cream for the big sisters, mochas for the parents and a nap for ChinaBean.

We ended our day at the wonderful International Circus in Guangzhou.  It took almost an hour to get there by taxi, but it was worth it.  I love the picture below because none of my children are looking at the camera.  (I have a feeling that this is going to happen a lot in our pictures!)  All three of our girls enjoyed the acrobats, animals and performers.

I love that none of my girls are looking at the camera.
I think this will happen a lot in the future!

Yesterday was a much more relaxed day.  We met with a caseworker that will help file our first post-adoption report for China.  It is due one-month after the adoption is finalized within the child's province.  We spent the morning at the small, but fun play-ground, took a long afternoon nap while Jamie worked and then finished off with some swimming.
Yes, yes I did dress them in matching dresses again.
They didn't seem to mind!
That is a man on a mission.  Cell phone in one hand,
Starbucks in another.  Someone needs to work in this
Chinese Dim Sum delivered to our room.  Usually though,
the Dim Sum is made to look like what is inside.
Bird paste anyone?!  (I don't really think it was bird, but
it was fun to tease Jamie!) 
I told them to "smile pretty" and this is what I got!
For about a week now I have been butchering Neil Diamond's song "America" and belting it out at random times.  I am publicly admitting that I purchased the song on iTunes today and all I can say is...

We're coming to America! 

(At least through August).  See you in a few hours!


  1. Have a safe trip.....TODAY! :)

  2. Awesome. hopefully I'll get a chance to see you while you're home!

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