On Wednesday we had our Visa appointment at the US Consulate in Guangzhou. I’ve written about the building before – but found myself admiring the architecture twice this year!
Thankfully the adoptive families get to skip the long lines and go right in. Once in, we go to a waiting area that has toys and clean restrooms for the families and children. You can’t take in anything – no cell phones, etc. so I don’t have photos of the inside BUT I did find the architecture firm Skidmore, Owings and Merrill LLP that posted renderings of the project…check out out here.
(Photo from SOM)
It was pretty wild in there with all the families and kids! I kept noticing everyone was watching Wen, but not with the same stares we get out and about in China, it was with stares of amazement at how he can maneuver his wheelchair around! He even can sit on the footrest of it and scoot himself around and use his hand on the front small wheel to steer. He’s hard not to watch when he gets it going!!!
When you get there you take a group oath. Then, when they call your name, you talk to the officer about your child and answer any questions they have. Because Wen is over age 11, he had to answer questions too – did he want to be adopted, did he understand we would be his parents, and had he had any contact with his birth parents, etc.
It was a long morning and when we got back, we had a group photo (even though most of the babies were really off nap and meal schedule by then and had enough!) I don’t have the photos downloaded yet so will post them later.
After the group photo Wes and Wen went to get some lunch for us at a nearby noodle shop while I met with the agency and one parent from each of the other families to do departure paperwork/talk about the plan for leaving Guangzhou.
By the time I got back to the room, I was having some really bad lower back pain and cramping and what felt like a few contractions so I climbed in bed for the remainder of the afternoon and Wes took Wen to the park that we’d been wanting to visit across from the hotel.
They were able to rent a little electric boat and Wen drove it around the lake!
They also went with the group to one last dinner all together. I stayed back and rested and put a call into my doctor. I’m writing this from Beijing and feeling better now – thankful for everyone’s prayers and would love continued prayers for the trip home! We know everything is in the Lord’s hands and that we are both where we need to be right now with Wen in China. We are all FOUR looking forward to coming home in 2 days! Phew 19 days is a long time to be away from home!!!
We are also thankful that we got our Visas and ARE able to leave. There are a few families we know of, one in our group and one with another agency who can’t get their visas to come home yet and have had to change their international flights. There was a glitch in the system at the consulate for the groups that were after ours and the following day and they were getting delayed.