Friday, February 21, 2014

Thursday 2/20: We have Hannah's Visa!

On Thursday morning we had a free day since the consulate appointment was our last official step in Hannah's adoption.  We met other families in the lobby at 9:30 so we could head to Shamian Island here in Guangzhou.  In the past adoptive families always stayed at a hotel called the White Swam that is on the island.  It has been undergoing renovation for several years so it is not the popular place to stay for adoptive families but it used to be 'the place to be' while adopting in China.

Several families took the subway but we opted to take a cab.  We rented a stroller from our hotel and Hannah seemed happy enough in it while in the hotel lobby.  Sadly, she changed her mind once she was on the island!

We went to several popular shops to buy more souvenirs and the famous squeaky shoes for children that are popular in China.  We also stopped and took pictures at a famous statue; most adoptive families take a picture of their child standing in a line with the other kids. Hannah was in no mood for pictures and she can't stand well independently so this is the best we could do.

A man carving chops (personalized name stamps) for us

We enjoyed walking on the island which is very unique for China.  The architecture has a very European influence, the streets are cobbled and the trees are large and beautiful.  It reminded me a lot of what I picture Charleston to look like, although I have never been there.

We ate lunch at a popular restaurant that serves American food called Lucy's.  I had grilled ham and cheese with french fries and Bryan and I shared a chocolate milkshake.  Yum!  Hannah ate half of my sandwich all by herself.  Girlfriend is not shy around food!

Hannah napping in the Ergo before our food came

We headed back to the hotel where we had a scheduled laundry pick up.  We sent off two bags of laundry to someone our agency uses for laundry.  It was delivered back to our room that evening and cost us about $30.  The clothes (about 20 pieces) were clean and folded nicely and ready for our suitcases!

Playing with Mommy.  She is like a little piece of velcro on me most of the time!

Hannah took a nap and so did we.  At 4:20pm Bryan went downstairs to get Hannah's passport and immigration documents back from our guides.  She now has a visa to enter the United States!  This means we can officially bring her home!!  When Hannah sets foot on American soil she will be a US Citizen.  We cannot wait to bring her home!

That evening we joined the remaining families in our group and walked to a nearby noodle shop.  I think they were a little shocked when a large group of Americans with Chinese children walked in! We had fried rice with egg and noodles with vegetables and two drinks for just $5.

It has been bittersweet to say goodbye to our group members.  We have really enjoyed the 10 other families that we traveled with.  It is a real bonding experience to go through this trip together and so special to see each family meet the child they have longed for.  We even got to see two families become first time parents.  We have laughed and encouraged one another for nearly 3 weeks and it has been a wonderful experience.  Several families left for the airport immediately after getting their visas and the rest left today (Friday).  We are the last family to leave with an early morning flight on Saturday.  It was the itinerary that worked best for us but we have been sad to see everyone else head home while we are still waiting and killing time.  

Group pictures from Wednesday afternoon

We have enjoyed our time in China, loved our group, been amazed with our agency and most of all fallen head over heels in love with a darling little girl named Hannah Ping.  We cannot wait to be home so you can all meet her!

1 comment:

  1. Love, Love, LOVE reading about your journey! And it makes my heart smile and jump for joy to see all those babies going to loving homes!