Today was our last day in China. We spent the day doing a whole lot of waiting around for Samuel's visa to be ready... so a whole lot of nothing all the live long day. We initially planned to go to Shamian Island but lacked the motivation and had no desire to sweat profusely for yet another day. Instead we went to the hotel playroom with the McDonalds. The boys enjoyed playing and then we decided to go to Pizza Hut for lunch where we had the slowest, most pitiful service. Samuel slept in his stroller throughout the meal (nap ruined!). Our general feeling about the day of waiting + Pizza Hut is best summarized below:
Ready to blow this joint
When we got back from Pizza Hut Samuel ate his take-out at the coffee table. We tried to get him to nap again but failed. By this point, our will to parent was greatly diminished. We let him call the shots this afternoon which meant this anti pant-ite played around the hotel room in his pull-up all afternoon. And who doesn't love the look of a pull-up with athletic shoes??
We played balloons, colored, wiped crayon off the carpet, ripped up toilet paper, flushed the potty a lot, threw a few fits...
Then Samuel asked to take a bath. Mind you it was 4pm but with nothing else to do (and because we had to stay in the room to wait for our guide to bring Samuel's visa) we said OH SURE, KID! Go ahead and play in the tub! Samuel splashed and played for an hour. He had a great time and it made for some easy parenting since we could just raise the bathtub curtain and watch him play. In most Chinese hotels the bathtub/shower area is visible from the bedroom but can be hidden by a powered curtain. Woo hoo, fancy!
Once we got Samuel's visa and immigration paperwork from our guide, we decided to go to dinner with the McDonald's at the Irish Pub. Mexican food & Irish food in China -- what an international experience we've had this week! We struggled to keep Samuel awake in the restaurant but Bryan fought the good fight and managed to perk him up enough to last through the meal.
We are now packing up our things while Samuel sleeps and getting pumped up to start the long trek home. Tomorrow morning we will go to the train station and take a train ride to Hong Kong. It takes about 1 hour 45 minutes. From there, we will take a cab to our hotel in Hong Kong. We won't actually spend the night there but need a place to crash/freshen up before our flight at midnight. The hotel is attached to the airport so it will be very convenient to take sleepy kids straight into the terminal from our hotel. The McDonalds will join us there and we will be on the same flights home along with another family from Texas.
We take off from Hong Kong at 12:45am on Friday 8/28 and fly for about 4 hours to Seoul. We land in Seoul a little after 5 am, have a 4 hour layover then fly from Seoul to Houston for a little over 13 hours. We'll take Samuel through immigration where he will officially become a US citizen-- and then we will walk out of baggage claim and see the faces of our sweet children and parents who we miss so much!!
We will likely not be able to update the blog any more as we begin the marathon journey back to our home. We appreciate prayers for safe and easy travel, for sleep on the plane, and for Samuel's heart to be prepared for the many changes he is about to experience. The adoption story may appear to be over, but for him the biggest changes are still ahead. He will leave his incredible birth culture behind, his language, his familiar foods and smells and join an entirely different culture, home and environment. Pray that he would continue to find comfort in Bryan and me as he makes these huge transitions, and for our children at home as we experience the growing pains of becoming a family of 6.
We are so grateful for the support, prayers, emails, comments and encouragement during this adoption journey. We can't wait to be home and introduce you to the precious son God chose for us-- our Samuel.