Saturday, December 7, 2013

Consulate Appointment - Thursday, December 5th

Today was our last official adoption appointment! We put Lily in a red dress and wore some semblance of red, white and blue to visit the US consulate. There were massive amounts of people waiting in line outside, but thankfully we got to walk right past all of them. I think it's probably the closest I'll get to feeling like a celebrity, everyone that we walked past turned to look at us and stare. They probably would have taken pictures too, but you can't have cameras or electronics inside the consulate so nobody had one. Our guide brought us to the door and then we went on to our appt with another family from our group. For the first time we waited in an empty room, and people spoke English to us! And they sounded like Americans too! I wanted to bust out in "God Bless the USA" but restrained myself to the relief of those around me. Another great thing about the consulate, they had toys for the kids to play with in the waiting room. Once we had take a number and signed in a USCIS officer spoke to us and told us what to expect. Then we took an oath, handed over our paperwork, signed a few forms, got fingerprinted for another oath and we were done! No more paperwork!!!! Tomorrow afternoon Lilys Chinese passport will have an American immigrant visa in it and she will be a US citizen when we land in Detroit Sunday evening.

To continue our day of Americana we decided to eat at McDonalds for lunch. Not being able to have any vegetables makes their sandwiches somewhat less desirable but at least the fries were still good! While we were sitting there eating Caroline kept saying "We're not at Old McDonald's. When are we going to Old McDonald's?" Poor baby thought we were going to a farm not a restaurant. Shows how much we eat McDonalds at home! When lunch was over we walked down to Martyrs Park to play on the playground. Matthew was a great helper pushing Lily in the stroller and she even fell asleep for a bit! Yesterday Lily was only happy in the stroller if she thought I was pushing her, so Matthew and I would switch off when she wasn't looking. Today she was actually ok with Matthew pushing her. Another baby step!

We made it to the park and the playground. We had to pay like $1 for each kid to get into the playground part, and there were rides you could pay for too. Matthew headed straight for these tall slides made out of some type of rock. They went really fast and he loved them! Caroline was a little too small so she went into the trampoline section and jumped for a while. For some reason she has been very clumsy lately, and fell and skinned her knee. Then she was jumping all over the place and I was imagining all of the Chinese germs that were getting in there. This playground was far from clean. I don't known if it's the pollution, the large quantity of people using it, or if they are never cleaned, but my kids' hands are always black after playing here. Lily happily sat in her stroller for a while, then saw how much fun Matthew and Caroline were having in the ball pit and joined in. It was so cute watching them play together! Matthew also had a great time playing with Cade, the son of another family in our group. They had a blast racing each other down the stone slides. Caroline wanted to join in, but her legs were just short enough to get caught on the sides. There are lots of signs around China about safety and watching your children, but they don't actually seem to spend a lot of time making things safe for children. I guess people are more responsible here than in the US... at home there would be lawsuits like crazy for "unsafe equipment". We let the kids pick one ride to go on, and of course they picked the train. Again, not so much emphasis on making things safe here. Thank goodness it had seatbelts, because that train went really fast and whipped them around the track! Caroline squealed with delight the entire time.

At some point we had promised the kids ice cream, and Matthew does not forget things like that, so we walked back to the McDonald's and got ice cream cones for everyone. Lily fell asleep in the Ergo (Hallelujah!) so I actually got to enjoy mine without playing keep-away the entire time. She may have gotten some cone crumbs in her hair, but I claim no responsibility for those. Back at the hotel we put the kids down for naps and I attempted to start packing. Talk about overwhelming!!! How did three suitcases of stuff multiply so quickly?! Definitely going to need to buy a cheap carry-on suitcase for the flight home.

Since it was our last night in China with the Dusseaults we wanted to eat dinner together again, but we didn't really want to drag everyone out again. So we decided to try out the Japanese restaurant in the hotel. I think it may have actually been my favorite meal! I got a sliced chicken porcelain bowl, which I learned is a bowl of rice, vegetables, and chicken. Delicious! Lily fully enjoyed it as well, as evidenced by the massive quantities of rice, vegetables, and chicken all over her face, hair, hands, clothes, high chair, and the floor. Those bussers really earned their tip! Off to bed for our last night at the Garden Hotel!

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