Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Consulate Appointment, Shamian Island and Last Night with Friends

Today was our last full day here in Guangzhou- I can hardly believe it!  The first part of our trip felt long, but this part has just flown by!  We started our day off with a very early breakfast- the restaurant was pretty empty.  We then met our guide, Lucia, at 7:40 a.m. to head to our consulate appointment- part of the process in getting the girls a visa in their Chinese passports so they can come home.   We were super thankful that Lucia had us leave early- we were the 2nd family out of 12 to arrive to the consulate so we were able to get through all of that fairly quickly.  Answered prayers- the family that got held up a bit yesterday had everything resolved shortly after 1 p.m. and were able to visit the Safari Park today.  Our process went very smoothly..praise God!
Lucia has been a great guide- she is super sweet.

Here we are at the US consulate. I forget when this was built, but it was sometime after we adopted Reid because it was the first time we had been to this building. It was very nice and much more spacious.  The lines outside were SO long. I was thankful we were citizens and got to go to a much shorter line.  I got to personally thank the man who expedited Maeleigh's article 5 to help us avoid an expired travel approval for Macie.  I did have a bit of an emotional moment in the consulate. I was happy to see both boys and girls being adopted, but sad to see that there were no children over about five.  There are some here being adopted that are over five- I've seen them and know they had consulate appointments at a different time.  But there are not many. I was thinking of Reid and realizing just how small the odds are for children six and older to be adopted.  My heart breaks for these kids.  I've now met some really great older kids, especially on my trip to China in September.  Most of them are still waiting for families to see them and choose them. I pray more hearts will find themselves open to adoption and that more families will consider these kids six to thirteen.  
They are worthy.

After our consulate appointment, we went to the China Hotel and picked up our friends Kristin and Russ and headed to the Chen Clan temple.  This temple was built between 1890 and 1894 for the Chen family.  Chen is one of the top five surnames in this province.  This place was built for their families to have a place to study so they could pass a certain test.  The architecture is gorgeous.  Evan, Reid, and I were able to visit this place when here for Reid's adoption, but this was a first time for Rick, Lena, and the girls of course.

Outside the temple there are two lion statues, one male and one female.  There are also two drums near the doors.  These things are said to be protection for this temple.

They have a bunch of amazing things carved out of bone.

The colorful parts are so pretty- the highest parts were made out of something different than the rest, which was made out of limestone.  The limestone part has to be re-painted yearly due to the weather.

A local artist who is famous for painting Chinese characters inside of glass.  Incredible really.  We had him paint the Chinese characters for Reid, Lena, Macie, and Maeleigh's names on the inside of this small ornament.

After our visit to Chen Clan, we had the driver drop us off at Shamian Island because we had some things we needed to pick up and we wanted to get the girls' pictures by some of the famous statues.

This was the first time we had TWO happy kids.  Reid and Lena both cried and were unhappy the day we visited the island on their adoption trips.

So it seemed it used to be a tradition for families to wear red, white, and/or blue for the consulate appointment day...but I think that tradition is fading away.  We might have gone a bit overboard and stood out just a little bit. ;)  

The island is so beautiful and has so many neat statues.

The girls hanging out while I ran in a shop to pick something up.

Heading to check out the Pearl River.

Mama and Macie.

Daddy and Maeleigh.

They were so silly posing.  Rick said we looked like we were heading to the fourth of July parade.

More wedding pictures...this dress was so beautiful!
Bye bye, Shamian Island!  We will miss you!

After we got back, I painted the girls' toenails- they were all pretty excited about it. I wish I had taken a picture.   After that, we visited with some friends we've met here for the last time and then went to dinner at Oggy's- one of my favorite Italian places here in Guangzhou.

Visiting with and saying goodbye to Kristin, Russ, and their beautiful little girl, Elliott.
It was an honor to meet and get to know this little cutie who I once had advocated for.

 Maeleigh and our friend's new son, Vallen- they are both just too cute!
Evan and his new friend, Baron, hanging out for the last time here at the hotel.

Dinner at Oggy's with our friends. Andrea and Jody and their daughter, Yvonne, and Heidi and Adam and their six awesome kids, Taylor, Isaiah, Baron, Lily, MeiLin, and Vallen.

We had another great day!  Tomorrow Rick and Evan are going to take one last run to One Link Plaza to look for some gifts for the boys back at home and the girls and I are going to hang out and pack.  We check out at 4 p.m. and get our visas for the girls shortly after and then head to Hong Kong by van. We will sleep one night there and fly out the following morning.  Getting closer and closer!  Bittersweet, that's for sure!


  1. Love reading your adventure! I think the red, white and blue was awesome! We plan to do the same. Thanks for sharing and praying for your safe return!

  2. I dressed Katie and Luke in red/white/blue for consulate appointment day, too. :)