Monday, July 30, 2012

Day 19....Visa Day!

It has been a long time coming, but this morning at 10:35 our rep arrived back at our hotel with all four children's visas in hand. All were completely correct, and we were ecstatic! Two families hurriedly got ready, and finalized their packing and boarded a van for Hong Kong. One will be flying out tomorrow, the other will be on the same flight as us Wednesday morning. We opted to stay here the extra day for two reasons. One, things are much more expensive in Hong Kong, and two, if there had been another problem with our visa, we REALLY would have been up the creek in having to make new hotel and flight arrangements twice in one week!

So our plan is this. Today we finally made it to the toy plaza shopping, and afterwards we came back to the hotel to pack. We will sleep hopefully until around 8:00 tomorrow, then get up and head to breakfast. After breakfast we will finalize the packing and head over to either the toy market, pearl market, or the island to look around until around 11. We will head back here to get Annabella down for a nap, and get her up just before 2 when our van to Hong Kong will arrive.

At 2 we will board our van, and head to the border of China, and will enter Hong Kong. After entry we will go straight to the Sky City Marriott, and most likely after check in just eat dinner in the hotel. I doubt we will venture out, rather choose to stay in and hopefully get a decent night's sleep. We will board our flight the next morning that is scheduled to take off at 11:15 (I think!) And then we will be on our way back to the US where our daughter will finally acquire her official US citizenship in Chicago when she steps off the plane. We will have a 4.5 hour layover if all our flights are on time, and then we will head to Memphis and finally be able to introduce Annabella to her brothers and Grandparents, and any other friends and family who would like to meet us.

It is so hard to think that the end is almost here of this part of our journey. Many people assume that when we get home, the whole journey has come to an end, but that's not true. You see when we get home, we will just be beginning the next part of  this journey. It is the beginning of our family of six. The beginning of our children meeting, learning one another, and of Annabella's life within a true family unit. It will be a new series of firsts for her. The first time to be in a family, the first time to be in a house, in America, to see pets, to be in a car seat, and to be surrounded with all Caucasian people. She will have to learn how to eat good ole Southern food, and she will have her first opportunity to go outside barefoot in the grass, and to play in the mud.

I can't wait to watch my daughter experience these things, and so much more. Our time here in China has been life changing for us in so many ways, most obviously in getting Annabella, but also in how we perceive things. Life here is indescribable to someone who has never seen it for themselves. It is remarkable how different things are here, for good and for bad. Some things I know I will never share, they are just too deep, too personal, too painful. Others, I have tried to share in as much detail as I could muster through the depths of sleep deprivation.

I will actually miss some things about being here, and I have a feeling that once we get home, I will actually long for some of the times we've had here in China. I already miss the friends we've made who have departed for home, and I will dearly miss the rest whom we will still be able to see in the next two days. Life here is less hectic, even in an adoption, and I like that about the Chinese. The people here as a whole are friendly and kind. The food is really quite good, and I will never be able to experience some of it again, unless God brings me back to China.  I don't know what the future holds, but I am grateful for all that God has planned for our lives that has brought us to right now!

"Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name goes all the glory for your unfailing love and faithfulness." Psalm 115:1 NLT

Sleeping baby

Having dinner, this is what we get to clean up every night...

Why we call her "Sticky rice"

Can you see it on her sleeves, shirt, legs and feet?

This is where she pushes the wall to call the elevator

A beautiful pot of flowers in the garden outside on the 4th floor of our hotel

Sleepy girl

1 comment:

  1. We can't wait to see all of you. I will be praying for your safe journey home and that Annabella will manage the leg from Hong Kong comfortably. You are right about the journey just beginning when you arrive home, but I know you and Greg will do a great job of with the boys and Annabella. And, we will always be there for you! Love and hugs to all... Mom