Last full day in GZ--Consulate appointment and the Zoo
Here we are. We made it. Today was our last full day in Guangzhou, China. Tomorrow at 2 pm local time, we will check out of the Garden, head to the railway station, take a train to Hong Kong, check in to our airport hotel, and board a plane to Tokyo on Friday morning. I can honestly say--it's time. 18 days in China--WHEW!
Here is a list of things I miss from "back home":
--soft toilet paper
--my pillow and bed
--not sweating CONSTANTLY, ALL DAY
--public restrooms that don't stink to high heaven
--people who don't stare at me like I have lobsters crawling out of my ears
It's not an exhaustive list, but you get the idea.
We had our consulate appointment this morning at the US Embassy in GZ. This appointment is what our entire trip hinged upon. There are only so many appointments available Mon-Wed, so we got one of the last ones. When we arrived, there was a huge crowd of Chinese nationals waiting to apply for visas to the US. We walked right in but had to wait until 8:30 for the adoptions office to open. There was one other Lifeline family with us and maybe 10 other families. When we got to the Adoptions Office, there wasn't enough seating for all of us. We parents took an oath--it wasn't the oath of citizenship, but the oath of intending immigrants, which is what our children are at this point. As soon as we land on US soil (Seattle), Gemma will be a US citizen. She will lose her Chinese citizenship. I got a little choked up when we said the oath. It wasn't anything special, but it's what it represents...that Gemma is leaving behind her original citizenship, and embracing her new citizenship, on many levels: as a US citizen; as a member of the Miller/Peterson family; as a child of God. Then we were individually interviewed and had our paperwork checked over one last time. Tomorrow on the way to the train station, we will pick up Gemma's Chinese passport with her American visa in it, and we'll be good to fly home!!!
After the consulate appointment, we met the rest of our Lifeline group and visited the local zoo. I can honestly say that walking around that zoo, I was the HOTTEST, DRENCHED-IN-SWEATIEST that I have EVER been. It was really hard to enjoy the animals, when we were all miserably hot. But, the girls had fun, so I'm glad we went.
We got back to our room, had lunch at the air-conditioned McDonald's across the street, and came back for naps. I can't believe I got Gemma down for a nap--first one ever. Yay! She slept for close to 2 hours (and so did I...side benefit of having the kiddo take a nap).
Now, Gemma Lu is in the tub, and Simon and G are enjoying one last swim in the hotel pool. Life is so good...but we are ready for home.
Thanks, you all, for taking this journey with us! We have seen God work through your prayers, and that has been absolutely amazing to see. God bless you all! See you in America!!!!!
View from our hotel window (morning)
Balloon creature at the zoo
What exactly are "BEAET" of prey??
Funny signs alert!