"Tell your children of Him, and let your children tell their children, and their children to another generation." Joel 1:3

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Day 8 with Miss Livi

This morning was our appointment at the U.S. Consulate. This is our last step we have to do before we leave. It is the part that gets us Olivia's Visa to enter America. We get the visa on Thurs. and then we leave Friday so we are almost on our way. YAY! We had to meet Lucy at 7:30 am for our 8:30 appointment so we got up at 5:45 to be sure we had time for getting ready and going down to breakfast. We got to the Consulate building about 8:00 to give us time to get through security and such. When we arrived, we noticed a very long line....at least 100 people.....going down the front steps. We asked Lucy what that was and she said it was the Chinese people trying to get an immigration visa. Mark thought she maybe meant a visitors visa, but she said no...they are wanting to emigrate to the United States. She said the line is a block long every day and most are turned down. Some try many times and they have requirements that they must meet to even apply....things like having a certain amount of money in a savings account. I suppose so they know you're not coming to America penniless. I watched the people as we walked by them with no line to wait in. I watched them watch us. I could see it in their faces. It wasn't envy....but it was like a longing. A longing to be in our shoes and come to our country. I have always tried to appreciate the blessing of living in the United States and not take it for granted, but it really hits home when you travel to a place like this. We are fortunate beyond belief.

Once inside the consulate and through security, we were brought into a waiting room with 11 other couples where we were greeted by an American woman who went through some of the formality and explanation of what we were doing there and why. She gave us one very interesting statistic.......Last year, China issued just under 10,000 adoption visas to children just like ours and over 3,500 of those were for American families. That means in the whole world, we adopt 1/3 of the orphans from China. Say what you will about greed or over abundance in the U.S.....we are a very generous and giving Nation. That made me proud.

After her talk, we all stood up, raised our right hand and took an oath on our promise to care for this child. It was a very cool moment.....I wish I had a picture, but they wouldn't allow any electronics....so we just have the memory.

After leaving there at about 9:45, we headed to Grand Buy again to do some shopping. Mark and Barb hadn't been there yet and they really wanted to check it out. The guys waited patiently while Barb and I were checking out the children's clothing store.

We took some streets this time that Jay and I hadn't yet. It was much more rustic China this time. Alleys with one little shop after another. Each the size of a walk in closet. It was almost like going to a flea market with rows and rows of things.

At one point there was a woman who wanted me to sit down to try some string thing on my face. She had a large spool of thread and she started using it on my forehead to show me. I figured it was some sort of hair removal. I let her try it for a minute, but then declined when she wanted me to sit down. I kinda wish I would have just let her do it....it would have been an experience for sure.

When we got back at about 2pm, we spent some time just playing in the room. And we took her down to the Swan room to play. That's always fun and each time, she gets more brave and ventures away from us a little more.

We were supposed to go on a dinner boat cruise but had to cancel because of the weather. It got real cold and super windy while we were out shopping. The boat would have been even colder so we decided not to go. I really wish we would have gone Tues. night after the zoo because it was a beautiful day, but that's okay. There's no time tonight because we have to meet Lucy for one more visa thing between 5 and 6pm.

Instead, we went down to the lounge area and the guys ordered some beer while the girls played with some toys on the couch. That was actually nice to just chill and visit for a while.