Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Thoughts on Our Journey: The US Consulate

The last step before an adoptive family can leave China is a trip to the US Consulate. This is the final step and very important because this is where you turn in your papers in order to obtain your child's Visa.  Over the years while we waited I looked at a lot of blogs documenting adoption trips and photos of children dressed beautifully (and usually patriotically) at the consulate.  Of course they were either taken going in or coming out as photos are it allowed in the actual office.  Since we were going to be there right before Christmas I had purchased two adorable Christmas jumpers with snowmen on them.  Sadly they somehow got unpacked and left in Hong Kong.  To this day I don't know why I took them out of the suitcase the Hong Kong hotel since we didn't even have the girls yet.  

We were not scheduled to go to the consulate with our travel group because we had the extra day to wait for the TB tests to clear.  The day we went the weather was beautiful and we dressed the girls in matching outfits we had purchased in Guangzhou.  They were not patriotic, but the were cute and they fit. By this point I had come to a reluctant acceptance that I was not - nor would I ever be one of those mom's who can take a wailing, stubborn, shorn headed little girl and transform her to a photo ready model child.  We did get our guide (the wonderful Jason) to take our photo in front of the consulate sign and then we were on our our way to the ceremony.

Like many things that we build up in our mind the actual event was terribly anticlimactic, a lot of waiting around and queing up in lines. We were herded into a big room with a bunch of adoptive parents and their childre. The girls were, as they had been for much of the trip, very squirmy and not terribly interested in staying in one place for longer than it took to eat handful of Cheerios.  We were called up, showed our papers, were told they were in order and then waited with all the other parents to raise our hands to take the oath for our daughters. Once this was done the only thing left was to wait for their Visas.  At this point we were a day from going home.

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