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.