July 19, 2005

Consulate Appointment

This morning was our Consulate appointment but we didn't actually have to do anything. XiXi went to the Consulate for us and we just had to wait in our room in case there was any problem.

Tomorrow is our swearing in ceremony and then we're done with more than a year's worth of paperwork!

The photo above is the view of Shamian Island and the Pearl River from our hotel.

This afternoon we went to the Swan Room -- a playroom the hotel provides for the kids -- for a play date with Sophie Payne and Julia Lahsin.

This photo is of Sophie, Kenna and Julia -- all Chicago girls!

Little miss Sophie, daughter of our friends Chris and Ileana.

Tonight we had dinner with the reunited Harrah's travel group at Cow & Bridge. Sixteen of the families have been in a different province getting their daughters, It was a pretty chaotic scene with 36 babies, assorted siblings, parents, grandparents, aunts and friends!

After proudly walking all over the restaurant in her squeaky shoes, Kenna totally melted down because I think the whole thing was just overwhelming for her.

It was so great to see families we already know, families we met in Beijing and to meet new families. Plus, the food is so good at Cow & Bridge!

The photo to the right is our happy girl, Michal. The photo below is of Kenna pre-meltdown.

The girls play a really cute game with me where they stand at one end of the room and then I say, "Run to Ma Ma" and they run to me and then throw their arms around me. It's great because they'll do it again and again and again.

We head back to Chicago the day after tomorrow and although I'm eager to get home, I'm very sad to leave China. This has truly been an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime trip! Eric and I have both fallen completely in love with China and the people who call this country home. We feel incredibly privileged to have daughters who have such a rich and beautiful heritage and feel so fortunate that we are now part of a Chinese American family. We know this won't be our last trip to China and look forward to coming back some day when the girls are old enough to make the trip.

We also feel like we've shared this experience with other families we know will be life-long friends; a really amazing and unexpected outcome of this adventure!

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