Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Our last day in China

Wednesday, August 23

Today was our last day in China. We spent it changing diapers again!!! We did the last of our shopping. Anne has bought small gifts to give Sophia for her first sixteen birthdays. They are all small items but will hopefully serve to honor her roots.

We also crossed a foot bridge off of Shaiman Island and went to an open air market. This was quite a cultural experience. They sold items used in traditional Chinese medicine such as scorpions (dead and alive), snakes, starfish, turtles, centipedes (6 inches long), chickens and other very interesting items.

On the way back two young guys came up to us and asked if they could talk to us to practice their English. They were very nice. They asked us questions about our hobbies and about America. Their English was quite good. They learn it from watching TV with English subtitles.

We also had the opportunity to meet one of our neighbor’s old college classmates. He came to visit us in the hotel. We had hoped to go out and have him show us more of Guangzhou but we can not stray too far from the hotel with Sophia being so sick. He runs a university which teaches English. He offered Steve a visiting professorship. Perhaps some day we can take him up on that and come to live here for one semester.

We also went to the American Consulate today. We took an oath stating that we were honest in our paperwork through the adoption process. Sophia is still a Chinese citizen with a Chinese passport and a visa into the US. Once we touch down in San Francisco tomorrow she will become an American citizen. Sophia wore her traditional Chinese dress for this ceremony. Katie and Sophia also got beautiful matching light blue traditional dresses. They took Katie’s measurements yesterday and had a tailor sew it. We picked it up today. It is beautiful. Katie made a good choice when picking out the fabric.

We had sent a camera in a care package to Sophia in July. We were given back the camera we sent. We had that developed today. We were very pleased to see Sophia in parks near her foster family’s home (center picture.) There is a lady holding her lovingly. We assume this is the foster mother. There is also a young boy hugging her, probably her foster brother. It is nice to see Sophia in such a good environment with people who obviously cared for her.

We are a little concerned about our long trip home tomorrow with Sophia still being sick. We packed over ten diapers in our carry on bag and hope that is enough to get us home. We leave the hotel at 5:45 Thursday morning (tomorrow), travel about 30 hours, and arrive home about 11:00 PM on Thursday night. Keep us in your thoughts and prayers.


Anonymous said...

Good luck - that is an awefully long time to travel when you're healthy. If you can, take an extra outfit for you as well as her. Take plastic bags to put dirty diapers or dirty clothes in. She is absolutely georgous in her dress. make sure you post a photo with Katie and Sophie together in their dresses. I think it is amazingly thoughtful that Anne has gotten something for her future birthdays. She has some pretty special parents!!


Anonymous said...

Y'all are in our thoughts and prayers today. May you get on a very big plane with lots of leg room and seats to spare. I'm happy to do your grocery shopping and bring you food for the next few days. Just let us know what you need.

Wayne & Andi

Anonymous said...

If I have the "time thing" right, it is 5AM Thursday there (as it is 5PM Wednesday here) and you are getting ready to start your trip home. I sure hope all goes super well and we can't wait till we see you at the airport!
Love, Mom and Skip

Anonymous said...

Have a safe trip home. Congratulations on bringing Sophia home and having her become a US citizen!

Mom-of-5 said...

Hope your flight passes by quickly. The only thing that helps is knowing that you are heading HOME !!
Thanks for sharing your journey.

Jackson Griffith said...

I love that picture of Sophia with the strawberries outfit...she looks like she's quite wise. Your blog is blogtastic BTW and we love checking in like this...

Jackson Griffith said...

I love that picture of Sophia with the strawberries outfit...she looks like she's quite wise. Your blog is blogtastic BTW and we love checking in like this...