We had an early morning appointment at the consulate last Tuesday in Guangzhou. That is when we take the oath to confirm that all the information in our adoption paperwork is true and accurate. Then there is an interview and a discussion to make sure we are aware of the special needs of the child so there are no surprises.
We had just heard the previous afternoon from some friends, the Whickers, at the safari park that the government computers were down and no appointments happened for the families who were scheduled for their consulate appointments on Monday. We then bumped into our guide a little later and he told us the same news. It looked grim for us to have our appointment the next morning, but he said we would go anyway and hope for the best.
So the rest of the afternoon and evening we were contemplating all the options to change our airline tickets, extend our stay, let our older children know so they could arrange their schedules to continue watching the children at home for a few more days., etc, etc. By the time we had gone through all the scenarios, we knew it would cost us over $2,000 to change the flights and extend hotel stay so we figured we would make the most of it. The last time there were Embassy computer problems around the globe it was almost a week to get them back online. We started to think about going to Hong Kong for the rest of the week since we have never spent any time there and we actually started to a get little excited about a few extra days to do that.
As we were standing in line the next morning outside the consulate, we received the news that the computers were back up and they didn't expect any delays for us. Other families in line were ecstatic and cried tears of relief. Deanne and I looked at each other and said, "Bummer". Then the excitement came to get home on time and not spend the extra money. We will just have to make another trip back to China and Hong Kong for sightseeing one of these years.
There were no bags or electronics of any kind allowed in the building, so we didn't even take anything with us... hence, no photos for the consulate appointment.
We went back to the hotel for a short rest, then we went out to Samian Island for lunch, sightseeing and shopping. We went with the Wickers and planned to go with some other friends we met there, the Danners, but Theresa Danner wasn't feeling very well so we had to go without them. We have been told about a restaurant called the Cow and Bridge on the island. The Whickers had been there 10 years before and knew about where is was, so we were headed there for lunch first. After walking every street and ally of the island searching for the restaurant, we finally stopped to ask a shop owner where it was. She said it was right be the Subway sandwich place, but she informed us that they changed the name. We had walked by it within the first few minutes of getting on the island, but the name changed to "Carefree Vegetarian" so we walked right by it. That was a far cry from "Cow and Bridge".
We had a great lunch of rice dishes (pineapple and mango with sweetened coconut milk), curry soup, potato balls, and Thai chips. Thai chips is code for french fries.
We had a great time shopping, but we had Hannah and Simon pose with all the statues on the island and it was absolutely hilarious to see what a ham Simon is. He really go into it.
We bought 23 book marks and four other larger pictures done with finger painting by this artist.
It was really amazing what he could do with just hand - no brushes or other tools at all.
Simon had to have this police car. It hand sounds and lights and he loved playing with it in the hotel room. We were pretty glad when the sound broke the next day. :)
The progressive Chinese woman. Hannah is the latest version.
Very interested in the math lesson with the abacus.
I think that was a little fish she was offered by this nice old gentleman.
You can't complete an adoption without putting your new adoptive child in this line up. The Chinese government might as well require it because every family does it
Simon - posing with perfect form.
Hannah planking. She got the attention of some onlookers with this one. China doesn't have much access to social media and I don't know if planking has caught on there, but maybe she just started it in Asia.
She was so compliant with our pose requests....
Simon walked right over this statue and posed all on his own.
He got the idea of what we were doing pretty quickly.
Deanne and Hannah kissed the cheeks so Simon kissed the knee. I had to stop laughing long enough to take this one.
Again - this on his own. No coaching needed.
Feeding the fish at the hotel. Simon just loves Hannah.