Tuesday, July 3, 2007

Last night in China

Ahhh my last post from China.

It is now 6pm. Daddy is on the bed entertaining Juna with a business card and has been doing so for a half an hour.

No pics from today. We couldn't take pics in the purse mall and the shoe mall. Yes, a shoe mall. What kind do you want? Stories and stories of just shoes, everywhere! However, very hard to find a size 8.5 They have to run to a warehouse to fetch that size and we didn't have the time. I found some brand new Nikes, real ones, for 20 bucks. Not even released in the US yet Nikes. AHHHH do you feel my frustration???

Then, we did something just for Mike Blecha, a man that Matt works with. We went to Mcdonalds. Mike, our intestines suffered for you.

Let me just say it was some of the best service we have ever received in a restaurant, period. A manager saw that we were Americans and came running. She brought a menu with pictures and a hand held order taking device. Mcdonalds in China is a bit different. Every sandwich comes with lettuce and cucumbers and a spicy sauce. The menu is much much smaller than in America (at least this one was) and they serve ice cream in many unusual flavors, like melon, green tea, and pink peach. Hello Kitty was the kid's meal toy. Hello Kitty is so very popular here.

The food was awful, of course. Mcdonalds in the US is awful and it's even worse here. That spicy sauce was a killer on our stomachs. We were racing for the bathroom as soon as we walked in the door.

HOWEVER, we did so not really for Mike, but because we were on such a tight schedule. Isn't that why people always hit up Mickey Ds? I am vowing to make China Mcdonalds my last Mcdonalds trip EVER.

We did attract a lot of attention, of course, as we were Downtown and the only Americans anywhere. Mostly the workers who came up and wanted to know more about the baby. None spoke English or limited English so I tried so hard to communicate by miming. We were with my pal Steve, who is Chinese. One woman assumed she was our baby and Steve was my husband. I pointed to Matt and said, "Ba Ba." She smiled and said, "Lucky baby."

Then we had our swearing ceremony at the US Consulate.

Ok, let me just talk to the families who are coming to GZ in the coming months. White Swan is closing for renovations. You will probably be booked in the Westin. Lucky families!! It is next door to the Consulate, which is located in a gorgeous area of GZ. It's a downtown area, very modern, very clean and appears very safe. It is across from a park area that has a HUGE waterfall. I wanted to get out and take pics, but there was no time. Again with the no time thing. AND the Westin is down the street from a huge indoor fashion shopping plaza. There are limited restaurants in the area, but I did see a pizza joint and some Chinese souvenir shops. Once White Swan closes, more will move in, if they can afford the rent. It is a pretty swanky area.

The US Consulate office is in a modern building. No cameras or electronics of any kind were allowed. You go through security and have to check your electronics if you bring them. No water, no liquids of any kind. You can bring a bottle and formula and one diaper but that is all. No big bags of any kind.

You enter a large room and take a seat. Then your coordinator gives you some paper work. You take it to a window and a nice lady looks at your child's visa page, then at your child. Ours was asleep, so we had to wake her up. They are very serious about this part and must take a close look at baby.

After that, you sit down again. Once all families go through, and it's really a fast process, a woman comes out with a mic. She reminds you of everything you've been through to this point. Then she has you stand up, raise your right hand, and take an oath to take care of baby and swear all info provided is correct. Then everyone cheers and you are handed a folder and told not to open it until you get to immigration. Done!

We got back to the hotel. The group is going to a farewell dinner. We and our travel mates from our city opted to eat peanut butter sandwiches in our rooms and go to bed super early. With the stomach distress we've had here, we cannot risk a repeat on the plane. It appears every single family has had stomach issues of one kind or another. Even with the daily Pepto tabs. Matt ran to the local grocery and got some bread and chips. We brought the peanut butter over. And we are going to have a picnic, watch the 8pm laser show and go to sleep.

We leave at 530 am for the airport. GZ to Hong Kong. Hong Kong flight at 1245pm and arrive in Chicago at 2pm the next day. Go through customs and have a FIVE HOUR freakin layover. Get into our city around 9pm. Let's hope.

Our travel mates from our city hate flying as much as we do. We're all dreading this. But we keep repeating it brings us one step closer to our families. We'll get through this. We have a laptop loaded with TV shows we never watched here in China.

And that is that.

I want to thank you for reading ALL my entries. I know there's been many and I've been all talk talk talk talk talk. I've had a lot to say! This has been the trip of a lifetime. I know the point was to get June Buggy , but it was also to experience CHina so one day we can tell her about her country. Experience China we did. I cannot believe it's been two weeks. It's FLOWN by. Seriously, we just got here!! Aside from a few stomach issues, it's been amazing.

I'll post once I catch up on sleep. And I will also let you know how the adjustment period goes at home. I hate how people abandon their adoption blogs once they get home. I promise not to do that to you. Children do nap, so there's always a few mins to blog.

Alright, time for my peanut butter picnic.

Goodnight for the last time from China.


Christa said...

Safe travels to you all. I know you are anxious to get home and show off the newest addition! Congratulations again. It's been fun keeping up with your trip!

HK Muse said...

Good-bye, for now! I will miss you being on this side, even if I don't get to see you...
Take care on the plane, I hope you have some snacks.
I know you can't wait to get home and officially add Juna to your family. I cannot wait to hear about how she interacts with her sisters.
Congrats on your beautiful baby girl!
You will be missed!

laura said...

Have a great trip and of course travel safe!!!

We will look forward to seeing you in all in August.

i have to say that i am even more excited about the direct flight to Beijing from DC now after hearing about your flight plan. Our agenecy goes to Beijing and they just added a direct out of DC you can be sure when our turn comes that's what we will do.

I think you said it best when you said it was a trip of a life time after reading your posts daily that is sure what it sounds like to me.

See you in St Louis...

Katie said...

Boo hoo - I remember being sad and excited to get home at the same time too. Sad to leave Sofie's homeland behind and for our trip to end, excited to start our lives as a family. Excited also to get home to my own bed, water, etc... BUT DREADING THE FLIGHT. The flight was really not too too awful - just sucked a bit. Good luck - see you on the other side!

J said...

Post from a random stranger...I've been reading your blog every day since before you left for China, and first of all, I have to say your Juna is lovely. I also wanted to let you know that I have really appreciated all the detail you provide, and your enthusiasm for getting to know China. I think I'm the same kind of traveler, and reading this has made me more excited than ever to get there. Bon voyage, and thanks for your wonderful blog!

Anonymous said...

I will think about you today. And I'll be so happy when I read you are home. Love to all from Red!