Day 9: consulate appointment and more exploring

We had to get up pretty early today, it was still dark outside. It was nice to have the breakfast buffet to ourselves, no crying toddlers today!

XiXi and I got all prettied up. XiXi loved her red, white and blue sundress that gramma picked. This was the dress Finnley wore to her consulate appointment, too. Since we knew it would be chilly gramma also got her the little jacket and we paired it up with white tights.


The driver picked us up and took us to the consulate. Our guide walked us through the process in advance since he is not allowed into the consulate with us. He said sometimes they ask the older children questions during the immigrant interview but told her not to worry. We went inside and entered with another family from PA, on their 10th adoption. They were super nice. We joked that they were Haines and we were Gaines.

Inside we had to take a number and wait to be called up to a window. We got called to window number 8 and I joked with the girl behind the window about 8 being a very lucky number and she laughed. Her job is to check that all of our paperwork is in order and then send us back to our seats to wait for the interview.

XiXi saw the man behind the interview window and looked very nervous. He called us up and he was very nice. He tried to ask XiXi some questions but she would not answer. We proceeded with other items and then he wanted to try speaking with her again and I smiled and rubbed her back and told her it was okay. She then answered his questions with nods or soft utterances. I was very proud of her. I know that the intention of the interview is to ensure everything matches her paperwork and helps to prevent child trafficking. It was just sad to see her obviously nervous. After the interview, we were able to leave immediately. The other family kindly waited for us and we walked out together to meet our guides. XiXi remained quiet the entire ride home.

When we walked into the hotel room it was like a weight was lifted off her shoulders and she was back to her cheerful self.

We had a quiet few hours at the hotel and then decided to spend some more time outside. There is an even bigger park on the other side of the hotel but the intersection is so large that there is no crossing. Instead, we had to use the subway tunnels to get from one side to the other. We got it right the first time and made it into Yuexui Park.

Entering the park we were greeted by a large installation that had been put up for the coming Chinese New Year. It was so colorful!

I thought it was really cool that they decorated the entrance so elaborately. But a little ways into the park revealed that it was much more than the entrance. There were similar installations every 100 meters or so. Some were still in the process of being put up (Chinese New Year is still 10 days away). We could see they are made to light up at night — that would be cool to see!



Landscaping crews were bringing in truckloads of potted plants to line the streets — crysanthemums, marigolds, begonias and even poinsettias were being set out.

Giant orange trees in pots were being placed around the park, as well. We had seen a few on Shamian Island yesterday and our guide says that by Chinese New Year these will be everywhere.

Clearly, everyone gets into the holiday as the walkways were lined with handmade lanterns. Each lantern had its own unique theme and look like they have been made by schoolchildren.

Even though the park was busy, it felt peaceful with all the beautiful sights and the calm Chinese folk music played on speakers throughout the park.

I could tell XiXi was getting tired so we headed back and made a stop at our usual 7-11. Once we had our bag of goodies, with ice cream, she seemed to pick up her step to get back to the room quickly.

This is our last sleep in Guangzhou. Barring any delays, we will have XiXi’s visa tomorrow afternoon and will take a car into Hong Kong and stay one night there to take the Wednesday flight out of Hong Kong back to the states.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Debbie Sauer
    Feb 09, 2015 @ 13:22:25

    She looks beautiful and so happy! Blessings


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