Friday, June 8, 2012

Leaving Hangzhou!

We were able to pick up our documents from the notary yesterday. It is always interesting to see the way other countries prepare legal documents. Lauren’s birth certificate from Kazakhstan was sewn together instead of using staples. A seal was then glued over the thread on the back of the document. In China, books are created with the original documents, English translations, and multiple notaries. The pages are then stacked and glued together. It was nice to finally have the documents and know that we were one step closer to going home.

After we received the notaries, we got to take Michael to the Pagoda that overlooks the West Lake in Hangzhou. Hangzhou is hot and extremely humid and therefore it is very green and pretty. From the top of the pagoda, we could see all of West Lake and the city.

The pagoda had a pond that was full of turtles (“uguay”) and Michael was absolutely fascinated with them.

Our time at the pagoda was cut short as Michael got too hot and over stimulated with the large crowds and threw a very impressive temper tantrum. Man…that boy has some lungs!

Michael’s passport was ready today and we picked it up on our way to the airport. It took about 1 ½ hours to drive to the airport and we were quickly able to check in our luggage. We said “goodbye” to our fabulous facilitator and went to our gate. As the time came and went for us to board our flight to Guangzhou, we were told that the plane was delayed due to weather in Guangzhou. The previous three flights to Guangzhou that day had been cancelled. We started to panic as we really needed to get to Guangzhou today in order to have Michael’s medical ready for our Consulate appointment on Tuesday. The Lord blessed us and we were able to board the plane within an hour.

This was such an important day for Michael. He left the city that he has lived in for his entire life. He was a complete trooper on the plane and very much enjoyed the take off, landing and turbulence. We landed in Guangzhou a couple of hours later and our facilitator met us at the airport.

The White Swan Hotel is closed for renovation until 2014. This is the hotel that all the adoptive families used to stay at while in Guangzhou. The famous “Red Couch” (a couch where adopted children are photographed on) is at the White Swan and Mattel provides adoptive families with a Barbie and her little Chinese adopted baby girl. Since all United States families have to exit through the US Consulate located in Guangzhou, the hotel was always full with adoptive families and it was nice to be able to bond with them. So…we are sad that the White Swan is closed this year. However, we are at a very nice hotel in the city and we have already met a couple of other adoptive families here. There is an immediate bond when you meet other families who are going through this experience at the same time.

It is nice to be on the second big leg of our trip here in China. Although we absolutely love China, we are getting very anxious to be back home with our children. Tomorrow we will go to the medical clinic to have Michael’s medical exam for the Consulate.

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