The adoption process in country has a few steps.
Step 1. Gotcha Day- the day you finally get your kiddo. The province gives you a 24 hour period to take them, spend time with them, & decide if you are willing to proceed with the adoption.
Step 2. Adoption Day aka Forever Family Day- This is the very next day. After the 24 hour period you go right back to the building you got them in. They ask you odd questions like "Why do you want to adopt from China?", "Do you find this child satisfactory?", and most importantly, "Do you want to proceed with the adoption of this child?"
Step 3. Apply for Passport- this happens in your child's home province (We'd call it a state here). The child takes pictures and you apply for a passport. The child is not allowed to move on to the US Consulate application for visa without a passport. We paid an express processing fee, so that we applied for it on Weds & received it on Friday since his US Consulate appt was early the next week.
Step 4. Complete Medical Physical in Guangzhou- This is required for all people applying for a visa from the United States. For adoptive children there's a special area for them to complete their physical exam & bloodwork. A tuberculosis test is completed via blood test and if it comes back positive, they are required to come back in for an x-ray. Chengbin's was negative.
Step 5. Apply for visa to US- The only US Consulate that processes adoptive families in China is in Guangzhou. Once the medical information is approved, the family attends an appointment at the US Consulate. During this appt, the family takes an oath and the child is issued an entry visa in the Chinese passport. The family is also given a packet of paperwork that allows the child to become a US Citizen upon arrival in the US if both parents have traveled.
Step 6. Process citizenship at first US airport.- Self explanatory I'm sure!
So we had completed the first four steps Monday- Thursday and our next obligation was on Monday, the US Consulate appointment.
This was a free day from our agency's guide as well, so we were free to explore on our own. We thought this would be a great day for some shopping and ventured out with Ann from
http://redthreadchina.com/ to do some jade shopping, pearl market, and get some inexpensive Chinese silks for the kids and family. We also knew it was going to rain, A LOT, so we grabbed our umbrellas and headed out for the day!!
Chengbin enjoyed looking at all of them, but he kept mixing them. He hated getting in trouble for mixing them and Miss Ann was quick to warn him to stop. LOL
We picked out quite a few jade circles for friends & family, then Miss Ann and the shopkeeper put them on necklaces for us.
Once all our necklaces were made we headed to the Pearl market...
Miss Ann took us to a shop in the middle of the Pearl district and began showing us all our options. Telling us the price they would be for the string and how many necklaces or bracelets we could get out of it... She would tell us how much they would sell for in the US as well and we bought close to $1000 worth of pearls for around $110. Plus we got to pick them all ourselves which was very fun to me and Katie. Maybe not to Matt & Chengbin though... They ended up going for a walk while our pearls were prepared.
This shopping center was huge and filled with tiny shops holding endless treasures!! We probably could have stayed all day shopping, but Miss Ann is a woman on a mission!! ;)
We did stop and get Kate a cute China girl carved in wood, some Lilo & Stich playing cards, and got some chopsticks for both kids before heading over to the silks store.
I didn't get any pictures in the silks shop. It was small and filled with silks. One of my favorite memories of this day is how Chengbin's little face lit up when we went into the silk shop!! He was SO excited and told Miss Ann how much he wanted one. She assured him that we were there to buy him a couple outfits. So we went through all the outfits and he found one and quickly told her something in Chinese. She laughed, looked over at me, and told me "He just told me, 'I want that exact one.'" So we got him "that exact one" and some for the family then hopped another taxi back to the Garden.
The kids were so excited about their silks that Mommy convinced them to do an impromptu photo shoot in the room since it was raining outside!
When this little guy was in a mood, he was in a MOOD!! The kind of mood that is ugly and makes you want to bop him upside the head. (Of course, we didn't!) But man, he was difficult and exhausting. We needed the happy moments to give us hope!! Hope that one day there would be less of this nasty, moody, exhausting child and more of this happy one that we were starting to get peaks of...
And after heading out for food, little mister exhausted fell asleep with Baba carrying him back to the hotel..
And peed on him!! LOL
Thanks for reminiscing with us,
Fannie, Matt, Katie, & Chengbin