This morning we had an extra early start and were the first to breakfast around here...right when the doors opened at 6! We met our guide an hour and a half later to head to the US Consulate here in Guangzhou where we applied in person for Ailee James' visa to come to America.
It's quite humbling to go there and see the massive line of people just hoping for a chance to come to the US. Some wait all day to even get a chance to apply to come...and some may wait all day and never get to an officer and may have to come back again and again. The line for American citizens, however, is quite short and we walked past the Chinese hoping for a shot of the American dream and right into the Embassy. The Stars & Stripes were flying at half staff and Wyatt asked me why...honoring the lovely Barbara Bush. Such an incredible moment to see the flag flying on the other side of the world for the only First Lady that I've ever had the pleasure of meeting. She was so genuine and compassionate and seeing her honored here was a precious gift.
After a quick security check, we made our way up the the adoptions line and got our ticket to apply for AJ's visa. We were with 6 others families. We went up one by one and gave them all our paperwork...from the fingerprinting notice we had done this past January to the Dept of State forms I've completed online to the medical appointment information from this past Friday to the passport we just received last week in her province. The officer then called all parents to come up and take an oath. Then we were called up one by one again this time to confirm our fingerprints match the ones we gave in Charleston at USCIS and get instructions for picking up her visa on Wednesday. The immigration officer was just adorable! She was fairly young and upbeat...truly taking joy in her job of helping these one time orphans come home. She immediately called Ailee James by her new, American name & said "Oh my goodness! Is that a monogram???" I knew I was in good company that very moment! ;)
She then proceeded to go over a few more things with me & asked me a few questions...and then said Congratulations! Ailee James said "Thank you! Buh-Bye!"
This busy little monkey is talking nonstop! She's picking up on English left and right and still speaking full sentences in Mandarin to anyone. Many people have commented on how smart she is and how well adjusted she seems already. Trust me, we have our moments! The communication is definitely still a barrier and she's testing her boundaries with me nonstop. But, the world has literally just fallen into her hands and she's doing an amazing job working through so much hard. She gave me a little run for my money at breakfast when she stuffed pancake up her nose! I've never had a kid do that! Thankfully, she knows how to blow her nose and we were able to get it all out...oh my! I've already told Scott he needs to install a baby gate at home ASAP!
So thankful to have this giant step done! Now we are just in the waiting game until we pick it up on Wednesday around midday and fly out first thing Thursday morning! Wyatt and I have one more park we want to venture to later today and some swimming to do tomorrow...AJ adores bath time so I'm hoping the pool goes well, too! The mosquito bite on her eye has gotten better today too so that's a huge praise! Here's our little baby bookend in Red, White & Blue...monogram, hair bow & all! :)