Today was the Consulate appointment, which is the last official step before we are allowed to return to the US with L in tow. We were ushered into the US Consulate, which is in a tall office building surrounded by coffee shops and travel agencies, with the main locators being several small signs and a metal detector. We joined about 30 other families in a large conference room, where we sat for about an hour waiting for the group oath to be taken. L ate a snack and practiced his new English words ("Hulooooow" and "Bye-bye bus!") while we waited, and then began to play in the small plastic house at the back of the room.
The adoption officer came into the room--or actually, spoke to us over a microphone from behind bulletproof glass--and explained the paperwork we need to enter the US, what the oath means, and next steps. We all stood up, raised our right hands, and essentially promised that the masses of paperwork we submitted is accurate and honest. Then each family was asked to come to a window--sort of like at a bank--and go over paperwork and discuss final details. This was the point where L completely lost it. I would guess that most families of toddlers avoid places like the DMV for hours on end, and we've been pretty much spending long periods of time in such places for the past 10 days, and he is just done-done-done. So in the process, he hit Cory and bit him on the shoulder, which are two behaviors we hadn't seen yet (he later checked Cory's shoulder, and kissed it). So Cory took him to the back of the room, and gave him some crackers, and he quieted down and fell asleep. The adoption officer helping me asked, "Can your husband handle this situation?" and I said, well, yeah. He said, in all earnestness, "I would NEVER be able to handle it. I would just leave it to my wife." I thought that was pretty funny and surprisingly honest.
But in the end we got through it fine, and I think this is the last of the big government buildings we will need to hang around at while we are here. Thank goodness for that.
Tomorrow we pick up L's visa, and other than that, we will just hang out, pack, go to the pool, and enjoy one more day here in Guangzhou.
One day and a wakeup, and we are on our way home.
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