Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Last Day in China

Today is our last day in China. It's hard to imagine that we may never see this place ever again. We've talked about doing a "heritage tour" someday. But that's many years in the future. And who knows what tomorrow will bring? It's quite possible that circumstances won't allow another journey like we took these last two weeks.

But this one was wonderful, exhausting, joyful, frustrating, exhilarating, and emotional all at the same time. I remember feeling the same things when we traveled to receive Lily.

This morning Aidan and I went to the Guangzhou Zoo with the Newell family. Jan didn't go since she wasn't feeling well. That's the crew below among the crowd of school children gathered to see the aquatics show. You'd have thought we were celebrities, with all the school children's eyes brightening while waving and shouting, "Hello! Hello!"

We didn't have much time to see the whole zoo, but we did make sure to visit the Panda exhibit. Below is a red panda. There were several walking around in their pen. We were disappointed, however, with the other panda exhibit. As you can see, he was lying down behind bars, looking rather forlorn.

The elephants, on the other hand, were out in full force. I managed to get a nice shot of this beast.

Aidan fell asleep on the way out. He seemed to enjoy seeing all the animals. He sat very still at the aquatics show. But this trip, I'm sure, has been exhausting for him, too.

After lunch, we had our famous "red couch" photos at the White Swan. All the adopting families and travel groups have their pictures taken here before they go to the consulate to receive the visas for their children.

And we kept our custom of dressing our child in overalls. Back when we adopted Lily, no one told us it was a custom to dress your child in traditional Chinese garb. So, we dressed Lily in overalls. It's become a running joke in our family about poor "Farmer Lily." We certainly couldn't break tradition and dress Aidan in something else.

Therefore, I present to you "Farmer Aidan."
Here is a shot of me, Aidan, and Shiyan Zeng, our facilitator for Bethany in China.

And here is a picture of all the families who eventually arrived in Guangzhou from all the various provinces.

Not long after this, we headed to the US consulate, received our child's visas, and had them sworn in as US citizens (except for those of us who came without our spouse...until we "re-adopt" them in the states, our children are considered "resident aliens"). It's quite an emotional moment when you walk in and see the American flag. It's hard to hold back the tears. It's even harder when you realize the magnitude of the moment...that your child is finally coming home and your life will never be the same.
I need to go to bed. It's approaching 10 pm on Tuesday night and we have to be on the bus and ready roll at 6 am. We'll see you all on the other side of the pond. Keep checking back. We'll continue to update you on Aidan's progress, our family adjustments, and his surgeries when they happen.

1 comment:

monica said...

Kurt, I've been following your fantastic journey with her precious new son, Aidan, and I just want to say how wonderful and amazing it is that you have done this without your wife and daughter by your side. I can't wait to see the next update of you and Aidan, home at last. GREAT JOB. Monica (mom to Jasmine, 20 months old)