Thursday, November 20, 2014

Looking Back: Consulate Appointment & Some SUPER cute pictures!

One year ago today (these are some of my favorite pictures of her!):

 Consulate Appointment...So Close to the Finish Line!

We had our Consulate Appointment this morning.  We weren't allowed to bring in anything with us into the Consulate Building except a few baby supplies in a clear bag.  No watches, no cameras.  Wish we could have taken a picture to document the occasion.  Inside, we took an oath as a group with other adoptive families.  Basically we had to promise that our paperwork is true and that we've held up our end of the bargain for Maggie's citizenship.  Then we had to complete an "interview", which was basically the handing over of paperwork.  It's the last step to get her Visa tomorrow so we can go home!  Our whole trip was planned around this appointment, so it feels pretty good to have this behind us.

We also went to the pearl market today and got a pearl necklace for both Allie and Maggie.  Pearls here are about the third of the cost of what we'd pay in the states. They typically give them to girls on their 16th birthday, so we thought this would be a neat thing for them both.

Both those outings took place before lunch, so we were all fried by the time we got back.  Thankfully we had the rest of the day free, so we were able to nap and get rested.

This afternoon we walked around the outdoor garden/waterfall area here on the 4th floor of our hotel, then went over to the outdoor pool area. We didn't swim, although we could have. It's in the 70s here and the pool water was very warm.  We hung on the pool deck for quite a while.  Maggie got down and crawled around and had the best time.  It was the longest she had played on her own, and she ventured all around and got dirty and had the best time.  So good to watch her play out in the fresh air versus being cooped up in her crib inside the orphanage.

She was happy yet again today.  Playing more, crying less and getting braver.  She also discovered she likes yogurt.  She had a little of mine at breakfast, then had a whole container of her own tonight!  I think after watching us eat she decided to give it a try. She's still trying to figure out how to do it; her tongue pushes a lot of it back out her mouth.  Then a good amount of it comes back out her nose due to her open palate. It's unbelievably messy and pretty funny.  She doesn't care, she just licks it off her face as it drips back down into her mouth!  We're going to go thru a  lot of bibs and burp clothes at our house cleaning up after this girl as she eats.  I'm so excited she finally ate real food!  She was pretty excited herself.

She also enjoyed her bath tonight instead of crying thru it.  I'm curious to see how she does once we're home. I think she has settled down into our routine here of hotel living, bus and cab rides, and being the center of attention.  As much as we've enjoyed our time bonding with her, and this hotel is amazing, we're ready to move on and start the process of getting home.

Tomorrow (Thursday) is our last day here!  We're basically waiting for our Visa's to come in. We need to start finding a way to get everything to fit into our suitcases!

Friday is travel day.  It will take us about 24 hours to get home, starting at 5am Friday morning.  Here's what getting home will entail:

4 hour bus ride to Hong Kong airport
14 hour 40 minute flight into Chicago
3.5 hour layover
1 hour flight home

Two other families in our group will also be on the long flight home with us.  I can't imagine how we're going to survive it, it seems like such a huge mountain to climb. The flight here seemed like it took days; now we have to do it with a baby. We didn't get her a seat, but we're hoping to make use of a plane bassinet, if she'll sleep in it.  She likes to be on the move, so being stuck in the same seats for that long isn't going to go over well.  We appreciate any prayers sent our way for smooth travels and for safe and on time flights!  I'm literally counting down until I can see all my babies again, so I need flights to be on time!

It's also a little bittersweet as we prepare to leave her birth country.  We're leaving behind all the sights,  smells and culture that she's accustomed to.  We're leaving behind her birth mom, wherever she is.  I can't imagine what she has been thru and we pray for peace for her.  We would love for one day to be able to know her.  We're so thankful for her bravery.

Another bottle and another cab ride.

Didn't love the swing so much.

Taking in the sights.
 Bubbles in the face!

Yummy toes.

Just sweet.
 The rooftop garden at our hotel with waterfall in the back.

Rooftop pool.

Just chillin.
 Silly time with Daddy.

The little yellow ring is her favorite toy.

Love this little face.


Where there is Maggie... there is drool.  Lots of it.

See my favorite toy?
 I'm so happy to be outside!

On the move.
Little ham.

Whole lot of personality in a tny little body.

She gives kisses with her tongue. :)
Snuggled up after bathtime.
My boys!!!! Can't wait to see these faces in person!!!!
 My big girl. So ready to get home to her!

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