On our third day in Guangzhou we took an optional trip to the Pearl Market. The Pearl Market is a 7 story "mall" of jewelry! Within the mall are separate stores all pretty much selling the same thing - beads, pearls and jewelry. Luckily our CCAI Reps were there to help! They expertly led us through the mall to their favorite shop.
Faith loved all of the jewelry! She oohed and ahhed and pointed. She also loved the 7 sets of escalators we had to take to get there! She giggled each time we rode an elevator up or down. Such fun!
We ended up buying pearl earrings for each of our nieces and Byron bought a necklace and a bracelet for me! Then on Christmas he gave me some earrings he had secretly bought there while I was busy entertaining Faith. By the market was a silk shop and we bought Christmas presents for our parents, aunts, uncles and siblings.
That afternoon we had to wait in our hotel room to hear if Faith would have to go back to the clinic for a chest X-Ray (if her TB test came back positive).
While waiting to hear, Faith took a nap and Byron and I were able to reflect on the support of everyone along the way. Our small group had sent us with cards to open every few days and my mom had sent cards to open every few days, so between those, we had one or more cards of encouragement everyday we were in China! Let me tell you, there were days we really needed that sweet word! These cards were such a joy - and they decorated each hotel room we lived in quite nicely!!
At around 4:00 that afternoon we got word that Faith's TB test came back negative! Yay!! That evening our group met in the lobby of our hotel and walked in the cold rain to dinner at the Macau Street Restaurant nearby the hotel. It was so good - maybe my favorite dinner in Guangzhou. The pork chops were my favorite!
Day 4 in Guangzhou was a BIG day for all of us!! It was our visa appointments with the US Consulate! We had to take our passports, but no bags, no cellphones, nothing else! Byron forgot, and had his cellphone in his pocket. I am kind of glad, though, because we were able to snap a quick iPhone picture outside of the Consulate Office!
The Visa Appointment was quick and painless. We filed past security guards and into a sterile room with rows of chairs. We each took a number and then waited. After awhile a group of numbers were called up together. We stood around an officer who had us pledge on behalf of our children (I can't even remember what we said except our own names). Then we sat down and waited for our number to be called again for our interview. Our number was called, we were asked a few questions, then we were free to go.
For lunch we ate a place called The Coffee Club that had sandwiches and "western" food. It was very good! I had a "Spider" with my sandwich - which was a fun name for a coke float! We did some shopping at a wholesale market and got some beautiful silk dresses for the girls and Christmas presents for the nephews.
That afternoon we had to wake Faith up from her nap for group pictures. We sincerely had the most awesome travel group ever! There were 10 families in all that traveled together from the US to China to adopt 11 children! WOW!! It was amazing to do this part of our life with these sweet people! We got close fast. Each of these families and their children will hold a special place in Byron and my heart for the rest of our lives.
We also got in a few family pictures....although, our family was missing 3 very important people.
You can tell Faith was woken from her nap - she was not happy about pictures!
The Visa appointment was done....that finished out all of our requirements for Faith's adoption. The only thing left was to wait for her Visa to be given back to us the next day!!! Then we would be able to take her to her new home and introduce her to her new family. We were getting very excited!