Monday, January 3, 2011

Oath taking ceremony (Wednesday, September 15)

At the oath taking ceremony given at the US consulate to get Micaelyn and Joshua's visas they read off a list of all kids with birthdays in September.  Then they pointed Joshua out as being extra special for having just turned 14 and told everyone how significant that was, that at 14 children in China can no longer be adopted so we had barely gotten him in time.  We couldn't take cameras into the consulate, but here is a picture of Micaelyn at the hotel before we left (obviously I have no picture of Joshua since he hates getting his picture made).
Later that evening our group went on the "Pearl River Cruise." I think Pearl River Torture Trip would have been a more appropriate title. The trip started with us being crammed extremely tightly into a hot room for awhile before boarding the boat, not a good situation when you have 4 kids with you. Once we got on the boat we picked outside tables, but then we were told the seating was assigned and we would have to sit inside with the rest of the group (there were others from our group who had also sat outside). The room inside where we were supposed to sit was far too small for so many people. To say we were crammed in was a major understatement. The kids were whining a great deal about it, and Joshua seemed to wonder what on earth we were doing this for. Our agency had ordered pizzas for us, but ours ended up all wrong. Aside from the toppings it had thin crust instead of the original crust, so it wasn't very filling. With the thin crust it was no where near enough for our large family. The worst part about that was how much we paid for it in comparison to the really good pizzas we had gotten at Pizza Hut near our hotel. To make matters worse the boat served some sort of hot beverage for the drink (coffee or hot chocolate maybe, we didn't try it). So there we were crammed into a hot room, the kids were whining, we were all burning up, thirsty, uncomfortable, and unhappy (miserable might be a more accurate description). As soon as we swallowed down the pizza we went outside where we spent the rest of the trip. There was little room where we stood along the walkway that led around the boat. The wall around it was too high for the kids to see out so they looked out the opening, which meant we had to be super vigilant with them for safety reasons. I ended up getting shocked by some florescent lights on the boat (that hurt A LOT!). The younger kids were all crying to go back to the hotel, and Joshua looked sick. The best thing I have to say about the Pearl River Cruise is that it ended (and it wasn't just us that felt that way - our agency representatives were apologizing profusely on the way back).
The tight walkway where we stood for what seemed like forever.  You can see why I said we had to be so vigilant with the little ones as they could have easily fallen through the bars in the opening they were looking through.  We wouldn't even let Malachi near it throughout most of the trip (he has no understanding of danger and no concept of being careful).  The kids were NOT happy about the trip!
Micaelyn fell asleep walking back to our hotel.

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