Tuesday, March 2, 2010

I Do Solemnly Swear…

At 2:30 today, we loaded onto a bus with droves of other adoptive families for the 25 minute drive to the U.S. Consulate. The security was much like that at an airport. We’re getting used to the hot, sticky conditions inside buildings…like you can feel the moisture in your clothing even before you break a sweat. This waiting room was no exception.

“The parents of Guan Man Li, Window 22”. We approached, signed documentation and took our seats again with the others. Twenty minutes later, a sweet young lady came out, explained a few things and then issued the oath to the entire group at once. I’d be straight-up lying if I told you we didn’t get a bit choked up. It is a mixture of emotions. As delighted as I am to have the last of four years of paperwork finally behind us, to have Ella Man Li one step closer to being a U.S. Citizen, she is losing everything she has ever known.

If you don’t understand our mixture of melancholy, it’s OK. We’ve been away two weeks. You want us home. You want to see and touch your girl. But here, at Ground Zero so to speak, you can’t escape her loss and how it sneaks up on you, even at the U.S. Consulate.

With the exception of this excursion, we took it very, very easy today. In fact, Ella and Larry are on nap #2 of the day. Rough going for Larry the last 24 hours, but I think he’s on the upswing. Ella and I spent the morning strolling (and shopping) on Shamian Island giving Larry the room to sleep.

Tomorrow, Peter will deliver Ella’s passport with visa to us. Once that is in our hot little hands, all is complete. You’ll hear us cheering shouts of thanksgiving about 3-4 am your time!

Until then…H, L & E

PS No photos allowed at the Consulate. So, a few random pictures from last night and today, including Ella and Larry with their latest purchase. Watch out Augsburg …drumming China style?


  1. A true Roller Coaster Ride. Love Dad

  2. HB & Larry,
    I just read & watched the videos! How happy you guys are, it made my heart sing. And what special moments you are sharing & will be able to share with Ella when she is older. God bless you!
    Karen G

  3. Hi guys-

    Sorry Larry has been not feeling great. I hope that's just about gone by now. Congrats on completing the Consulate part...I SOOOOOOOO know what you mean about the mixed emotions when everything becomes so final. The losses that our kids must withstand in order for us to become family is just gut wrenching when you think about it. I know you will never, ever forget, and that is a blessing. I love seeing the pictures of your gorgeous girl...can't wait to meet her in person, but especially to see you two as parents!

    My love~

  4. I understand you feelings. I had them a lot too when we left Vietnam with our Jammer almost 3 years ago and I know that it will be the same this time. But the good always outweighs the sad. Safe travels home.