Guangzhou has been such a different experience than Nanning. The city itself is modern and more westernized. It is densely populated registering as China’s third largest city. It’s a busy metropolis focused on international commerce. Likewise, much of our stay in Guangzhou has been focused on business-the business of completing the adoption process. We have made numerous treks to the Chinese Immigration Office and US Consulate for Eden’s physical exams, to submit final papers and to apply for Eden’s visa.
One thing that has made these trips more enjoyable is traveling with the other families who are adopting through Holt. There are a total of nineteen families in our group. This unusually large number of people originate from Alaska, Maine, New Jersey, Kansas, Louisiana, Nebraska, Florida, South Dakota, New Jersey, North Carolina and California. While all of us spent less than a week together, we still shared something significant as we expanded our families through adoption all at the same time. I have enjoyed getting to know many of the families and hearing their stories. I think all of us have adopted children with special needs and most are believers in Christ. It is encouraging to know that the Father’s heart of adoption is moving through the hearts of his people everywhere.
I leave Guangzhou with mixed feelings. I am definitely ready to come home. I miss my house. I miss driving on open roads. I miss my church. I miss carne asada. I know “real life” does not actually begin for our newly formed family until we return to Chino Hills and I am ready to start. At the same time, I am somewhat sad to leaving the country where my daughter was born. I have a greater appreciation and respect for the Chinese culture, history and people. Coming home, I also have a greater heart for the immigrants in my neighborhood.
At this point, I am rambling. It is midnight, Thursday, July 12. After all is said and done, Eden passed her physical exams, we have all the necessary paper work in order and her visa has been issued. Shortly, we will be departing Guangzhou and arriving at LAX, July 12, 3:50pm (PST). We look forward to seeing many of you at the airport and it will be my pleasure to introduce you to Eden Joy Meng Shan Hori for the very first time. See you soon!