Wednesday, August 19, 2009

On her way to becoming a United States Citizen

Michael, Bella and now I am getting a very bad head cold. Michael is feeling a little better. I am starting to get the same symptoms and Bella’s fever is back. We are hoping and praying that we all get over the worst of it before we hop on the plane for the long flight home on Friday.
We got the rest of our shopping done today. There is a store here that sells items to benefit a specific orphanage and the items they sold were so unique and priceless. The store was started by an adoptive family and has sponsored many kids to get the medical procedures that they need. We met one of the families here that have adopted a child that this organization helped. We also went to a store that another family in our group told us about. The owner was such a blessing to meet. She asked us if we were Christians. We told her we were and the light went on in her eyes. She became so excited and showed me her Bible. Her Bible was in Chinese and has been read often (I could tell). She told us she had been a Christian for 5 years. China is a country whose official religion is atheism, but Maoism is probably the most practiced religion. She really helped me see how rare it is here. We take being a Christian, freely to be a Christian for granted. I can only hope that others will see the same light in my eyes as she has in hers.
This afternoon we did the famous Red Couch pictures with all of the new adopted kids and then with our whole group.

This is Bella in her silk dress.

These are all the kids from the provinces other than Beijing.

This is a picture of all the kids from the Beijing orphanage.

This is a picture of all the moms and their children in our group.

After the picture we went to the U.S. Consulate’s office to take the oath that the information we provided in our adoption paperwork is true. We received Isabella’s Visa to enter the United States. The director at the Consulate’s office was so sweet and she was truly thankful that we were all there adopting these children. We all raised our right hands and gave the oath … I became emotional, which I was not expecting. Isabella, on the other hand, slept through the whole thing. This was the last thing we had to do in China for Bella to be able to come home with us. Once we land in Detroit on U.S. soil and get her Visa stamped, Isabella will be a United States Citizen.
This will probably be the last post until after we are home. We leave for Shanghai tomorrow and then leave from there to Detroit early the next morning. We have several hours in Detroit and then will fly into Cincinnati shortly after 4 p.m. Friday afternoon. Family and friends are welcome to meet us at the airport. We are so excited and ready to be back home with our boys and for them to meet their sister. We are excited for family and friends to meet the newest Garland. There are other things we are excited for … sleeping together in our soft big bed (instead of sleeping in small twin beds), home cooked meals, to drink water out of the tap, to be able to brush our teeth using tap water, ice, salad, blue skies, fresh air and hugs from 2 little boys! We will miss all of our life long friends that we have met and shared this journey with, but we are so excited to come home. Thank you for all of your prayers and support while we have been on this journey. We have been truly blessed by all of the love from our family and friends. Please pray for safe travels, minimal jet lag, and health. USA … here we come!


  1. You'll be home before you know it! Safe travels!
    I remember "Judy" (I think her name was) who showed us the Bible. We bought a good amount from her. We treasure everything we bought and at times, wish we had bought more since it truly was a trip of a lifetime.
    We'll be praying for your safe return.

  2. Congratulations to all of you! God has truly blessed your family. I wish you all a safe trip.
    Get well soon, too!
    You are a wonderful family!
    Marilyn Craig

  3. We will be praying for all of you to feel better. I'm sure this was an emotional day. I am sooo excited to meet Bella. She looks adorable in her silk dress. We will be praying for safe, healthy travels. It is so awesome the way that God has blessed you guys in so many ways and it is awesome to see what great examples you both are. We love you all and can't wait to see you all Friday!!!!!
    The Milton's

  4. I knew you would be able to find a purple silk dress for her! LOVE IT!!! Cutest one on the couch by far!!!
    Praying you all feel better and have a safe and super fast trip home. Can't wait to see you guys on FRIDAY! Two Days!!! Love you!

    P.S. I have totally seen that light in your eyes!!!

  5. Looking forward to seeing you and meeting Bella. We pray for safe travel for you all.

    Bill and Nancy

  6. What a pretty Chinese American Chinese doll :) She is so much like her mommy already...just look at all of that purple! We will be praying for your health and safe,quick travel. YOUR BRINGING YOUR LITTLE GIRL HOME!!!!! WOOOOO HOOOOOOO!!!! We love you! Tiffany, Jeremy, and Addy (the younger but perhaps not smaller cousin:)

  7. I admit I FINALLY teared up .... "Once we land in Detroit on US soil and get her Visa stamped, Isabella will be a United States Citizen!" My, how we take this country for granted... be safe and remember we love you! God bless you all! You are headed home...and that will make you feel much better soon! Nance

  8. Dear Garlands,

    I've been following your blogs through your journey, and cry each day but today was so exciting and joyful. I lift you all in prayer for renewed health, to be a healthy family again! God is writing such an awesome story with you, can't wait to see you and meet your daughter and have you back in your church family again! Hugs, Marsha Hoffman

  9. Just getting caught up on everything. I'm so excited for you guys to get back. I hope that I can get down to meet her soon. Safe travels!! J-Mac