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!