Wednesday, November 08, 2006

A Bittersweet Ending to a Happy New Beginning
Leaving China tomorrow will be bittersweet. We will miss the friends we've made and the people of China who have been so helpful. We will miss our guides who made this trip so easy for us. We'll miss the sites and sounds that are familiar to Grace. And we'll be taking Grace so far from her homeland.

But as our trip comes to an end, a new beginning is in store for us. Grace will have a whole new life with a family that wants her, needs her and loves her. We will be blessed with another daughter to fill our lives with joy. We'll become full-time parents who'll enjoy all the wonderful moments that children bring to our lives. We can't wait. And though we're sad to leave our friends, we know that we'll see most of them again at a reunion or maybe on vacation. Whatever happens, we'll keep in touch and share stories of the girls as they grow.

And we look forward to seeing all of our family and our old friends who have been with us during this whole journey. We look forward to introducing Grace to the people and places we love. We look forward to the upcoming holidays and the difference Grace will make in our lives.

Tonight we spent our last night with Lori and Scott from Detroit and Glen and Rhonda. We ate at our favorite spot again - the riverside barbeque. As usual we enjoyed the conversation and fellowship with our new friends. We will truly miss them.

This experience has been nothing short of amazing. If any of you who read this have considered adopting, I say go for it. It will change your lives and give you experiences you've never imagined.

On a lighter note, I have to tell you about the shopowners in Guangzhou. They literally track you down and drag you (not really phyically, but mentally) into their stores. Then they follow you around and watch your every move and say "how about this or how about that". It's really funny. And they even learn your name and call it out every day they see you. We met a girl name Lucy who runs Lucy's. Every time we walked by she would say "Hey Steve! How are you?!" It was really funny. And I had a great time bargaining with them. The only thing we didn't like is that almost every single one of them felt the need to touch Grace's cheeks. Stop touching my baby!

Today we went to the American Consulate to get Grace's Visa to get into the US. We were there with about 50 other families. We all stood and said an oath that we promised that all the information we put down was true to the best of our knowledge. It was interesting.

Last night we had a group dinner with all the CHI families. We ate Dim Sum but it was kind of the American version. It was very good and we had a great time. We ate with Cindy, Jim and Abby who are from Warrenton. We plan on staying in touch and planning some outings with the girls. Abby and Grace are from the same city - YunMeng.

Can't wait to get home!!

One more picture from the red couch - this group is the five girls from Yunmeng.

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