Monday, September 16, 2013

Counting down

Today marks our last full day here in China, and as such... our last official appointment!  This morning we drove to the US Consulate to submit a handful of immigration-related documents (including the results from Little One's medical appointment and "bloody test" on Thursday-- she passed!).  Tomorrow, our guide Helen will return to the consulate to pick up Little One's Chinese passport, which will (by that time) be stamped with an American visa. A Chinese citizen today-- an American citizen at our first US port of entry on Wednesday!!

To celebrate, we started packing up our suit cases once we returned to the hotel :)  And as we placed our treasures inside, we chatted about what we've missed most from home.  In no particular order, though *well behind* the crew we left at home, here they are:
-- fellow English-speaking folks. We've been blessed with wonderful traveling companions, but we've also been fully surrounded by foreign dialects.  What a treat it will be to hear our native tongue-- everywhere-- once again!
-- potable tap water.  We've been brushing our teeth with bottled water. It didn't take long at all to realize that we've been taking our public utilities for granted!
-- chai tea and Dr. Pepper... our favorite comfort drinks.
-- our washing machine
-- "just being home"
-- Breyers ice cream
-- forks.  The guys have thoroughly enjoyed their chopsticks and have even become quite skilled with them; I, on the other hand, miss a traditional place setting.
[My eldest's goal-- to keep practicing once he gets home so he can enjoy Thanksgiving dinner with chopsticks alone.  We'll see.]
-- western toilets.  And toilet paper.  Thankfully, our hotel room is well-equipped with both, but most places around here are not.  So whenever we leave the hotel, we make sure to bring our tissues along, just in case...
-- American food. Chipotle specifically.  Not that we go that often-- just that we could if wanted to.
-- our normal routine.  And swim practice.
-- cooler temperatures and low-humidity days.  Thankfully, autumn is upon us-- we're returning home at my favorite time of year!
-- the fellowship of friends and family.  Special times-- even ordinary times-- are meant to be shared with loved ones, and we can't wait to share our new sweet pea with special folks.

And because I can't sign off without posting a few pics, here are a few more from the pool... our favorite hang-out on toasty afternoons.

Thank you, Lord~


Anonymous said...

Nokia, you are so handsome holding your little sis! Benvereen, I loved the one from days ago when you helped A.R. get acclimated to your world. Gentle princes, both of you! :) Aunt Leslie

Anonymous said...

I know you must be so thrilled to be heading home! I'm glad your appointments have gone well and so excited to see how your little one looks like she is happy and healthy. Have a safe trip!!!

Anonymous said...

AMEN , GOD is GOOD, no GREAT!!!! What a lifetime of memories and experiences for all! Sad we will miss our time together via skpe but it will be so much better in two days! Love the snapshots of A and her two big brothers!! Love to all, I'm sure L&N will be excited to see the pictures and read your message when they get up. Praying for some rain today, as well as you and safe travels! LOVE , LOVE , LOVE , LOVE, LOVE and HUGS GALORE for all.See you soon!

Anonymous said...

Praying safe travels for all!! Little One has 2 great big brothers to help her become comfortable with her new life here. Thank You God. Love & kisses to all. Gramoggie

Anonymous said...

We prayed for your safe and smooth trip home last night (your Wed. morn in China). Also prayed for rest so your reunion will be most joyful. One gal nailed it when she said it will be better than even a Christmas morning!!!

I just know you will all be BLESSED. I wish I could see your mom's and dad's & N's and L's faces when you arrive. But, of course you'll be in on the love not snapping away. So enjoy!!! And then could you pull out the camera once again?

We Hattons have thoroughly enjoyed your blog news and pics, dear sis. THANK YOU for posting them.

Love from us to all of you!

Kellie said...

I've been out of town this week, so I'm just getting caught up on all your posts. The pictures are all beautiful and I'm so excited for you. I hope the travels went well and that you all recover quickly from the trip. It can't be easy traveling from China and then adapting to a new (but wonderful) normal. I'll be praying for you!