This morning reminded me of watching fireworks. Seeing the joy in my children's eyes, especially during the grand finale when LOTS of fireworks are shot off at once to create an amazing spectacle in the sky, is priceless! A lot of work is done behind the scenes to put on a show for all to enjoy.
So how does this relate to my morning in China? Well let me just tell ya!
It has been 16 1/2 months since we sent in our application to Lifeline Children's Services to adopt a little girl from China. If I wrote down all the details of this journey from a paperwork standpoint, this blog would be VERY long (but if interested, you can get a feel for the all the paperwork and appointments and other necessary steps we had to do by looking at the "Timeline" on the left side of the page).
Anyways...today felt like "The Grand Finale" to this part of the journey because we finally got to go to the U.S. Consulate office in Guangzhou, China. Why is this so important, so grand? Because it is the final step in all the paperwork/appointments/steps we've had to take in order to bring our daughter home. She was issued a Chinese passport and will be given a visa to fly home to America in three days.
We had to go through strict security to enter the U.S. Consulate and once inside, we went to a specific area for adoption and took a number. After waiting for a short while (I have no idea how long because we weren't allowed to wear watches into the building...I felt naked!), a man who spoke English called everyone in our group to stand, raise our right hand, and take an oath, stating that everything in our documents is true and accurate. It wasn't an elaborate or emotional moment, very matter of fact. But in my heart, I was thrilled to raise my hand and recite the words of the oath because I'd worked very hard on ALL these documents over the past 16+ months.
Then when my number was called, I went to a desk where another English-speaking man took all my documents to review. My heart was pounding as I held my sweet Jenna in my arms and handed these documents over to a complete stranger but one who held so much power. Thankfully, I have faith in The One with ALL POWER and I knew He was there with me.
As this man inspected all my documents and slowly put the completed ones in a pile, I breathed a sigh of relief. No errors. Nothing incorrect. No problems. Praise the Lord!!! Finally, this man handed me the paperwork I needed to leave the Consulate and with joy and gratitude in my heart, I gave Jenna a big squeeze as I held her in my arms and I thanked the man behind the counter for all his work to help make this happen.
The Grand Finale! But in reality, this is only the beginning...