April 8th: Today we were up at 7:15am. We used Skype to call our friends from Whitney Point. Their daughter Cari was determined that we should be able to talk even though we were in China.
We had breakfast in the revolving restaurant. Maria is doing much better with eating. She loves it--although she is still a messy one! The rest of the morning was filled with packing up and planning our overnight in Hong Kong. We had our luggage out at 2:30 and then met our group at 3:00.
From there we took a bus to the U.S. Consulate. The one U.S. thing we did and we were not allowed to take cameras inside. We went through a long line and then ending up in a type of holding room with at least 50 other families. They then had us all stand up and do a "swearing in ceremony" where we swore that our paperwork was accurate. Then they congratulated us on our adoptions and it was done. Gary got back to the bus in time to take a picture of Maria and Marsha outside the consulate at least.
We got back to the hotel at 5:00 where 7 of the families (including us) transferred to another bus for Hong Kong. That was not a fun trip!! We traveled until the China border checkpoint where all our luggage had to come off the bus and we had to go through security and customs and get our bags scanned. Someone was there to at least carry the big suitcases. Then we got back on the bus and traveled about one mile to Hong Kong where we had to get off the bus again. This time all the families were responsible to carry their own luggage plus carry-ons. We were a sight to see! Macella carried a backpack & suitcase, Kirstie carried a backpack & suitcase, Marsha carried a backpack, pushed Maria in her stroller, and pulled a suitcase, and Gary carried a backpack and pulled 2 suitcases. We carried all our stuff through more security and checkpoints. Then we put it all back onto the bus again. We finally made it to the hotel in Hong Kong at 9:30 at night!!
Between the two buses we had not stopped for dinner or the bathroom since 3pm in the afternoon until we made it to the hotel. It's a good thing we had packed snacks:) Gary ended up ordering pizza through room service at 10pm, so that's when we finally got dinner. They gave us a bed and a cot. Apparently only 3 people are allowed per room, so I'm not sure what our guide did, but she gave Macella's passport to another family to check-in. I think that saved us some money, but Macella felt like a fugitive!
We were exhausted and finally made it to bed around 11:30. It seemed like a long day before the day of actually traveling home!! Tomorrow is the 16 hour plane ride!
Sorry we could not update the site on this actual day. The internet cost money and we were exhausted and the brains were not thinking straight!