Two weeks seems like a long time to stay in China to bring our boy home to many of our friends that are following our journey. Some folks have to stay even longer, depending on where their child is living, so we feel blessed to only have to go for two weeks.
The trip is mostly made up of appointments, a little sightseeing and a lot of time in a plane. HA!
For those who have been interested, here is a breakdown of our trip!
Day One: Arrive in Guangzhou China REALLY early in the morning.
Day Two: Rest in the hotel, nothing scheduled…try and rest and catch up form the jet lag. It is WAY easier going over and HORRIFIC coming back!
Day Three: Sightseeing in Guangzhou. We are planning to go to the toy market. We didn’t know about this on our first trip and I’ve been looking forward to taking Ethan and Ellie since I heard about it.
Day Four: First thing in the morning, we have to head to the bank and exchange all of our money for local currency. The bank was so strange to me last trip….odd experience. They carefully inspect EACH of the gazillion hundred dollar bills you bring with you! Then in the afternoon, we head out to pick up JOHN PRESTON!!!! This is known in adoption circles as Gotcha Day or Family Day. This starts the roughly 24 hour “harmonious period”. During this time an adopting family can return the child and decide not to adopt them. It is sort of like a 24 hour foster situation.
Day Five: This is John Preston’s actual adoption day, when all of the official paperwork is completed and he is legally a Parris forever!!! Our schedule also has a visit to the grocery store this day if we need to go.
Day Six: On this day we apply for John Preston’s passport.
Day Seven: We visit John Preston’s orphanage and his finding spot.
Day Eight: John Preston has to get a required TB test and medical checkup. Our guide will also pick up our paperwork on this day.
Day Nine: Our guide will help us complete our paperwork for the consulate appointment and we will also do a little sightseeing in Guangzhou. We are hoping to squeeze in a trip to the local circus that I hear is amazing!
Day Ten: We will visit the local pearl market, an embroidery shop and Shamian Island (check out the video…the music is terrible but the island is so neat to see!) to shop. This was a favorite park of our trip last time. We got some silks for all of our kiddos, pearl necklaces for all of them when they get older at AMAZING prices and a beautiful wall hanging with MinLan’s Chinese name. This is where you see so many of the beautiful pictures taken with the statues by adopting families. It truly is beautiful there. Lots of French and British design elements.
Day Eleven: This is our consulate appointment day. After that we will visit the Safari Park (a large zoo)…lots of fun for the kids and lots of walking. This is where Ellie got to feed a giraffe and a baby tiger on our last trip!
Day Twelve: Our guide picks up John Preston’s passport with his visa so he can leave the country.
Day Thirteen: We are actually having a late checkout this day because our flight leaves at 1:15am in the morning. We hope to catch dinner and hang out and have LOTS of fun at the airport until our flight leaves.
Day Fourteen: We fly out of Guangzhou, make a quick stop in Korea and then on to ATLANTA!!
Thanks so much to all of you who have been keeping up with our adoption news. Thanks for always asking about John Preston and how our process is going and for praying for all of us. We are so thankful for each of you!!