Becoming an American
The building is beautiful, but you can’t touch it. You can’t get near it. The only way to walk inside is to have an appointment. And then go through security. And They will check every part of you to make certain you don’t take in something dangerous, like a gun or a cell phone.
We approached the building and immediately noticed the line of people. The line stood several hundred deep. Maybe more.
It reminded me of Disney World. The line snaked back forth through lanes fabricated by adjustable ropes. Every person in it looked anxious, like they were a bit nervous about the ride they were about to get on. They each held a passport and paperwork. And like the lines at Disney, it was barely moving.
There were two fences. The outer fence separated the people waiting in line from those standing on the sidewalk. The outer fence held back those who had no business there that day. The inner line fence provided a security checkpoint, holding back those who did have business.
With our own passports and paperwork in hand, we walked past them all and into a separate entrance. I felt like we were trying to get in an A-list party after the Oscars. A man wearing a hat and cargo pants checked our names on a list attached to a clipboard. Thankfully, because of the months of paperwork we had done before, we were invited, our names were on the list. And so we entered.
There isn’t much to say about the embassy appointment itself. By the time you show up, everything is done. All of the paperwork. All of the approvals.
The appointment is a formality. The proof that he is an orphan. And that we did adopt him. I wish I could show you a picture of the embassy or Sean’s big moment of asking for his visa to the U.S., but they do not allow cameras in, much less cell phones.
Today our guide will pick up Sean’s passport with the visa included. All we have to do now is come home. We have two more days here in Guangzhou, and then Saturday morning we will fly to Beijing. We are anxious to get home, to be reunited with everyone.
But we want Sean to see his country, the place of his birth. We want him to be an American and a Statton, but he will always, to some degree be Chinese, and we want him to experience all that he can of China.
Here are a few more pictures from the last few days.
A crowded pedestrian street.
Our version of urban basketball.
Although most of you have probably never heard of it, Guangzhou is a beautiful city. It is as much fun staying here as it is New York.
A friend of ours who lives here, Sarah, is a photographer. She offered to take us to a park and take some photos. Sean decided he didn’t want his photo taken. So instead he decided to try to take control of the situation.
We did manage to get a few good photos.
Amanda and Sarah walking through the park.
Our hotel (the Westin) next to the 2nd tallest building in the city and the 23rd tallest in the world.
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