Jeremy Statton

Living Better Stories

Becoming an American

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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.

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Our version of urban basketball.

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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.

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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.

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We did manage to get a few good photos.

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Amanda and Sarah walking through the park.

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Our hotel (the Westin) next to the 2nd tallest building in the city and the 23rd tallest in the world.

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About Jeremy Statton

Jeremy is a writer and an orthopedic surgeon. When not ridding the world of pain, he helps you live a better story. Follow him on Twitter or Facebook or Google +.

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14 Replies

  1. DanKnight

    I have so enjoyed reading these past few posts. This story of “the quickest adoption ever” should be compiled into an ebook. You’ve got the story, the insights and most important, the heart, to put together a great book on adoption, the adoption process, etc. All without making it cheesy!

  2. Bunny

    Those pictures bring back so many memories of Guangzhou…and that feeling of just wanting to get back home with your child and begin to adjust and normalize. Of course, that is easier said than done! We got to the mountain top with God when He puts a desire and vision in us and then we walk it out daily. Let the daily begin knowing that His grace is sufficient for you.

  3. Yes, I’ve loved following your journey too!

  4. Thanks, Bunny. In our adoption journeys Guangzhou has been a pleasant experience. Even though we want something different, that is to be home, Guangzhou is easier for us to do than the province part of the trip. It’s always good to hear from someone who has been through it. Thanks for sharing.

  5. I did get your email and thanks for the suggestion. Actually, that isn’t a bad idea. We do feel like we’ve learned some things that could prove helpful to others to know.

  6. Bunny

    Yeah Guangzhou is like a bit of a rest…the hard stuff is done in the process. So you get to relax and the weather is pleasant! Looking forward to walking out your journey with you. We have adopted kids ages 15 months to five years. Would like to adopt an older child. God bless you richly in this new year!

  7. Diane Turner

    Hooray for your family! Happiest of new years.

  8. Edith Hamilton

    As an American living in England I am learning more about adoption into God’s family. Thanks for sharing your journey!

  9. AmyJoAkin

    We also reacted to the American Consulate experience as you have. It was a stark reminded of the freedom and opportunities we have as Americans that are much sought after by many born on different soil. We are thinking of you and praying for you often, and enjoying some fun times with your family here! May God bless and make rich for you these last few days in China, and continue to provide for, protect, and abide with your family members here. You are greatly missed, but it is just a few more days…

  10. I’m assuming the line was the same. Thanks so much, AmyJo.

  11. So exciting, Edith. Send me an email if you want to talk more.

  12. Happy New Year to you too.

  13. Justgrace

    Awesome. Its really all you can say. The opportunity to change the life of a child. Priceless. And Jesus is CERTAINLY smiling on you all. Thank you for sharing your story and hopefully inspiring many more people to do all they can and then some more. Its what living our lives is truly all about. God bless you and all your endeavors richly.

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