Hollywood can really mislead you about the real world. When I think of an "American Consulate"...I think of a huge building surrounded by gates and guards and people running toward them screaming "I'm an American!". Don't you? Well let me assure you...if I'd been running for the consulate, I'd have run right past it and never known.

We arrived downtown at an average looking building. The consulate is on the 5th floor. Normally, the guides go for you and bring your packet of information, then you go later in the afternoon for your swearing ceremony. Effective March 1st, you do it (not the guide) and it's all at the same time. (For families waiting to come...this is good news because it will save you a day). For us...we're stuck here! Once all 12 families are checked in, we proceed through security and go into a room that resembles a drivers license or tag office, only the stations are behind windows. There's a bunch of chairs that all the parents sit in and a small play area for the children. I saw 2 people that looked American working there...which I guess surprised me. The lady who is in charge of adoptions came out and gave us the oath (basically stating that everything we have supplied to the immigration is true). I did get a little teary eyed at that...raising our hands and swearing before our country...just made me emotional! I thought this was when he became an American citizen, but that actually happens when he arrives in the US. We sat down and they called you up, one family at a time, to do the "face check"...making sure your passport matched your face and your child's. Then 1 parent went back to play with the kids and the other signed the form. That's it. Less than 20 minutes once we got in there. Our guide will go back tomorrow to pick up Ethan's visa and we can go home...YAHOO!

Since we aren't staying on the island, we decided to take a taxi over there and check it out. It is truly a beautiful area! We have video of
The Victory
The White Swan

(The White Swan Waterfall below)

For any of you that decide to stay there. They are both very nice and close to so many things. The shopping on the island is much more geared towards "tourists". We found a lovely little shop and Jennifer (who worked there) gave us very good prices on our last remaining gifts we wanted to buy.

Our guide told us about a restaurant...Lucy's Bar & Cafe. It ROCKS! We sat outside and it reminded me of places on the beach. Tons of other families we knew (even a family from Jacksonville, Florida and our Gator friends from Atlanta), people playing games and the water right across from them. We had a yummy lunch and we highly recommend it! Ethan had a hamburger and french fries. He didn't want to finish his burger, but he wanted his lollipop. I pointed at the burger and said "If you finish that, you get this ". He did! Such a smart little boy! He chats with everyone and they all say how handsome he is and how polite and how sweet! It's all true!

Walked around a little bit more and then took a taxi home...Ethan was starting to fade!

While he napped, I went to get a pedicure and manicure. Can you tell that I'm a girl who takes care of mama? 90 yuan...that's less than $20. Mike gave me 200 yuan. I walked around the shops and when I came back I told him I'd found some cute things, but only had 100 yuan left. He said that wasn't by accident! Gotta love that man!

We decided to get Ethan's haircut at the hotel because it was getting long and I have to say, the cut was very uneven. After about 45 minutes with stylist Ben Tam...I know why. Ben spoke no English, but the lady at the front translated that I wanted something "cool"! When he finished I was like "Do you have gel?" He looked so darn cute! Even Mike, who would have gone for the buzz cut, loved it!

We went to Paddy's Irish Pub for dinner and it was yummy! I had very traditional Irish food...hummus & pita bread and Caesar salad! Mike had Shepherd's Pie...how original?! Haha! Ethan agreed to finish his entire dinner as long as he gets ice cream at the end...we're ok with that for now!

He's getting so good at praying...check out my video to see him! We told him that Sister Nancy and Sister Franziska were gonna break him down...but they'll be very impressed with his sign of the cross!

God is good...all the time!
We love you all and cannot wait for 8 AM Friday morning when our flight leaves!

Mike, Tonya & Ethan

To see video of our day, click here


  1. He looks sooooo much more grown up with his big boy haircut! What a doll!!! Congrats!!

  2. We've been keeping up with your blog, and Mallory loves to watch the videos. Glad to see Ethan's doing so well! (Did you get that China puzzle there or back here?) Praying for a great last few days for y'all!