This morning Jack, Rocky, Gongzhan and I got up and had breakfast at the hotel and then headed out to the Civil Affairs office in Fuzhou. We were escorted in to the director’s office where we met several of his staff, as well as another man whose name English name is Jack, who is the director in charge of all international adoptions in Fuzhou. I liked Jack immediately; he had a very warm and welcoming presence about him and greeted us with a smile. On the other hand, the director of the civil affairs was very skeptical of us, and he wanted to know immediately if we were legally able to be there, he said no other agencies have partnered with orphanages in the Fujian province, and in the past some have tried to come and they did not do it legally. He seemed very stern and I was very nervous that we had come all this way and now may not even have their approval. This is when Gongzhan stepped in (have I mentioned how thankful I am for that man?) and thoroughly and respectfully shared the contract with the Xiamen orphanage that we have from the CCCWA in Beijing and they got on the phone with the CCCWA to make sure this was official. Moments like this can be hard for me in China since I do not know the language and have to wait to hear the story of what happened completely later. It certainly makes me want to learn the Chinese language better.
They then proceeded to welcome us and tell us again that we were the very first agency to come to do this legally. I was floored! They said they did about 100 adoptions last year in the Fujian province, and they work in that province with about 30 orphanages. They said they would support as many partnerships as we would like to do. Wow! I want to of course do very well with one before requesting other partnerships but I was thrilled to feel their support. The director of adoptions then came to our hotel and met with us privately and told us that he was happy we were here and wants to be as supportive as possible. He said he has many connections and wants to help us to be successful here. We then had lunch with him and it was nice to get to know about his family, I learned that he adopted a little girl domestically from here! This was also the first time I was ever treated to eating turtle 🙂 He wanted to wait and see us off to Xiamen, so we headed back upstairs to get our bags to head out in Jack’s car for the about three hour drive to Xiamen. The director, Jack, said that on the way there we would stop at another orphanage, the Feng Zhe Social Welfare Institute. He said to see if we would like to think about maybe helping them too. Attached is a picture we took with Jack before we left the hotel as well as a picture of the Fuzhou Civil Affairs office building. This is the building where all adoption families come to complete their paperwork for adoption in this province. You will be traveling here soon if you receive a referral from the Xiamen orphanage! More to come later!