This morning I met Rocky at 7:30 for breakfast. It was so good to see him and have a nice Chinese traditional breakfast! I had to smile when I saw one of the menu items was fungus soup. Always an adventure! 🙂 It was nice to get caught up with Rocky since I have not seen him since March and he was the first person I gave the gift of the photo book I made of the last 18 placements from Xiamen; he loved it!!! I am so glad we did that, thank you again to all of you who helped me pull this together!
We headed over to the orphanage after breakfast to meet with Lilian, who assists the director and is my main contact at Xiamen, and speaks very good English. We brought over as well the donations of hand sanitizers and vitamins and a few gifts from some families for kids that are at Xiamen. I smiled as I realized how comfortable I was walking in, and how this is becoming more of a normal experience being here. I am so thankful for the opportunity to be here. The Xiamen orphanage is always a sight to see as it stands I believe 15 floors tall. The baby safety island sits right out front of the orphanage where the babies are still abandoned, and it sits right next to the guard station.
We went in and met with Lilian and talked about the plan for the day and decided to see about 30 kids, that I met in March, to get updates on. Some of the children were very cooperate and some were scared and upset, which is to be expected I am sure! It was so nice to see the kids again! It for sure can be an up and down of emotions as some of the kids I know will be placed with families and others I feel will be very hard to place and may not leave the orphanage, that can be hard on my heart. We set up the examining room similar to what we did in March, and took some videos, photos, and got updates from care takers. I was so happy to see two of the older kids on our list, Julian as well as Joy, and see how well they are doing. We hope that they both will have families soon. Joy has the special need of cerebral palsy but walks well with a walker. Julian has heart disease and just had a surgery in Shanghai. They both sang to us in a video which was absolutely darling. Julian was just a night and day difference since I saw him in March since his surgery. His teacher said it is like the whole world is new to him. He is more extroverted, energetic, and talkative. He giggled through the song, my heart soared! What a sweet boy. I was encouraged to also see Joshua a little baby new to our list that has motor delay, though a recent exam shows it looks like early cerebral palsy. The orphanage has put him in physical therapy and it was good to see how well he is doing! I also got to see the sweet girl we met in March who was abandoned at the baby safety island as an older child with burns. I also saw a big change in her! She was smiling and happy and talkative….until we asked about her burns and tried to examine her and she shut down and began to cry. My heart breaks for her! She has been through so much loss. We are so happy she now has a family and we look forward to her coming home soon and continuing to heal both physically and emotionally.
I think the hardest children to see today were two little girls, Zoe and Aubrey. Aubrey has multiple tumors on her spine and brain, and was very timid and gentle and sweet, very attached to her caregiver. She turned away from me for photos and seemed frightened, so I made it a goal to visit her later and get photos when she was not looking, which worked out well when she was out this afternoon on the play structure and playing in a little garden box 🙂 Zoe is a baby at Xiamen that had listed water on her brain, but I learned sadly today that she has a brain tumor. We are advocating for her a surgery but the Xiamen hospital may not agree to it. Please pray we can get her the surgery she needs! I also visited the special care unit and saw many new babies there, and saw needs such as anal atresia, bladder extrophy, kidney disease, down syndrome, and cleft lip and palate.
We also ended the day with a visit with the Director of the Xiamen orphanage. We presented her with a gift as well as the photo album we made which she really enjoyed! I really enjoy her a lot and have found her to be an amazing advocate for adoption which is such a blessing! I asked her how she feels the partnership is going and if we can improve on anything and she said no, we are working towards the same goal and I know you are doing the best that you can and that there is a higher power, and to some it may be like a God, and ultimately some will be placed and some will not be, and that will not be decided by us. All we can do is the best that we can. She said she is happy with what has happened and said she is committed to helping us get paperwork as soon as possible. Many orphanage directors in China do not prepare paperwork for adoption, so it is such a blessing to have a director that is an advocate for inter-country adoption!
Tomorrow we head to Longyan to see the kids in foster care! It will be about a 2 hour drive out there. I am excited to see the kids! Thank you for your support and prayers!