This morning we headed out to Longyan to see the foster care kids out there. It is about a 2-3 hour drive to the Longyan orphanage where we would meet the Xiamen foster care kids. To thank the Longyan orphanage for hosting us Rocky and I stopped at a market to buy tea and chocolate that was special from Xiamen to say thank you to the staff there. We are also working to build a relationship with them. I learned that this is the custom when you travel to a different city and that this would be appreciated. The time passed quickly in the car and I enjoyed visiting with Lilian and continuing to get to know her better both on a professional and personal level. She is so kind and I am thankful for all her help.
As we were almost there a van next to us was honking at us and we looked over and saw a van load of foster parents with the kids in their laps driving over to see us, I was so excited to see some familiar faces of kids! We saw almost 20 kids there. We had the exams in the large physical therapy room there so while some kids are being looked at others can play on the large mat there and slide, and play with the balls, etc It was awesome to see a large number of kids out in foster care. I am always humbled by the love and nurture that I see from the foster moms. I was thrilled to see the three precious children with Down Syndrome that we placed in the last year! It was fun to learn about their personality. For example, one little boy I learned, that his favorite toy is a rocking horse at his foster home! So precious. I am so happy they all have families now!
I also met a number of new faces that will be coming on our next list of kids. Their needs ranged from minor to severe. It was a joy to see several kids that were already placed, as well as NOT see some of the kids that were out there in March when I was here due to the fact that they are now in the USA home with their families! I got to see Kevin who is on our website still for placement, and Rocky scooped him up and gave him a hug. He was cracking us up and was very friendly and talkative. I also had the joy of seeing five year Jason who we have been advocating for a family for a long time. I had a talk with Jason, and he told me his favorite food is vegetables, that he loves all the toys in his kindergarten class, and when I asked about his friends, he said with confidence oh I have about 20! So cute. I am praying he has a family soon too!
After the exams and photos, we were given a nice lunch at the orphanage and visited with some of the staff there and then headed out to the countryside to see some more foster care kids out in the village which I believe was about a 30 minute drive. I am always amazed at the simplicity of life out there and how even though many of the families have very little out there they open their homes to the foster kids and are so hospitable and kind! We saw about 10 kids out there, several already have families, and some we are advocating for now or we will get them on our next list. We headed back and got back to the hotel around 9pm, it was a long day but such a blessing to see all the kids. I have noticed a great difference in the kids that are out in foster care and think it is awesome to see how they can thrive in a temporary family! Tomorrow we will meet a new group of kids with a doctor from the United States.