AGCI is in China! Our team is just wrapping up their first week in China. Continue following our posts over the next week and learn more about how we’re advocating for China’s orphans!
From Tiffany Williams, China Program Director, 9/15/15
On Sunday morning, our team left Portland at 6:30 am and headed to California, where we took another flight to Beijing, and another to Xiamen. In total we traveled almost 24 hours. The trip went smoothly and we were so happy to arrive in Xiamen around midnight on Monday in China! We were so tired and fell quickly into bed! We were also excited to receive a call that allowed us to go to the orphanage earlier than we had originally planned, which meant more time with the children.
We met for a traditional Chinese breakfast in the morning and then took the approximately 5-10 minute walk from the hotel to the orphanage. It was so great to see the Director of Xiamen and Lilian! We were also thrilled to meet Xiamen’s new paperwork coordinator when we got there. She has made quite a difference in Xiamen’s ability to prepare children’s paperwork, and has allowed us the opportunity to place more children. The Director was very kind and shared with us that she is very happy with our partnership and though there is sadness with kids being abandoned at Xiamen, she feels that we bring hope as we help kids find families.
We quickly got to work, setting up an exam room to spend the day seeing children. Our first day was spent meeting children who have been abandoned since March. We saw about 20 kids that day. We were in a room that was adjacent to 4 rooms that had 10 cribs each, and they were almost all full. We enjoyed being able to interact with the new kids, though our hearts were heavy for some that were sick. We were also able to play with the children in another room so we were able to spend some quality time seeing their range of abilities and medical needs. I just fell in love with a little boy who has cataracts and was so smiley and happy!
At the end of the day we got to spend time with Natalie (pictured to the left). What a precious girl! She cried and cried. Then I took her clothes off to weigh her, she immediately cuddled up under my chin, sighed and cuddled in tight to me and just was still. I had to choke down tears. I held her awhile while we asked how she was doing. I learned she can take some steps holding on to someone’s hands! This is great progress. We advocated for her to start PT, since she has not had that opportunity. Xiamen will help that begin. I hugged her, kissed her, and I told her we loved her and want to help her and gave her a present. She cried as soon as I sat her down, but was calm and quiet in my arms about 10 minutes. She was precious! We know she has great potential to thrive with a family to hold and love her.
It has been amazing to see familiar faces too and receive updates on the children. We have another day planned at Xiamen and then look forward to spending time with some children cared for in foster homes.
We are so happy to be here!
Another update, from Kiersten Luginbill, VP of International Programs
It was been a joy to report to the staff at Xiamen that all nine children whose files we recently received have been matched with a forever family and even while we have been traveling, other kiddos have been matched. So fun to see their surprise and joy at this news! We have loved sharing updates with the director of the orphanage about the impact that adoption continues to have on children years after they are home with their family and the remarkable transformations they have made. What a blessing to be reminded of the importance of this work through their eyes.
On our last evening in Xiamen, we also had the opportunity to purchase and deliver some key developmental toys to the home. These toys are so important, particularly to help children learn to walk, pull themselves up, and stroll throughout the playroom. We hope these contributions will be a huge help in aiding some littles ones with their key developmental milestones. Thank you to all our supporters who helped AGCI to meet this need!