Tuesday, November 30, 2010

China Day 12: Orphanage Visit

Today we visited Molly’s Social Welfare Institute in Dongguan, Guangdong. It is about 1½ hours south of Guangzhou. The last time we made this trip is was a cold, wet, overcast and miserable. In fact, everything about the trip was miserable. The orphanage felt cold and sterile, there were no sounds of laughter, all of the kids we in cribs. Six hundred children in the orphanage and you cold have heard a pin drop. There were no signs of toys, no stimulating decorations for the kids to look at while in their cribs.

It didn’t get much better when they talked with us. It felt like we were getting their generic speech full of propaganda. Blah, blah, blah. We left feeling as gloomy as the weather.

Needless to say, I didn’t have high hope for today’s visit. But I was pleasantly surprised. The trip to Dongguan was lovely. Dongguan, despite being a factory town, is the equivalent to a Palm Springs or Naples, FL. Stunningly beautiful and obviously full of money. You would not expect anything like this in China. The orphanage itself is also quite beautiful with manicured grounds and granite floors and walls.

We were greeted at the door by a nice young man and woman who answered our questions in a fairly straight forward manner. There are now 800 kids in the orphanage, and this time it seemed to be more full of life. Nannies were interacting with children. Kids were being picked up and hugged. Toys were out to play with in several rooms. They even let us look through our kids files. Amazing. A lot more open than before.

We got to see some pictures of Molly that we had never seen. We were allowed to photograph them, as well. We also got more detailed information about our kids’ finding spots. Although it seemed crazy and chaotic, like everything in China, I felt very positive about what we were able to glean.

Molly did pretty well. For the most part she was lively and personable. When we were busy asking questions both of the kids started getting restless and you could see the anxiety level raise a bit. After talking with the director, it took them a few minutes to warm back up. Molly was eager to give the orphanage the gifts that we brought and show them the photo album that I made for them. She went page by page explaining each picture in English, which was probably not well understood, but I am sure was greatly appreciated by the staff. You could see it in their eyes.

The staff also let us go up and see the cribs in which our kids slept. Molly had a great time running from crib to crib, playing with the babies. I could have taken each and every child home with me. I tried to pick up as many kids as possible and love on them, even if it was just for a minute. On little cubby toddler with albinism stole my heart. 

Many of the kids have obvious special needs, others do not, but each child is absolutely perfect and deserves a home. My heart breaks for them and I pray that they are all on their way to a forever family at some point. If you have it in your heart to adopt, please pick up the phone and call an agency right now. These precious babies need you. Please.

Before we left the orphanage, the kids played on the playground for a few minutes. A couple more pictures outside of the orphanage and we were done. I left with a much more joyful heart than last time.

The only discouraging part of the day is that Molly’s finding spot was too far away to visit. She was found in a remote part of the county. Going there would have added at least 5 additional hours to our trip which was already scheduled to take most of the day. Tears rolled down my cheeks as I told the driver that I understood why we could not visit it today. Next time. I have to remember that this entire trip is a miracle and I am blessed just to be in China with Molly. It’s a huge disappointment not to be able to see Molly’s  finding spot but it’s not going to spoil my trip.

We did make it to Luke’s finding spot, which was near the orphanage. I was able to sit and talk to Molly about what this meant for Luke and how she had a spot of her own somewhere else in China. We talked about what she thought her spot might be like and why she was left there. A good conversation.

Once again, lots of pictures to post.  I will do orphanage pictures in this post and the rest of our day in the next post. Please read both to get a full view of our day.

Only one full day left in China (BOO HOO). I am not ready to leave at all, but every single kid is more than ready. They are all pretty tired and getting on each others nerves. I will miss this place so very much.


Manicured gardens of Dongguan City.IMG_4911

Beautiful new buildings....IMG_4921

and well landscaped streets.IMG_4914

Front gate of Dongguan Children's Welfare Institute.IMG_5013

Full shot of the building.IMG_5014

Front entrance.IMG_5011

Heading inside with a bit of trepidation.IMG_4933

Molly poses for a picture.IMG_4989

Waiting to talk with the staff.IMG_4936

A never before seen photo.IMG_4945

Molly showing the staff the album full of pictures of her and Luke.IMG_4954

Giving gifts to the director and staff.IMG_4957

Two orphanage workers, me and Molly and the orphanage director.IMG_4960

Entrance to Molly's former hallway and room.


Molly next to her crib.IMG_4964

I took a picture of Molly crawling on this window sill in April 2007. Here she is recreating the moment.IMG_4984

Playing on the playground.IMG_4995

Molly and Luke doing something that they never had the chance to do while they lived here.IMG_5000

Final pictures before we left.IMG_5009

Molly and Luke say goodbye to Dongguan.IMG_5007

1 comment:

Patrick and Christina said...

Our daughter was from this same orphanage. I have been searching the internet for pictures as we were not allowed to go visit during our adoption process.The city of Guangzhou was in grid lock down with the Asian Games that were being hosted.

I am finally trying to put together her lifebook and wanted to include some nice photo's... and yours are great. Would you mind if I used ones that don't contain any of your kids?

I chuckled with the pictures of the Director! He accompanied our daughter to the adoption center (2010 - November). He seemed like a pretty genuine soul.

You can check out our blog with our story at http://harmonychinaadoption.blogspot.ca/

Christina (Canada)