Saturday, March 21, 2009

Finally back to a computer

We are in Beijing and finally back to internet access so I'm going to post what I wrote as a journal in Word. Thanks full I can just coy and paste because I'm too tired to think too hard!

March 18, 2009

It has been a day of great emotion. We visited the orphanage today. I didn’t have any idea what a huge deal it would be for the people of Yangzhou. As we got off the bus we were greeted by a huge group of people…officials as well as other people who work at the welfare institute. The sound of drums could be heard even before the door to the bus was opened. As we walked through the gates we could see the drummers lined up one side of the street. About 25 women were playing the huge drums. They were dressed in very modern costumes. There were decorations all down the road and in the distance we could hear the sounds of the lion dance. Cadi did a good job recording the sights and sounds with her the Flip recorder as she walked. We got to the central area in front of the new orphanage building and it was set up with a stage that was brightly decorated. The Director of the orphanage spoke followed by the Mayor and several other people expressing the joy of the girls coming to Yangzhou.

Next came the entertainment. Many of the older children, nannies, staff and directore sang Jasmine Flower. It was incredibly beautiful. Then our girls performed Jingle bells! It was amazing. They had decided on the bus ride to the orphange that a Christmas song was probably the only song they all knew. Less than 30 minutes later when they went up to sing there was an accompaniment track playing behind them! How they pulled that off I don’t know!

The next thing was the presentation of gifts. Cadi went up to present the scrapbook which the families with children Yangzhou had prepared as well as the financial donation we had brought for the orphanage. Then all of the girls went up on stage and were presented with a gift- a huge Teddy bear as well as a book on Yanzhou and a very cool picture frame. They had a picture all together with the staff. Later they also gave a teddy bear to the sibling so now I have 2 Giant teddy bears to get across the Pacific!

We then went and have a picture take of all the families with the staff. An amazing feat in itself to get that many girls and their parents standing still long enough for a photo!

The next event was to learn how to make dumplings. Just as we were going there the woman who was the MC for the banquet last night came towards me holding the scrapbook. I ended up being interviewed by her and I totally missed out on the dumpling making class, but I guess I was supposed to talk on Chinese tv! I didn’t catch the news though so I don’t know if I actually made it on tv or not. We did have a very good discussion and I got in my plug for singles being able to adopt.

We ate the dumplings for lunch along with two different soups and some fruit. Cadi was very impressed with the dumplings! Big surprise since she is my dumpling girl! Then we got to tour the new building that is still under construction. The picturse of the plans and the furnishing and equipment are quite impressive. We then saw a video about life at the orphanage. Then the hardest part of the day for me began. We went into the rooms where the children spend some of the day. There were little tiny chairs lining the walls. We went in and about 8 children sang and danced for us. They were very engaging and came up to us and clapped hands with us and such. There was one girl about 4 years old who was enjoying herself so much and such a natural performer. They were all delightful but there was something about this one child who just drew my attention. I later heard that she will be adopted soon! After they were done they gave some drawings they had done to the girls. Then I sat down and one small little girl just came up and leaned into me. She was so small and so in need of physical touch. I held her hand and then she let me hold her in my lap. She clung to the name tag hanging around my neck. I just talked and talked to her and told her how much God loved her and then I couldn’t stop crying as she clung to me. I don’t know who I was crying for most of all her or myself or for all of those people who will never be able to adopt. Our guide,Vivian, came up to me and asked if I was okay. What can you say? Yes I am okay but this child needs a family. Vivian told me that the little girl is about 4 years old and has some special needs. I know that I cannot adopt another child, but it was so very difficult to let go. One of the nannies finally came and took her from my arms which was probably the best because I don’t know if I would have been able to set her down on my own.

We went into another room filled with babies in walkers. What a lot of activity! They all had diapers on under their split pants. I think that was probably just for our benefit. There was one little guy who didn’t seems very happy with the diaper situation. There were several babies who had repaired cleft lips and one little girl who is going to have her surgery in a few weeks. She had the most delightful eyes and smile!

When it was time to leave the children’s rooms then we had a little time to walk through the lovely garden that is there on the grounds. The grounds have the orphanage as well as a home for the elderly. There were several of these residents who sat out in the sunshine watching us and occasionally smiling and waving back at us.
Before we left we were given the opportunity to view the files of our children. It was cool to see that they have placed the pictures and letters we have sent to them in Cadi’s file. There wasn’t any additional information in her file though that I didn’t already have. A bit of a dissapointment, but I wasn’t really holding out any hope.

There are several people who are still there from 1998. One of the directors and the nurse who came when they delivered Cadi to me are still there as well as several nannies.
After a very emotional 6 hours we returned to the hotel for a short break before we went to dinner at a most wonderful buffet! I have never in my life seems such a wide variety of food! Everything for peking duck to pizza and French fries! We went for a river cruise before returning to the hotel. The river has an amazing display of lights!

When I got back to the hotel I went to the business center to try to check email. Couldn’t get in so will have to try tomorrow, but I did find the article in the China Daily that I was interviewed for the day we left Beijing. We are in a Chinese newspaper! Complete with a picture and lots of quotes! So I got copies made. Paul and Erwin paid for the copies so we have a surprise for the bus tomorrow as many of the families are in the report!


  1. Marleen, You're in at least two Chinese newspapers - I found the English translations a couple of days ago via notification from Google News!! Wow - what an emotional day that was - congratulations on getting thru it... and on the better baby photo of Cadi - how wonderful!! :)

  2. Wow what a welcome! I can imagine that would be very emotional but especially seeing, and holding, the precious children who need a family. I'm glad you got some plugs/publicity in for single-parent adoption in the media! It is really touching they cared so much about your presence there in China.