It’s Thursday afternoon here in China, and the princess has been down for her nap for 25 minutes. This is the first nap she’s taken with us; I can tell she is starting to feel more secure.
Jing Jing has definitely picked me to bond with first. Mike’s not taking it personally, as we were well-trained on what to expect. The down side of her preference of me only is that it could be described as obsessive – she is an insecure and needy little girl – and it really wears me out by the end of the day. :) Last night I put her in her crib around 8:30 and we all called it a night. She doesn’t cry or fuss, just goes to sleep. And she sleeps well all night.
Our schedule this week got shuffled around a bit. Instead of going to the orphanage, we went to two local government offices yesterday to apply for Jing Jing’s passport. There were dozens – and I mean DOZENS – of people ahead of us in line and our representative got us to the front of the line! That was amazing, and I was so thankful to not have to hold a 32 pound toddler for the entire afternoon in a stuffy, smokey lobby with 150 other people.
So today we visited the 2 orphanages where Jing Jing was cared for as a baby and a toddler. Our daughter was in a non-profit foster care orphanage. When we first got Jing’s referral and learned where she was, we were concerned because given the opportunity, it’s not an orphanage we would pick for our daughter. However, we can clearly see now that she did have good care, was well-fed and loved, and God had her exactly where she needed to be.
The first orphanage is nothing more than a small apartment about the size of our living room. This is what we saw when we arrived:
This is a 20-story apartment building. The orphanage is on the 18th floor. We got there by going through a narrow, dirty hallway with no lights and stepping onto an old elevator. That was a little nerve-wracking, especially for Mike. Elevators are to him, what airplanes are to me. Haha!
Here are the jewels hidden in this dingy building:
Pictured above with the babies is Hughe. He is from Taiwan, and is a rep of the non-profit orphan care relief effort that sponsors this nursery. Notice how he took his shoes off? He cares about these babies and didn’t want them to get sick with anything his shoes might bring in.
The little girl on the left was so smiley – I wish we would’ve had a picture of her smiling – her whole face lights up with joy!
This little peanut is only 3 weeks old. I couldn’t help but think that her mother is somewhere in this city, still recovering from childbirth and her baby is being cared for by strangers. It’s heart-wrenching.
The two nannies on duty at the nursery remembered Jing Jing and called her by name. Our daughter stayed at this nursery until she could walk and then was transferred to the bigger orphanage, where there are 40 kids, ages toddler – 14.
It was about a 15 minute drive to get to the second orphanage. Here’s the view from there:
How many of you remember the little boy in several of Jing Jing’s pictures we received in December? Remember this photo?
We saw him today! He’s gotten a little bigger and even cuter. Our visit was rushed and rather brief. I should’ve been better prepared to ask questions about the children there… I don’t know if this boy has a file ready to place him for adoption or has a family yet.
Jing Jing was a little emotional and whiny while we were there. She got down for a bit and ran to me a few times with her arms up. We went with another couple and their adopted daughter who is Jing’s good friend, Tian. She had a much harder time when she saw a nanny who loved on her and it left her in a meltdown the rest of the tour.
The man on the left is the director of the orphanage.
The woman on the right speaks some English (she is holding her own son) and I was able to thank her for caring for Jing Jing. I have pictures of Jing Jing with this nanny holding her. The woman said through tears, “Ah, but it is good now she have mother and father.”
I’ve learned a lot in China this past week. I’ve shared with you that kids are the same, no matter what color their skin or the language they speak.
Smiles and laughter are universal. So are compassion and tears.