Thursday, October 28, 2010

Orphanage Visit

This morning we visited the orphanage where Dex stayed before he was placed in foster care around the time he had his lip repair surgery. We were able to tour the infant and toddler area as well as an area for older, disabled children. There were several tiny infants who had been found abandoned just today that we saw. One of the caregivers who was helping with the newest children in the orphanage remembered Dex. She was excited to see him, commented on how he still has big ears, and promptly stuck a bottle in his mouth (I think she enjoyed feeding him again). It was incredibly sad to see all the babies and wonder what kind of future they have. There were several premature babies and a few babies with liver or kidney problems that were obviously very ill but were in little cribs just like the healthier babies. It made me sad, and I feel for the women who care for them everyday. They did seem very kind, though. We toured an area for disabled children and visited a room where they have the older boys doing counted cross-stitch. They are very good at it, and one boy was very taken with Nick. He took Nick's hands and made him pull the needle through the holes after he had it started each time. He was very proud to show off his work! Now, I expect Nick to finish those cross-stitch stockings I have started but not finished!  :) We got to see the children's play areas and the physical/recreational therapy areas. They do have a very good children's therapy program, and children come from other orphanages to be treated there. We got to see some older children doing their therapy sessions.
Dex's foster mom chose not to see us, which I understand. However, the assistant director of the orphanage did give us his email address and said we could send updates to him that he could get to the foster mom. If I were her, I'd wonder how he's doing, so we'll certainly send her pictures occasionally.

Next, we visited the Love Without Boundaries Healing Home that just opened yesterday. Love Without Boundaries is an organization based out of Oklahoma City that has built several "healing homes" around China for children with heart conditions and cleft lip/palate. They take in the children who are not likely to thrive in the orphanages to try to get them the surgeries they need and special attention like longer opportunities to eat and more attentive medical care. The woman, Helen, who has been our guide while in Fuzhou works for Love Without Boundaries also and has been working hard to get the Healing Home open in Fuzhou. They opened yesterday and accepted their first two babies last night. We got to tor the entire facility, and it is truly a happy-feeling place.

We took our daily walk to McDonald's and Trust-Mart (a tiny version of Wal-Mart) about 25-30 minutes away. It's multi-tasking ... carrying Dex that far and back is a great workout! Dex loves to watch the buses and cars go by on the busy streets. We spent the evening playing in our room and getting some of our stuff packed up. We are flying late tomorrow afternoon to Guangzhou, where we will meet with the U.S. Consulate office for Dex's immigration oath (I'm sure he'll say every word!) and to get his passport Visa stamped to return to the U.S. We'll be there from Friday night until next Thursday. We'll return next Thursday to Beijing to be able to fly out of China next Friday morning at 8 a.m.  We'll arrive in Chicago at 7:30 a.m. the same morning (30 minutes earlier than we left China!) where Dex will officially become a U.S. citizen! I am dreading that looong plane ride like nothing ever before! He is so active. The flight over was actually about 2 hours shorter than our return flight, and it seemed to last forever without a busy infant in my lap!


Deb said...

Thanks for sharing. What a blessing to be able to visit places where your son has spent time. Enjoy every second!

Erin said...

I hear Dex is SUPER busy!! I'm feeling your pain and can't even imagine being in a small hotel room with him!! Can't wait to meet him!!

Tonia Hobbs said...

Thank you so much for posting, and sharing this experience with us! How neat to visit the new facility there that is based out of OK City. So thankful things are going as planned.