Our Volunteers’ Visit to Kaifeng
Beautiful Kaifeng was the next stop on our volunteers’ journey. Known as one of the Seven Ancient Capitals of China, it is a lovely city to visit in Henan province. Our volunteers Arlene, Sidney, and Barbara had a full day visiting the Kaifeng orphanage, seven children in foster care, the Starbridge Healing Home, and then dining at a typical Hot pot restaurant.
After a four hour drive from Sanmenxia, we arrived in Kaifeng. Bright and early the next morning we started out by visiting the recently renovated Kaifeng orphanage. Our first stop was the pink toddler room where we were greeted by many adorable faces.
We were particularly taken with this darling girl who we believe is about six. We were touched by her sweetness with the toddlers around her. Her nannies told us that her best friend had recently been adopted and that she yearned for a family of her own. With just a little coaxing she sweetly sang to us!
When we visited another room, Arlene recognized a little boy who had been in our program awhile ago. He was obviously quite bright, and his face lit up when we showed him how he looked in video mode on the iPad!
We left the orphanage and began visiting children in our foster care program. First stop was Cowboy Luke! He has been a regular on LWBCommunity for quite some time now (“Lively Luke“) as he has been on the shared list, waiting and waiting for a family to come for him. We had the best time visiting this fun little guy!
Luke has Down Syndrome and functions extremely well. He loved the bubbles we brought him and soon took over blowing them himself. He was quite careful not to spill them, however, and we were impressed with his thoughtfulness. We brought him a cowboy hat from the United States, and he seemed to really enjoy dressing up. Luke is so much fun, and we really hope he is chosen for adoption soon!
Foster brothers Thomas and Ian were our next stop. These handsome boys greeted us excitedly in their courtyard and loved their toys. Thomas especially loved his green motorcycle!
We bumped down a lot of country roads to reach the home of Donna and Emer. These two girls are also very close and are always together. Emer especially loved the stickers we gave her and generously shared the Minnie Mouse doll we brought her with her foster sister!
Next up were the two boys from Starbridge Healing Home who had just recently graduated to foster care. Peter’s foster mom lives up four flights of stairs in a high rise building. She is so proud of Peter’s progress and said that all of her neighbors love to play with him. We can see why!
Mikey (seen below) has a big personality and seems to be quite a happy guy as well. Isn’t he the cutest?
Our day was just about over, but not before we went out for a Hot pot dinner with Stephanie, our Starbridge Healing Home Manager, and Tim, a student from the Kaifeng orphanage whom LWB has helped with schooling. Tim is currently studying to be a doctor, and we were so glad he could take time away from his studies to share a delicious meal with us.
Next stop, Anhui!
~Arlene Howard, Barbara Neiberg, and Sidney Pogatchnik