Ni hao from China!
It’s hard to believe that the four of us haven’t even been here 24 hours, and already we have so much to report. Heidi Reitz, our foster care director and I are waiting in the Jinjiang hotel for Amy and Linda Phillips (our newsletter editor) to arrive…so for now you will have to settle for only one half of the adventure. After a long day’s travel, we all arrived safely in Beijing and then split up briefly to visit different programs in Guangdong Province. Heidi and I hopped a plane to Guangzhou and were able to get a good night’s sleep before visiting two orphanages from our nutrition program on Tuesday morning.
We met our wonderful guide, Cindy Wu, after breakfast and then drove to the Gaoming orphanage. We have been providing formula to Gaoming for the past three years, and this was my first opportunity as nutrition director to visit in person. We were happy to visit with the orphanage director and staff, and of COURSE, cuddle some very adorable babies!
Gaoming is a small orphanage with BIG babies. Our arms got a workout as we picked up and held each of the babies as we chatted with the orphanage staff. The director proudly pointed out renovations recently made to the baby room…all provided by Gaoming families. The new paint and tile made the room look so bright and cheery!
In order to meet our next flight, we had to do a quick turnaround and zip off to one of our newer nutrition programs at the Foshan Shunde orphanage. Again, it was absolutely fabulous to see such bright-eyed, lovely little babies. The orphanage director told us that one precious boy was soon to be adopted by a family in the United States soon, so I gave him a little hug in advance of his adoption. That had to be the highlight of my day! Again, we held as many babies as we could get our hands on, and were rewarded with bright smiles and sparkling eyes. The babies there obviously receive plenty of love and affection from their caregivers.
Then it was a mad dash to the airport and for a quick flight to Xiamen, our second province of the day. We made it to our hotel in Jinjiang in time for a dinner with government officials, doctors, about 100 directors and nannies representing approximately 70 different orphanages in Fujian Province. Tomorrow begins the training seminar for adoption of special needs children, and several of us plan to make another orphanage visit as well.
We are looking forward to a good night’s sleep, I know I will be dreaming of babies in my arms all night! Amy and Linda won’t arrive for another hour long after Heidi and I are sawing logs. We can’t wait to meet them at 7:00 AM for breakfast to hear about their adventures.
Wishing you all well from Jinjiang!