The day we visited the orphanage and finding spot was a hard one. We got up and had breakfast and then left at 8:30am to make the two hour drive.
First we went to John Preston’s finding spot. This information is included in his adoption file so the guide is able to take us there. We took pictures and I took a moment to say a silent prayer for his birth mother. It was hard to look around and imagine walking in and sitting your child down and walking away. I just can not even fathom. I want to believe that his birth mother knew there were delays and hoped that he would get better medical care by being in an orphanage and hopefully adopted. There is no way to know what was going though her mind but I feel certain it was one of the hardest decisions she ever had to make.
Next we went on to the orphanage. John Preston recognized it right away. The look in his eyes was heartbreaking. There was lots of doubt etched into his face. I’m sure his mind was racing…wondering if these past few days with us was just a dream…and hoping this did not mean we were sending him back.
We went into a front room…sort of a parlor room. There are couches and the famous piano where they always sat MinLan for updated pictures.
Pretty quickly we were joined by the foster mother for the other family’s daughter. She was excited to see their little girl and teary eyed at different points. It was great that they were able to ask her questions about their daughter.
I did not get to meet MinLan’s foster mother or John Preston’s. It is very frustrating to come all this way to find out that it was his foster mom’s “off day”. Ugghhhh……. I had so hoped to meet her and for John Preston to get to officially say goodbye. So many questions I wanted to ask but it wasn’t meant to be.
I did get to briefly meet one of John Preston’s teachers. He would have nothing to do with her. He kept hiding behind Ellie and I. She seemed very nice and answered a few brief questions. Nothing earth shattering. She said he has gone to school for three years and is in grade “2”. I asked if he was a good student and she looked at me like I had lost my mind. Felt like she didn’t have very high expectations of him.
Next they moved us into a big room and brought in the kids I had asked to meet. I can’t wait to get home and advocate for them! They were all precious and so deserving of a family of their very own. I even got to see a few little ones whose mommas are already working hard to bring them home. It’s so fun to be able to send pictures back to them! Those pictures that others sent to me were a lifeline during our adoptions. They truly kept us going.
I even got to hold a few babies and snuggle and steal some kisses! The best part!!!! I wanted to bring them all home!!!
After all of my picture taking, it was time to head upstairs to see where John Preston slept and see his classroom. When we waked near the door to the stairwell, he had a complete come apart. He pulled back as hard as he could, hollered, flat out refused to go up those stairs. The look in eyes was pure terror. He was NOT going up those stairs. I hate this for him. I wanted him to be able to show me his classroom and where he slept before the foster home. An orphanage worker offered to sit with him downstairs and he willingly stayed. We all walked upstairs and were told to stay quiet since it was nap time. We got to see John Preston’s bed and when we went into the toddler room, the nanny supervisor pointed out MinLan’s bed without even being asked. I didn’t get to visit upstairs on our trip with MinLan. It was nice and heartbreaking at the same time to see where both my babies laid their heads at some point during their life here. It is overwhelming really.
We got to see John Preston’s classroom in another part of the orphanage and he reluctantly walked with us. He was excited to see his classroom and show off his desk and pictures of himself and his friends on the wall. I asked if I could have some of his schoolwork but his teacher had gone to lunch. Ugghhhh…..
The orphanage was also nice enough to prepare a huge lunch spread for us. Most items were delicious…I passed on the chicken feet though, of course. Ethan was a real trooper. He is SUCH a picky eater! I felt bad for him really but he surprised me with how well he did. John Preston would NOT quit eating. Watching him is a sight to behold. He will not stop unless we walk away from the food at each meal and even then he goes under protest. I’m so afraid he is going to make himself sick. I don’t get the impression that he is hungry…just that he likes to eat.
We had a nice lunch with several workers and the deputy orphanage director. She took a particular liking to Ethan and was VERY concerned that he had on a short sleeve tshirt. She ordered one of the workers to go and get him a jacket or sweatshirt. She brought back several choices and let him decide. They were NOT taking no for an answer! Ha! Ethan was a good sport and chose a blue and red jacket. Ethan gave the orphanage deputy director a big hug before we left and told her thank you and I think that made her day.
Before we left, they insisted that John Preston go to the medical clinic. His eyes are watering and he had a bit of a cough when he came to us. The doctor insisted that he needed medicine. We came back to the hotel with a bottle of what smells like cough syrup. I’m sure that will heal everything that ails him. 😉
We went to the bathroom there too…thank the Lord for western toilets. John Preston was a HANDFUL and I thought I might lose my mind there for a minute but I managed to pull myself together. We have some serious potty skills work to do!!!
We snapped a few more group photos in the front lobby but John Preston was DONE!! He saw those doors and was ready to bolt!
Both of the children adopted were quite solemn on the way home. It was so sad. Praying that they know in their hearts that they will never be back there again.
We drove by and visited the finding spot for the other family then made the two hour drive back home.
It was an exhausting day. I was too tired to take everyone out of the building for dinner. We bought some soft drinks and pastry entrees in the cafe at the Garden and stayed in our room to eat. We changed into pjs and went to bed early. Glad that part of the trip is behind us but thankful we were able to go.
Thank you for your continued prayers!
Bao’an Social Welfare Center, that both of my babies called home for many years.
John Preston’s classroom.
The deputy orphanage director is next to me.
Here’s Ethan sporting his new jacket from the deputy orphanage director! Ha!
Bao Song Lang
This was John Preston’s bed.
The little bed in the center was my sweet MinLan’s bed according to the nanny supervisor.
So excited to see Trudy again!!! She is still waiting on her forever family!
The playground at Bao’an.
The female is one of John Preston’s teachers.
Sweet Rubin on Reece’s Rainbow! He needs a family!
One of the foster mommas brought these yogurt drinks to share!
Awesome to learn from our guide Aexa!