Today we took a trip to Nanping, a city with a population of 500,000 built along a small river in the mountains. It is in the northwest corner of the Fujian province, about 2 1/2 hours from Fuzhou, where we have been staying. Anna Faith is a great traveller. She fell asleep shortly after we left and woke up as we were coming into the city. The road we were on is only 10 years old and was just like a U.S. highway. The only difference is the manicured shrubs and about 30 tunnels, some that were a couple miles long, along the way! The views were breathtaking of the countryside, rice patties, mountains, rivers and small towns in valleys. Nanping is a city that is beginning to modernize. There were old buildings and many new ones, and even a KFC and McDonalds that looked very new in the heart of the city. Next to an old suspension foot bridge was a new modern one for cars. We parked in front of the orphanage, and the first thing I saw was the tunnel. This tunnel passes under a train track to the gate of the orphanage. My mind went back to the first thing I read about Anna Faith the day we received her file to review last September: found at 8 days old in a baby suit in the tunnel leading to the social welfare institute (orphanage). Tears started to come as we approached it. It all began here: a frightened mother and perhaps father came here August 24th, 2011, and left their beautiful baby, never to see her again. She chose life for Anna Faith, and compassionately left her where someone would find her and be able to care for her. God knew all along what His plan for her would be. Even the adoption agent who came with us today said "I can see she was made for you". She looks in my eyes as if she has always known. I can't explain it, can't make sense of it, but I know that God is sovereign and He is good. His plan for each of us is amazing! Anna Faith has such a story to tell, and with her personality God gave her, I'm sure she won't be afraid to share it!
We continued on to the medical part of the orphanage and met a doctor and nurse who work there. They were very happy to see our girl, as was a 14 year old girl who ran up to her to give her a hug and hold her a while. Then her nanny appeared. She smiled a huge smile and went to her. Her nanny obviously cares for her a great deal. We praised her for the care she gave Anna Faith. She also cares for 11 other kids in the same room, but Anna Faith is the youngest from what we saw. We got to see her room, but only for a few moments. The children were supposed to be napping, even the old ones. They are all special needs, and most of them seemed to have mental delays. I found out that the kids that Brooke, a friend I've corresponded with who adopted from the same orphanage last year, has been advocating for are still there. Hopefully the pictures the workers took on 2 disposable cameras I sent with her care package will have photos of those children, because I only snuck one photo before being told it wasn't allowed.
We met with the vice director, Mrs. Wang, since the director is out of town today. She showed us photos of kids with their adoptive families and got Anna Faith's hand print for a picture page she is making for her next. Then we asked her nanny about the outfit she was found in. A few minutes later she brought it to us. I cried again and thanked her, saying how it was very special to us. We then went on with a couple of workers to eat lunch. Anna Faith had to say bye to her nanny, but didn't cry but for a few seconds. She wanted to go to me on her own. I was thrilled! Kris got to leave the nanny with a Chinese Bible and shared with her. I pray she will read it and find the hope we have too.
We enjoyed the meal with the staff a lot. They got lots of dishes for us, including one made from bamboo shoots that is a local Nanping dish. After the meal we thanked them and left. Anna Faith fell asleep again so we had a quiet ride back. Kris shared and left a Christian book with our driver when we got back to the hotel. Then we played around some more with our baby girl, went out and got bread for dinner (we were so stuffed from lunch we didn't want anything else) and settled in for bath time and sleep. It was an emotional, but very special day for us. I want to treasure all these memories and be able to recall every detail to my daughter one day. She will likely have so many questions, and I want her to have every answer we could get. Tomorrow is a day of sightseeing. We are ready to get home, but still have 6 days to go!