We often try to forget things that pain us. We try to push them out in order to dwell on the positive and live our own happy lives. But the millions of orphans around the world don’t get to live like that. Their lives are hopeless and empty every day. Their hearts cry out for someone to notice, someone to come for them and give them a chance. They want to live a life loved, a life giving them hope and a future. If those of us who see a glimpse of their pain ignore it, we have denied them their only chance .
We woke up rested today. After over a week of insomnia and jet lag I finally got good rest. Lottie woke up and didn’t cry! We ate breakfast after FaceTiming the boys, then got in the van with our guide to see Yixing Orphanage, about two hours away.
Jiangsu Province is covered in snow. They haven’t seen this much in 5 years. It is beautiful to look at. The province has lots of waterways and canals running through all the towns and cities. It was very beautiful.
When we got to the orphanage we explained again to Lottie that she was coming to say goodbye. She seemed to understand. She smiled a little when the nannies cheered to see her and picked her up. We tried to take as many photos as possible- they didn’t stop us!
They showed us the rooms they use to do physical therapy with the kids- it was very basic looking. There was no heat anywhere. It was in the lower 20’s today, the coldest weather they’ve had in 10 years. The children were in snow suit like sleeping bags to stay warm.
When we entered her room I recognized it from photos we have. 6 cribs connected together. Across the room behind a divider were 6 more cribs with older children. Lottie is 5 and is the second youngest in the entire orphanage of 35 children (we think we were told this number but didn’t write it down).
The children all have severe special needs. All but one were nonverbal. The girl who could talk was difficult to understand. It’s no surprise that Lottie can’t speak much because none of her companions talk to her either.
Sadly, only two adoptions have taken place in this orphanage in 5 years. One was a Chinese family, one was American. Some of the children do have active files and are on a waiting list. But they have not been chosen yet. We have asked for their names and took photos and video so we can advocate for them. It is not “proper” procedure to do so but we will do what we can. We can’t sit by and see them forgotten on a long list until they age out. Every day they sit waiting is a day too long.
Anna Faith has been so good this trip. She adapts well and loves everyone she meets. But today she got scared. We tried to prepare her, but seeing the children frightened her. She didn’t know how to handle her feelings when she saw them and clung to me, asking when we could leave. I don’t know if this triggered some feelings and distant memories from her past or not. She was in a similar crib and had young special needs boys next to her as well. But she was spoiled by the older healthy girls at the orphanage and was their little “pet”. 1 1/2 years versus 5 makes a huge difference for children who are institutionalized. That is why the older ones are quickly looked over in many cases. It is just so hard for some families to handle a child so far behind.
We understood what we were committing to with Lottie. But you do anything for your child, and God clearly led us to her. She is ours. I don’t understand why she has come to us after such a long wait. It is a question my heart stuggles with. But God knows why, and one day we will too.
We ate lunch with the orphanage staff and had a chance to share our story with them. With translation I shared why we named her Lottie. We pray this plants seeds in their hearts.
We drove by the hospital next. This is where she was abandoned. The tears flowed as I got out the van to take photos for her to have later. She needs them. But how it hurt my heart to think of what happened here. The pain in her birth parents hearts must have been unbearable.
Then We went to several local shops to buy Yixing tea pots, which are famous across China. Some are over $100 because of the workmanship that goes into them. After searching several stores we went to one woman who wanted to give us a discount because she was happy we were adopting from her city. She served us local tea and gave the girls chocolates. We came away with some beautiful memories of Lottie’s city. We hope she will treasure it later in life.
After we left the orphanage I developed a migraine. The emotion of being there was too much for me to handle. Crying as we spoke words to each of affirmation and promises to pray for them took its toll on me. When we got back to the hotel it took a double dose of migraine medicine for the pain to be relieved. Kris got the girls and himself some fried rice for dinner and brought it back to the room. Lottie was all smiles again tonight. She went right to bed happy.
Tonight she had stronger arms to assist in getting dressed. She is also feeding herself a little better than two days ago. This gives us hope that life will get easier with each day. She is also showing some spunk when she doesn’t get her way. We are being tested just a little today. But that is good. We are getting the opportunity to be parents in every way.
Today was very hard, but we needed this. We hope many of you don’t forget this story either. These are forgotten or ignored children. But God doesn’t want us to pass them over. They are His treasured creation! Don’t ignore their cries. I will add photos to this post (along with all the others) when we get home and hope to have the children’s names with them by then. Please don’t forget them.
|My girls <3|
|Lottie's city, Yixing|