Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Week 1 1/2: Orphanage Visit

We were able to visit the orphanage yesterday. This was the first time Meiqi Hannah has been back since our gotcha day last week. She was very nervous. She held my hand tight for the entire drive there. I think she was scared we were bringing her back, although our facilitator told her (in Chinese) we weren't. The orphanage staff were very warm and welcoming. They brought out some fruit and candy for us, talked with us for awhile, and gave us a tour of the facility. Our family was only the 5th or 6th "International" family to adopt from there.

A Small courtyard for kids to play in. Their only outdoor space.
We learned lots of new things about Meiqi Hannah. We learned more pieces of her "lost" history. We learned more about her life as a baby. Some of it was heart-wrenching to hear. They told us some funny stories about her too. Seeing where she spent her first 10 year of her life gives us a much better context about where she is coming from.

When we arrived at the gate, we could not even see the orphanage. It was hidden behind a big fancy apartment building for old folks.

Hidden. The kids are hidden away from society. No one even knows they are there.

The orphanage was very sterile and very plain. There was nothing "soft" or comfortable about it. Nothing homey about it. No carpet or couches or fluffy pillows. Just concrete and beds and a few toys.

No Jesus. No church. No Sunday School. No VBS.


Her orphanage has about 50 kids. About 20 of them are available for adoption.

We were encouraged that Meiqi Hannah was excited to leave with us. That means she has formed a good bond with us this week and that she trusts us. She was proud to show the nanny's our matching necklaces. She was proud to leave with us. She was not upset.

A room full of babies in cribs. Meiqi Hannah shared her candy with all of them.
I think she spent a lot of time helping the Nanny's with these younger kids. 
We are becoming more in tune with our daughter each day. We learn a little more about her, and vice versa. We are learning to laugh more. As Todd says "If we're gonna laugh about it in 5 years, we might as well laugh about it now."

The word "no" is foreign for orphanage kids. They have no concept of boundaries. But Meiqi Hannah has received more loving discipline in 10 days, than I think she has received in 10 years. It is amazing to see the change a child undergoes when she is well loved.
Even tough love!
It is amazing to see the peace that overwhelms her when we pray for her.

Meet Jesus, Meiqi Hannah Pate.

It's also pretty awesome to see how well she is learning English! She's been greeting everyone here "Hello, how are you?"

Ummm, Todd, can we bring another one home?!

Telling the Nanny's Goodbye.
It has been a tough week for us though, I'm not gonna lie. Adoption is a tough journey. It is not for the weary in heart. The enemy has a tight grip on these kids. He does not want them to be loved. He does not want them to hear the Gospel. He wants to keep them locked up, in a communist country, with very little chance of hearing the Gospel. The enemy will do everything in his power to keep families away.

We are sooooo ready to come home!!!!!!

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