|Posing with the city official. She was very nice and thanked us for adopting Milo and for loving him and giving him a good life.|
Once we finally got to Anyang, we went to grab a quick bite to eat. While there, I needed to use the restroom. Dang it, a squatter! I took a picture so everyone could see what I'm talking about!
When we finally were done applying for the passport, we went to the grocery store to buy some diapers to take to the orphanage, or social welfare institute as it's known in China. The director was there to meet us. She is the one in the picture holding Milo's hand. I didn't like that. She is the one that made him come back from Little Flower. In my head, I was screaming, "Let go of my kid, lady!! You have set him so far back, don't even touch him! You hurt so many children because of your pride!!" Instead I smiled and just hated her on the inside.
|The outside of the orphanage|
|As we approached the gates, there were a few children outside playing. Two of them had Down syndrome and were so, so sweet. I waved and said, "Ni Hao!" They yelled Ni Hao back and grabbed my hands.|
We all feel in love with this guy! He is absolutely darling! I happen to know he has a Mama coming for him! YAY!!!
Visiting the orphanage was, by far, the most gut wrenching experience of the entire trip. After the padlock was taken off of the gate, we visited two orphanage rooms - one with approximately 8 kids in it and the other with approximately 11. There were approximately 12 other rooms in the younger building and an entirely different section of the orphanage for older children. The first room we visited room had children Milo's age up to about 2 years of age. If they could crawl they were allowed on the floor to play with toys that would be rivaled only by something you might find on a roadside. If a child couldn't crawl, he or she was forced to simply sit in the crib, like one little boy (pictured below) or, if a child couldn't even sit up they were forced to simply lay on their backs staring at the ceiling all day. Try it sometime. Lay on your back and don't move. See how quickly you start going crazy.
This last little guy had some life in him. He would at least smile when you tickled his cheek. Both of the children watched us as we moved and we felt almost guilty leaving their line of site, knowing that once we had taken one or two more steps, it was back to the ceiling for entertainment. No wonder Milo loves his own hands.
|The only little girl in the young room who could walk.|
|This little guy would laugh when you would touch his hands and had a funny little crawl that reminded me of my other kids.|
|This was Milo's bed. We like that it's empty now!|
The other 9 children were confined in these cage cribs. At first, a few of them shouted their greetings to us. I walked crib to crib and said hello and tickled each child. Amazingly, all nine of the children responded. And, they were hooked. Apparently they'd never seen a 6 foot tall white guy cross his big eyes before. Quite frankly, they were my best audience. Nobody has ever found me so funny. They all wanted their pictures taken, would smile big, and then would request to see themselves (and try to touch every button on the camera). Big waves were given and kisses were blown as we left.
We can't stop thinking about these children. They were born into this world, some with major difficulties, some needing only a minor surgery. None of them had any say about it. For a myriad of reasons, some political, some cultural, they were all abandoned. So, they sit in an un-heated, un-air-conditioned, dirty and crumbling building, malnourished and neglected. They watch as American moms and dads come and take their friends to a loving home and, for just a moment, they are reminded of the possibility that someday they too might be paroled from their orphan prison. Though they have never known love, they know it exists ... somewhere.
Many of you who read our blog have adopted a child from similar circumstances and know the miracle it is for the child as well as your family. This blog has always been a narrative of our journey, and never a soapbox. So, please indulge us for just one moment as we try to act as a mouthpiece for these children. If you have ever thought of adopting a child (now or later), or if you know somebody that is thinking about it, don't forget about the sweet children sitting in these crib cages. One thing I have learned is that, as Americans, we have far more than most people could ever hope to have. An international adoption is not for everybody - but it's for a lot of people and if you feel like you might be one of them, don't ignore that feeling. Nobody wouldn't love these children.
That's the end of Quin's post. Now back to Whitney:
Goodby forever, Anyang SWI. We left part of our hearts in your halls and the faces of these sweet children will never be forgotten by us. You will be in our prayers. It's crazy to think that just yesterday, Milo was one of the faces living here. He can't sit up, so he would have been one of the unfortunate few forced to simply stare at the ceiling all day long. He got very little attention, if any, and clearly had insufficient food. Just 24 hours later, it has all changed. He is loved, and he is starting to know it.
|This was the tail end of a giant smile. Love this kid!!|