Today was a very emotional day – both sad and happy. We were able to visit Ruth’s orphanage and go to her finding spot. We were picked up at 1:30 pm by Richard our guide, after Ruth had a 1 hour screaming fit. We were not quite sure how this visit would go. After surviving an hour in crazy Chinese traffic, we arrived to Huadu and the Huadu SWI (Social Welfare Institute) aka orphanage. On the way there we passed fields, ponds, both poor and nice housing – all high rises, and so much smog – the pollution in China is horrendous. The orphanage itself was nice in some places and sad in some. There was an open area with a play set and trampoline, few bouncy type toys you see in parks. The inside play area had several different ride on toys and there was a room attached with a small type classroom and small toys. Of course, a picture says a thousand words, so we’ll let a lot of that speak for itself.
Yep, it’s a squatty potty! (I now understand why she’s not potty trained)
We were able to meet the little lady going to be adopted soon by Angela from one of my China facebook groups. She was quite sweet, but very unsure of us. Here she is with Ruthie below.
We met a little firecracker little man who is 4 years old and is a boy version of Lucy I’m sure. He has a sad story – an Italian couple came to adopt him and brought him back 2 days later, because they said he has too much problems with his speech. He has a repaired cleft lip, but unrepaired palate, so of course he would have some problem with his speech. He craved the attention we gave him and was quite enamored by the videos of Lucy I showed him on my phone. And here is the little firecracker with me…and a tag along kiddo.
The hard part for me is seeing Ruth being torn away from one of the orphanage staff members that she was close to – Min Chen. She took her home with her at least 2x per week, took her out to eat, etc in order to help her develop a little more. Min has worked in the orphanage for 7 years now, so was there when Ruth arrived. She said she was absolutely tiny and only in the past 6 months has her development increased. In August – at age 2 ½ – she learned how to walk, so that’s why she’s so unsteady on her feet. We asked her if she takes any other children home with her and she said no, just her. She teared up on several occasions. I wonder if she could, if she would have adopted her. She told us at least 10 times to keep in touch and send lots of pictures. We could see that Ruth had this amazing bond with Min and wanted nothing to do with us when she was around. We didn’t push the issue during our visit and let them love on each other as much as they liked. Here they are together.
Min went with us to Ruth’s finding spot and also bought Ruth a kind of egg custard at a bakery just a few shops down from her finding spot. I became tearful when we reached the street she was found on – imagining what her mother felt leaving her there, probably because she felt she had no other choice. If you don’t have money, you simply don’t get healthcare, so many of these babies would die. She was in terrible condition when she was left at 3 months of age, so I feel that she was loved and wanted, but her mother or parents felt they had no other choice in order to give her a better life. Anyone who passed us could have been her mother, did she work at one of the shops nearby or live nearby?? I can’t imagine what her mother felt and how she still feels, but how a mother’s love can go as far as leaving your child in order for them to have a better life. Very sad.
She was left on the step of this optical store. Number 61.
Now, back to the orphanage…..we saw a mischievous little guy about 3 who had a huge scratch across his face. Apparently he got in a fight and it looks like he lost.He loved following us around.
At one point a downs syndrome little boy went and wrapped his arms around my legs and gave me the
biggest grin ever.
There is a small room where all the sick children are kept together and the orphanage doctor was there checking them out when we were there. Apparently due to low staff, the doctor does things that any other worker does – we saw her sweeping, dressing the kids, playing with them. When we came to drop Min off at the orphanage we saw her in her white coat playing badminton.
I knew to be prepared for some really sad cases, as most of China’s orphanages are filled with special needs children. There was a blind child, probably about 3, a child hooked up to an IV who has epilepsy and was leaving on a stretcher, a child with a port wine birth mark across more than half his face, an infant newly abandoned that appears to be in cardiac distress and probably has some kind of brain defect – I don’t imagine her being with us long – and many lying listlessly in their metal cribs. Some were very eager to see us! I went to every single crib and talked to every child that was awake. We were told that children often come to orphanages to die and that they are not listed for adoption, until it’s certain that they are stable and will survive. I wonder how many of these children would be ok today if there was the ability to have good healthcare, or is it better to let nature take its course and let them go to heaven where there is no pain or suffering? We could tell that the staff really did love these children, which was really comforting to see. They were always smiling while working with the children. One funny thing we saw is a big metal wagon – more of an industrial looking thing – with about 6 small children lying in it for transportation. Not sure what they were doing, but it looked hilarious. One little one was trying to climb out.
We have been told than 10% of Chinese couples are unable to have their own children, so they usually get the very healthy newborns found. They are pickier, so often children with easily repairable conditions get overlooked, and are listed for international adoptions. Speaking of international, other than Americans, we have seen an Irish and Italian family on this trip.
HERE WE ARE WITH ALL THE ORPHANAGE STAFF WORKING THAT DAY:
Right now Ruthie is in the tub – which she loves. Trying to get some bonding time in with George, who she overall has not liked. I can tell that it’s really bothered him today, so I’m trying to provide some opportunity for them to spend time together. Besides, I will be drugged on the plane ride home and need her happy!
We had a terrible last night. She’s had diarrhea and we had to wake up 2-3x to take care of business. She only has had 1 bout today thank goodness!! We had a bit of progress in the eating category. She’s a stubborn little thing and insisted on feeding herself breakfast, but is unable to get the spoon straight into her mouth.
Tonight I was worried about bonding again after going to the orphanage, but she’s been the happiest she’s ever been giggling nonstop and even giving Daddy some grins and attention. When she give you’re a grin, she wrinkles her nose up too. Hilarious. What’s funny, is that when I was a baby I did the same thing. She stayed right outside the shower again this evening. Sounds like she’s giving Daddy grief right now so I better take care of our little Ruthie!
(It’s actually Friday morning that I’m posting this and again, a nightmare night – not sure if she is in pain, but after Tylenol she’s still sleeping from 2 AM til 7 AM)