Yesterday, (Friday) our guide drove us to Zhongshan City where we visited the orphanage where Xi Hua spent her first 3 years. Upon our arrival we met the Director of the orphanage and he greeted us kindly and we all took a photo. We then went on a tour with Ms. Zhong who runs the orphanage. She is amazing. There are over 400 children who live on the grounds of the orphanage and over 100 more who live in other homes. We we asked to see various children for families waiting, she knew who they were and where they were at that moment.
The orphanage is well funded, clean and well staffed. The staff cares for the children well and they have many children to care for. The children have matching tee shirts, pants, pajamas and shoes and 3 meals a day. It is still clear when you see the children their desire and or lack of much adult interaction. Some were frightened, some clung to us. One little girl, who was blind, felt her way across the room and literally clung to Jacob, saying “I want a mama and baba” in Chinese. We heard her say Mama and Baba and we asked our guide what she said. Our hearts just melted inside. We had to peel her off, precious baby. She was about 4 or 5.
Xi Hua was okay until her favorite nanny came running to hug her, calling her name. She froze and didn’t know what to do and then she began to cry because she didn’t want to stay. She loved the nanny but had made a decision to not stay and thought she was going to have to stay. So I picked her up and she began to calm. She cried again and clung to me when we went into her crib room. She did not want me to drop her off in her crib! When we went tot he cafeteria and she started to help me pass out stickers to all of her friends, she was happy again. She realized she was a part of “the farewell party” and passing out stickers as a way of saying goodbye was great!
We hugged and loved as many little friends as we could.