Friday, March 12, 2010

On Monday and Tuesday...

...We, Krista from New Brunswick and Moya from Denver met in Beijing after close to 20 hours of plane travel, we've arrived in Zhengzhou Henan. We took a pass on taking the bus into town from the airport and took a cab to the Holiday Inn Express. (It was 10pm) There we found a note waiting for us, from the wonderful Xia, from CCAI, along with 2 much appreciated apples for a snack!

We were to meet Xia at 9am the following day to go to XinXiang. Up showered and down for breakfast!! We were starving after not eating well for the past 2 days! (Moya had choc cake)shhh!!! Xia arrived and we discovered that we would be staying at XX that night, and had to run to our room and quickly check out. We loaded up the car (and gave our driver a hernia trying to lift the heavy suitcase full of vitamins and toys..) and drove the longest way possible to XX. With a population of 6 hundred million, most of them must of been on the road this morning, as the traffic was bumper to bumper! and sometimes pedestrian to bumper..

After lots of new constuction and wheat fields we arrived in XX, a town of approxiamtely 600 thousand. We were met by the orphanage's assistant director, who after noticing we were cold, brought us into the board room and served us tea, and apples and lots and lots of candies!! The orphanage director was in a meeting and would be joining us after lunch. The Gracie's Room nannies were on thier lunch break so it was decided that we would eat first then visit. We had a great meal, in a private room in a small resturant which included fish, mushroom soup, and eggplant in fresh tomoate juice and deepfried and some dumplings stuffed with the local vegetable.

After lunch we check into our hotel, and got to use a western toliet!! whew!!
We quickly headed back to the orphanage to meet the director and FINALLY meet the babies!
We were greeted by the director and she gave a speech about how much she appreciates DJ Kids International and how our work with them has made the kids healthy and happier and many more kids are being adopted and also so many more kids are getting paper ready to be placed for adoption.

The Henan government is strongly encouraging orphanage directors to send more babies file to Beijing for adoption. Henan has gone from 8 international adoptions in 2006 to close to 300 in 2009 and re hoping for 400 this year. XX orphanage building is over 50 years old, they are currently building a new orphanage on the opposite end of town, where they will take all of the children currently in thier care, and from other local orphanages that will be closed down. they will also be able to take in more children. There hope is for more children to be internationally adopted.

We were invited to visit the new building later in the day and the director expressed hope to have a Gracie's Room there. We went up to the 3rd floor and through a doorway covered by a curtain, to see all the beautiful Gracie's Room kids!! They were sitting on a padded floor, crawling around. As we arrived, they gave them little crackers. We figured it was to get them to sit quietlty for our visit. The room was bright, and cold!! Their little faces and hands were red from the breeze coming in the open window! The room had 2 small bins of toys, but we noticed that many more interacitve toys are needed. We took time to visit with each child and talk about thier special need and whether they were available for adoption. We were delighted to know that many of them already have thier papers sent to Beijing. We were THRILLED to learn that one child already has a family waiting for her!! She was a sweetheart.

We were both impressed and how easy the kids were to smile and although they were timid at first, they were quick to warm up. They all loved having thier little red faces touch and stroked, and when we reached into thier sleeves to touch thier cold hands they would grab onto our fingers tight!!

the nannies were so proud to show a little boy that has cerebral palsey could walk. Another little one made us both laugh when she would imitate Moya shaking her head saying NO!! It was so cute. There was a little girl with Down's that would giggle everytime Moya would pretend to let her fall then quickly catch her again. One little girl, who is blind, sat on my lap and when the nanny called me mama, she laid her head down into my neck and cooed. She sounded like a little dove. A toddler who was developmentally delayed was curious and everything and loved to look at pictures of himself on the camera and he kept trying to eat Moya's watch!

Each one of the children in Gracei's room is beautiful, pictures can't capture thier spirits. The nannies care and love each and everyone of them. It was obvious. They knew everything about every child there and even some that were no longer in Gracie's room. There were 2 babies in particular that made us sad. One little fellow has been in and out of the hospital fighting an infection and the other has a very severe special need that will limit her developmet, but she is getting the love and care that she deserves in Gracie's room.

We distrubed the toys and every child received a new toy! Much to thier delight, but we noticed things are the same here in China as in the USA and in Canada.. the babies ended up playing with the boxes!!

We also distrubed vitamins (and careful instructions) and toothbrushes that were donated.
As we said goodbyes the nannies encourage the children to wave bye bye! It was very sweet.
We pasted classrooms with several children in each class, each at thier own desk, either learning math or music and we happened to see a Gracie's room graduate, signing and smiling and learning!!

We will post more tomorrow about the new building. It has been a long and exhausting day and it's almost 1am here.


Anonymous said...

Make sure you eat enough and gets lots of sleep; you have to be fit to help those kids find families!

fav tante Cheryl said...

wow!!! You have only been there such a short time and seen so much already!

Anonymous said...

Oh Krista, Thanks so much for sharing this heartfelt journey! I have been in tears as I read your post and look up and see my two angels fast a sleep im MOMMA's Bed! Yeap both of them now, but I wouldnt change a thing, well I am getting my King back! Take Care my friend