Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Visit to Apple's Orphanage
The drive was long, through beautiful lush green mountains with rivers, ponds and lakes throughout. The SWI was typical, but the workers very, very good and nice. Apple shared a room. There were 8 children ages 1-6 years old in her room and 6 caregivers. What a great ratio! No wonder it's so obvious that Apple was held a lot. All the children in the room had special needs of one kind or another. There was a sleeping room with an unused bathroom, a playroom that had a bathroom with a regular Chinese toilet, plastic baby potties and a bathing area with a baby tub on a stand near a decent faucet. There was an office for the volunteer organization in charge of the children's medical care, with physical therapists, one from England, in fact. And there were four medical staff members. There are 300 children in this orphanage!
Even though the rooms were small and crowded, the children were ALL clean. They did not smell at all. All their nails were trimmed, too. No dirty diapers apparent and no sour milk smell anywhere. My own daughter has little hand orthotics that they gave me and other children had AFOs and other equipment as needed. This is an orphanage that's really accomplishing something good. I was also told that all the children have adoption papers submitted to Beijing. I was asked to advocate for two little boys who have waited on the shared list for THREE YEARS! I'll post their pictures and information later on. I have video of both, too.
Apple was happy to see familiar faces but wanted her mama most of all! It's amazing how fast they start to bond. She has done some grieving, too. Each day in the late afternoon when she's tired, if we've been out and come into the hotel room, she starts crying. She's easy to comfort, but it's clear that she's grieving. Tonight, she started crying while we were still in the hallway as I was unlocking the door. She's a very easy baby! She's becoming more animated each day and letting a little more of her personality show as she begins to trust me. Her sense of humor is tremendous and she plays baby games and jokes on me all the time. I'm really looking forward to being her mama. I can't wait to hold her in my rocking chair and feed her her bottle.