Friday, August 24, 2007

Our trip to Dongguan - the Orphanage and Foster Family

Well we headed out Thursday to Dongguan in the minivan with our guide David. We had some rush hour and traffic problems so it took us over two hours to get there. Usually it is about 1-1/2 hours to get there. The kids were pretty restless by the time we got there - but we all got our naps in.

We arrived close to lunch and met with the staff immediately and Taylor saw her foster mother and ran to her. You could tell this was her domain and she knew her way around. Just before we had arrived Taylor had her first real meltdown so it was pretty emotional as we arrived, we had lots of mixed messages and both Scott and I were not sure what to think about where Taylor was at developmentally. Scott even had asked me if I was ok in keeping her? I had waited a whole year and knew we were walking into unknown territory. Esp. with taking a baby that had spent her time in mostly orphanage care. This was a trying time and moment. I also knew God had brought her into our lives for a reason and this child needs a mom and dad to love her. We would make it work and knew the resources were available to us. I have always struggled with disruptive adoptions. I know some personally and understand those situations and actually mulled through this - but felt we needed to try.
As we got off the van, we did ask David to ask some hard questions about her development and speech so we could get their perspective on where she is at.

We sat in their lounge area and talked with them and David did ask these questions. They quickly let us know that she is bright and very quick to learn and try things. She was very attached to her foster mother, but also would come back to me so felt good about the situation. She took my hand and led me around the two floors that we were allowed to see. So both Scott and I felt more at peace. We could tell the Foster mother was a wonderful lady who did care for her and had good interaction with Taylor.

While we walked around, we saw her crib and were allowed to take a photo of it and we also got a photo of her with the nanny of that room. We also got to see Charlotte's girl Kaylee and I got to hold her and take photo's. Then I thought I had Michelle's boy - but it turns out it wasn't but she will be seeing him in only days. I have written Bekah, since now I think they got confused and it maybe her son I met?

I had them all sign Taylor's book for her and then we went for lunch. We had a very nice lunch at a local restaurant and we had a private room with the asst dir, another lady I forget she is like his asst. and then the new teacher to the older students. I did find out the name of the old teacher since she is in the photo's I have in Taylor's file and was curious to who she was.

The food was excellent and the kids were active but had a good time. I got a nice break since the foster mother wanted to take care of Taylor and I felt it was a good time for them to spend together. I also wanted to observe their interaction since there was a comfort level there and see things we may not be seeing yet. In the end I saw a few minor things, but did see she did many similar things with me - and had more peace about it now.

We headed back to the orphange in the rain - more storms are coming....
We took some more photo's together exchanged more information and promised to send updated photo's.

We headed a few blocks away to a new five star hotel that is very nice and very busines focused hotel. I think not use to three little kids. They had a nice water fountain outside that kept them briefly entertained.

There was not much around since most is new construction and not completed - so we decided to do the Japanese restaurant downstairs for dinner. Well that was pretty interesting!! This was a restaurant not designed for toddlers :-)
But we got through it and had a nice but trying meal. Scott and I reflected and remembered our time in Kunming getting Kaitlyn and realized then, we seemed to be challenged at dinner time too. Most places are not designed for kids and no kids menu's.... so you just have to be creative. Taylor loved Miso soup LOL - we left stuffed and I am sure most guests were entertained. I usually have to leave at least once to calm Taylor down. She is not used to a structured sit down environment we think.

Another thing we have learned is I can't leave the table to take Kaitlyn to the bathroom. Taylor has a full fledge meltdown if I leave her behind. :-) Wonder what it will be like when I leave her to go back to work? Will need a few test runs.

We headed back to our room and just in time to meet with Lisa. She is my friend Lisa who we visited, sister-in-law. She had brought Taylor her birthday cake and many gifts. She lives and works one hour away at another five star hotel and got off at 7 PM and took a taxi to meet with us. So we felt very honored to meet her and spend a short time with her. We took photo's and David translated for us. The poor thing - the kids were wound up and just running all over the room. I am sure we have convinced David never to have more than one kid - even though by law he can't. But they were just a kick. Taylor was right behind them trying to copy them. Also a good sign.

Well we said our goodbye's and the kids crashed quickly and I was right behind them!

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