On our ride in to the area where the CWI is located, P and I noticed right away how absolutely gorgeous the area is. It just *looks* rich. It reminded me of Boca Raton, or some fancy inland area of Florida. Perfectly manicured, new and beautiful buildings, fancy shopping areas. Our guide, Rebecca, told us that this area not only looks rich, it *is* rich. The people there are wealthy. So, it was very, very upsetting to see how sparse and old and sad looking the CWI is. Even Rebecca said it made her very mad, knowing that such a rich area has such a seemingly poor CWI. Still, she also noted that Shunde would be considered a "medium level" CWI...there are others much nicer, and much worse.
We were welcomed by some very friendly CWI workers. Rebecca warned me to hold on to R for dear life, but it became readily apparent that this was not going to be an easy task. The caretakers swarmed our little R as if she was a celebrity. They showed us their iphones full of pictures they had taken over time of R. They obviously loved her very much. They wanted to hold her and kiss her and take pictures of her and generally love on her. While R wasn't clamoring to jump into anyone else's arms, I think she would have been happy to go to anyone as long as they weren't me. At one point, they asked us to put her down to take pictures, and before we knew it (and before Rebecca could tell them NO), someone had scooped her up. Getting R back into my arms was a little tough. After that, Rebecca said to not let her go again, and she was much more stern with the staff about staying back.
We left our gifts to the CWI, and were given a tour of the building. Neither P nor I will ever forget the things that we saw on this day. Sure, the facility was pretty sad, and it's hard to imagine our child living there for two years of her life, but it was the children we saw that really left an impression. There were many, many faces that I will never, ever forget.
Toys were sparse, beds were just a slat of wood, some of the children were walking outside on the hot concrete with no shoes. Still, you could see that the caretakers were proud of the care they gave to the children. R was clearly a favorite there. Everyone quickly became quite enamored of E, too.
We won't soon forget the things we saw today. We'd love to empty the entire orphanage. But since we can't, we'll just hold our daughters a little tighter, love them a little harder, and hope that R opens her heart to our love the way E has.
|Getting ready to go back to her old home.|
|Foshan Shunde CWI|
|Lots and lots of loving and attention for one of their favorites.|
|Kitchen where R's meals were prepared.|
|Toddler room where R slept. Hers is the empty crib.|
|R was bathed here every day. She would sit in the pink tub, and get|
sprayed with the shower.
|This darling little boy has thalassemia major.|
|This guy befriended P. He loved seeing the photos we took of him.|
He'd be happy to know he made the blog.
|Lots of thoughts going through her mind.|
E taking it all in.
|Friends saying goodbye.|
The little girl in the striped shirt was in the crib next to R, and was her best friend.