Wednesday, July 9, 2014

ORPHANAGE VISIT AND FINDING SPOT

Today was a very emotional day to say the least.  But I am so thankful that I was able to visit my son's orphanage.  It was something that I dreamed about for each one of my children but only became a reality for Colton's journey.  

Our day started out very early.  We had to meet our guide in the lobby at 8:00 am.  The drive to the orphanage was 2 1/2 hours each way.  As our van pulled out of the hotel, a bus came out of nowhere and  crashed right into us.  Everyone was fine but we were scared.  We had to wait for another van to come and pick us up.  And on the way home from the orphanage the van started to smoke and there was a horrible smell.  Turns out something was wrong with the air conditioner so another van met us on the side of the highway and picked us up to finish our trip back to the hotel.  

Once we got to Colton's orphanage we found out that it's also a place where older citizens reside.  The orphanage director and nannies were very happy to see Colton.  They invited us to stay for lunch and of course we were happy to stay.  The food was delicious and there were so many different dishes they offered.  They were so kind to us.  They explained to us that international adoptions have dropped in the last few years.  Partly due to their being fewer children and partly due to the fact that there are more domestic adoptions which is really nice to hear.   They also told us that they believe Colton was meant to be our son.  With Domestic adoptions you are able to go into the orphanage and choose a child in which you want to adopt.  We were told that many Chinese citizens wanted to adopt Colton but his file was already locked to our agency and to our name.  We certainly know that the Lord has his hands all over Colton's story and he certainly was meant to be our son.

Colton seemed ok.  He wasn't exactly happy or sad.  He sort of just soaked it all in.  He's way too young to understand it all, but I do believe it affected him in some way.

Before showing us around the orphanage staff decided to take us to Colton's finding spot.  So we all loaded into the van and they drove us to the hospital in Loudi City in which he was left.  It was a very busy area there and the hospital was nestled between a few other businesses.  Tons of people walked past us.  I clutched Colton tightly wondering if his birth mommy still walks that road.  Or has she never returned since placing her child in front of the hospital and walking away?  I have no doubt that she picked this very spot carefully knowing that someone would find him.  We have pictures of Colton shortly after he was found.  They are very hard to look at.  He is covered from head to toe in bug bites.  My heart aches wondering how long he was outside before he was found.  

I will never know exact details.   I only have pieces of his puzzle that I can give him when he's older.  No specifics but at least I have some information for him.  I feel as his mother I want to give him more but I am helpless in that area.  All I can do going forward is to promise him that I will love him forever and ever.  I can give him an amazing future that will perhaps make up for the missing pieces to his past.

Once we returned to the orphanage we were given a tour.  My heart is still so sad.  No child should ever be without the love of a mommy and daddy.  Yet there are millions of orphans in the world.  I saw things today that will always lay a burden on my heart.  The sadness in the children's eyes breaks my heart and the thought of what their future holds is too unbearable to imagine.  The nannies do all they can to love on these children.  Colton was loved I am sure of.  But they can only do so much.  

Halainah handed out lollipops to all the children.  All were so grateful to receive a sweet treat.  Some ran up for seconds and thirds.  Halainah is still too young to understand it all.  But on her level, she understands that these children do not have a mommy and daddy.  She understands that is where her story began.  Yet she doesn't understand that they may not have the happy ending that she has and honestly I am glad about that.  

Colton recognized his main nanny right away and he went to her when she put her arms out.  I was happy about that as I felt he needed to feel secure at that moment.  When it was time, he gladly jumped back into mine which made my heart very happy.

We were able to see Colton's room and his crib.  We were able to meet those that slept in the same room as him.  We were able to ask questions freely.  Most orphanages do not allow adoptive parents to visit.  I am so thankful that Colton's allowed us to.

There's just so much more on my heart that I wish I could share.  I think I need to keep some of it private for my son.  This is his story and if he wants to share it later in life then that is his choice to make.  What I do know is that a piece of me was left in his orphanage.  I pray one day the Lord sends a mommy and daddy for each one of those children.  I know the odds but I also know all things are possible with prayer.  And I will continue to pray for each and every one of them.

Colton continues to do well.  He is opening up more and more everyday.  He is a funny little guy who loves to mimic and play games.  He seems to love his new family and we are head over heels in love with him.  Some have asked his size.  Although he looks huge in pictures, he wears a size 12 month clothes.  Thank goodness because that's what size I brought with me.   I even put a few 9 month onesies on him.  

He's so amazing and I pray he loves us as much as we love him!!  

To my Ava...we miss you terribly.  It has been really hard being so far away from you.  We can't wait for you to meet your little brother.  1 more week and we are coming home for you!  Thank you for being such a good girl for Grandma!!

Please understand that I am only posting a few photos of Colton's orphanage and finding spot.  Some of them are just too personal for him.

Orphanage Pics:











Finding Spot Pics:






4 comments:

Aunt Ann said...

Sounds like such a bittersweet day....I'm so proud of you guys!

Anonymous said...

Mixed emotions. So very heartbreaking to see the children that do not have parents yet. And so wonderful to see you holding your son. SayingThankfull prayers for the opportunity
given to you, and prayers for the children
waiting to be adopted. Come home safe to us with your family. ♡ love Jan

Cami Jamison said...

My heart is heavy reading this. I hope we are matched quickly.

Carly Duvall said...

Hello!! We just got home from China with our 7yr old son who is from Loudi. I believe that is him in the orange shorts with the shaved head in your picture of the orphanage kids. He has Down syndrome and cataracts on his eyes. He always pushes on his left eye to help him see. I googled pictures of the Loudi orphanage because we weren't able to visit and it pulled up your photos and then I see that picture with my little boy in it! :)