Thursday, August 4, 2011

Orphanage visit

Well, today was quite a day!  Emmett woke up at 5:15 am, so our day started early!  (He now knows he has two names, Emmett and Haixing, and he said it is fine).  After breakfast we met our guide in the lobby, and drove to the orphanage.  It took about 1 1/2 hours.  We were able to see more Chinese countryside than I've ever seen before.  It is very lush and green here, though still very smoggy.  Our guide explained to Emmett before we left that we were just going to visit and bring gifts for his friends, but that he was going to come home with us.  He nodded his head.  When we got there, he was smiling and pointing to everything.  The director greeted us at the door, and lead us up to her office.  Emmett did look a little nervous when she told him to follow her.  He grabbed his sisters' hands and turned around to make sure we were following him.  They had a snack of watermelon and grapes prepared for us.  We visited there with the orphanage director and a director of a different part of the institution.  The Social Welfare Institute has buildings for orphans, the disabled, and a nursing home.  Haixing gave both directors kisses.  Director Zhang told Haixing to show us around.  We first went up the third floor, where several nannies were waiting to greet him.  They came out of a room where roughly 20 older infants/toddlers were laying on the floor.  One was sitting up.  Likely some were special needs.  Only one was crying, but there was nothing for stimulation.  It was difficult to see.  The whole place was spotlessly clean though!  After visiting with the nannies for a bit, Emmett showed us his bed, which is a crib in a room that is a sea of cribs.  Hard to believe he still slept in a crib at 5!  We finished our tour by going to the first floor, to what appeared to be a school room.  We know Emmett was walked to a public school every day, so we are guessing the children here didn't go to school.  They were all special needs kids.  When we were there they were eating lunch.  Emmett quickly pointed out his 2 best friends, and wanted to take a photo of them.  The director said we couldn't take photos in there, so he took them out in the hall for a photo.  He handed fruit snacks around to all.  We had brought several gifts to the orphanage, diapers, formula, toys, a few clothes, and some drink boxes.  Emmett went with the nannies to unload those gifts, and was very happy to give them to his former home. 
We then had lunch in the VIP dining room.  It was very nice, and much more food than 20 people could eat!  I ate octopus for the first time.  Small ones with heads still on(!).  The food was delicious, and Emmett ate a huge amount.  The director seated herself next to him, and continued offering him food and feeding him throughout the meal.  I could tell she was making the most out of her last meal with Haixing!  Many people stopped in to say hello.  We heard many times that he was the orphanage favorite!  When it was time to go our guide asked him if he had anything to say to the director.  He said, "Goodbye, see you later."  As we got in the van he blew her a kiss and left smiling.  It was very touching that he trusts us already!  It was a great experince, though very emotional for the parents and grandparents!
A few of the nannys that  cared for Emmett Haixing

Emmett Haixing showed us his bed

Emmett Haixing took this picture of his two best friends

The entrance to the building where he lived

Emmett took this picture of Director Zhang

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