Monday, March 30, 2009

Trip to the orphanage!

Today was our big trip to the orphanage where Leah spent the first 3 1/2 years of her life. We had been on the road for about 30 minutes when I started thinking that this was a bad idea. The driving here is insane and our car was the fastest one on the road. I was pretty sure we were risking our lives for a trip to the orphanage. I cannot tell you how happy I am to say that our very nice, friendly, speed racing driver got us to Huizhou and back without any problems (if you don't count Leah throwing up in the backseat and Kai's eyes turning yellow because he had to pee so bad). The trip there took a little over 2 hours.

Our guide Jack went with us and we really appreciate his help. He has become a friend to us. He did great guiding us, translating and making sure we didn't get into trouble. He even stopped at the supermarket at my request so I could buy some candy and snacks for the workers and kids at the orphanage. Jeff told him later that if Mamma ain't happy, ain't nobody happy. He said it was the same way in China. Thank you so much for today Jack!

It was an awesome experience to get to visit the orphanage. It looked very clean and well kept. There is about 60-70 kids that live there. Most of them with special needs, some severe and other minor special needs. There is also around 70 older people that live there. We saw many of them, because they were outside, but we only saw a few of the kids while we were there.

We had tea with the Director and the Nanny in charge. We also met the lady that is in charge of adoptions. She is the one that brought Leah to us when we arrived in Guangzhou, one week ago today!!! On our way out, we walked by the building Leah had lived in. The nanny that had the most responsibiliy for Leah in her last months at the orphanage came out to say hi. Eventually there were several more nannies that came out to say hi to Ying Ying. Leah's best friend at the orphanage, a blond little girl that is going to get a home in Belgium, came out and gave her hugs. Everyone was very smiley and happy to see YingYing. They all talked to her and wanted to touch her. Leah didn't smile at all but she would look around and went to people that wanted to hold her. The wonderful thing was that she came back to me as quickly as possible. There is no doubt in our hearts that she wants to be with us. We are now back in the hotel room and she is laughing and playing and showing us over and over again that she is happy to be part of our family. We are so very happy to have her!!!

Leah with her friends!

We are standing outside the building where she used to live.

Leah saying bye, bye to the orphanage and everyone there!

We stopped for lunch at KFC

What we saw of Huizhou city was beautiful. This picture is taken at one of their squares. The landscaping along the road we were driving was also beautiful.



  1. Så flott tur dere har hatt, -godt at dere er trygt tilbake! Tøffe Kai som holdt seg i 2t! :-)Så deilig at Leah så tydelig ville være med dere! Nå vet dere enda litt mer om bakgrunnen hennes...Virker som dette var en viktig dag for dere alle! Og nå skal snart kofferten pakkes! Kunne dere ikke ordne mellomlanding her da,-når dere likevel flyr jorda rundt? Klem fra Anne

  2. Wonderful!!! I'm so happy it all went so well.



  3. Looks like it was a worthwhile trip glad that you made it safely and Leah did so well. She will have so much fun with her new family and Paige is excited to meet her new friend:) We will be praying for a safe journey home.

  4. Your comments about your travel in China were ours exactly! The driving is really insane, and you can't appreciate it until you experience it! We continually praised God for safe arrival at our destination! It is so fun to follow your trip with pictures - thanks for letting us share this special time on your blog!

  5. Vi var spente på hvordan det kom til å gå i dag. Og er derfor veldig glade for at dere fikk den bekreftelsen dere trengte :). Er flott at vi får følge dere på reisen, og bildene av Leah som smiler og ler er helt fantastiske! Klemmer fra Ellen og Lars Olav

  6. I loved the pictures at the orphanage, it was so cute to see the ones with Leah and her friends. How awesome to have her excited to be back at the hotel with you!! I can't wait till Wednesday night!!!! Karsten and I are playing Wii right now and Sofia is the Cheerleader!
    Love you all!
    Aunt Deb

  7. Hi Anne Marie,
    I have really enjoyed following your trip. I, too, noticed that Leah had gained quite a bit of weight since the referral. I will share with you that in Sophie's referral picture she was very emaciated. Our guide talked to the orphanage before we went to get her and the director said that they had been giving her a private nanny and "special nutrition" to fatten her up. So, she also was heavier when we went to get her!
    I am so happy that things are going so smoothly and that you are enjoying these first days with Leah in your family. I am also glad that the trip to the orphanage was worthwhile to all of you. I know you are glad to have seen it. (Sophie also was nervous on the trip there and threw up almost the whole way!)
    I got an email last night from someone who is adopting a 2 1/2 year old albino girl from Huizhou City SWI. Would it be ok to share your website with her because I suspect that is her daughter in the picture of Leah with her friends from the orphanage.
    Best of luck on the trip back home!
    May Hamer