We were not sure how Makinley was going to react going back to her 'home'. She did so much better than I could have EVER imagined. She did not cry or fuss at all. She stayed in her stroller and just watched everything happening around her. I think that the stroller actually made her feel like she was in her own little bubble. Every time some one came up to her she would just sit back and turn her head. She did not respond to anyone except Ms. Zhong at the end of the visit. She did look at her nanny (ayi) and listen to her when she talked to her, but she would not let anybody touch her except me. My baby was very brave today. Honestly, I do not know how these sweet children do this. Everything changes for them. Their whole life as they know it is now different. I have no idea what she must have been thinking today as we went back to Zhongshan. She always seemed to know that I was not going to leave her. She never seemed scared, just a little nervous again. Honestly, the only time that she is not nervous is with us in the room. Then she just talks, giggles and plays away!
We brought 250 DumDum lollipops to pass out and the children absolutely loved them. The older kids swarmed us for them. Everyone was very appreciative. It was a good choice for a treat because all the children can have them and enjoy them. As we passed out the lollipops we were able to meet many of the children that have families in the process of adopting them. They were all beautiful. All the children were beautiful. They all touched my heart very much.
In the baby room we were told that most of the babies had families adopting them. Most were healthy so they were being adopted domestically, which was wonderful news! Ms Zhong told us that she has 400 families in the process to adopt children from Zhongshan!! That total is domestic as well as international. That seemed like a very large number to me. It was great news because it means that these children will have families.
Zhongshan orphanage is rated the best orphanage in China. The government has put a lot of focus on Zhongshan and it is very clean and well maintained. I am so glad that this is where my daughter was. She received physical therapy while she was there and it is very apparent that they have worked with her.
As we were passing out the lollipops to the older children a group of girls grabbed the list with the names of the children that I needed to get pictures of and started finding children for us to take pictures of them. They were so cute and they were so very helpful. We got to see 12 of the 14 children that we had on the list. The other two are in foster homes. They were asking what the names next to the children's names were and I told them that was the Mama or Baba's (daddy) names. They were asking how to say them and then Journey, my friend's little girl, kept telling everyone, "Your Mama's name is ..... Your Baba's name is ......" It was very cute. Then they would ask, "Who was my Mama?" because they wanted to say the name correctly. It was so fun to be in the center of the chaos of children.
The older boys (ages 5- 13) kept asking Ms Zhong, "When are you going to find me a Mama and a Baba?" There are so many boys at Zhongshan. I told her that I have already been telling people to adopt boys because they fill many orphanages since most people only want to adopt girls. Ms Zhong told me to tell them to adopt the boys at Zhongshan!
The children are obviously well cared for at Zhongshan. They eat well they have beds and clean showers and classrooms. There is still something significant missing...a connection. My sweet girl did not connect to anyone at the orphanage, not one. Out of all of the nannies that have taken care of her for three years, not one of them did she really give the time of day to. Not one of them did she let touch her. She let Ms Zhong hold her but not until the end when we were leaving. She refused her the entire visit up until that point. So while this is the best orphanage, there is no love connection. This only a family can give to these precious children.
So my heart is heavy tonight as I will never forget the faces that I have seen today. The sweetness in each of their smiles and the tender hugs they desperately ached for.
All the nannies gathered around
Passing out lollipops
The girls looking at our list
Ms Zhong and Makinley