Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Our Visit to Li Shui

Hangzhou, May 20th at 2:30 PM

Megan writing here.....
Yesterday we went to Michael's hometown of Li Shui to visit where he has been living for the past 14 years.  It was quite an amazing day and we are glad we made the trip which was about 4 hrs each way.  It didn't seem quite as long as a car trip in the states might seem as the kids just walk around inside the van most the time!  Upon arriving in town we met the orphanage director and vice director for an amazing lunch at the nicest hotel in town and were treated to quite a feast.  There were at least 15 to 20 different dishes (many of which were a mystery to us) and as soon as we would try one they would bring another one out.  My funny moment is when Joy yelled her shrimp had eyes and was going to get her!!!!!  They were so hospitable and the manager and assistant manager of the hotel also came to welcome us.  We could not have been treated any nicer and Michael smiled through the whole lunch.

We then went to his orphanage and were greeted by his friends who were back from school on their lunch break. (the kids all leave school at 11:30 and return at 2:30) this is considered their summer schedule as they come home to take a rest and then back to school until 5:00.  When we drove into town you could see hundreds of kids on the streets walking home. I was told most children are taken care of durng that time by nannies or grandmothers as all chinese women are required to go back to work once their children start kindergarten. At the orphanage we were given a full tour and got to spend some time with some of the babies and toddlers.  A few of them are awaiting their adoptive parents but many are just waiting to be matched in the first place.  My new friend Suzanne (who told us about Michael) is a true hero there as she has worked tirelessly to find parents for many of the children there. I was moved by their gratefulness to her and to us for coming and bringing Michael home.  They are very fond of him and think so well of him and want so for him to have a bright future.  I think it was a bit sad for some of his friends who have already aged out and are not available for adoption any longer. (You can imagine, Jim was all over wanting to help them and thinking creatively!)

Michael then wanted for us to see his school in the city where he attends but wanted us to wait until 2:30 so all the students would get to see us!!  We went to the school (which had better security than any US school I have been to) and were met by his teacher and then escorted to his classroom where we were welcomed by all the students and then asked to come to the front of the class to say something.  Michael sat among his peers and took pictures of us (we had brought him a digital camera) as we spoke to the class.  He seemed so proud and it meant the world to us that he wanted them to know he was our son. (word had also gotten around that we had a pool at our house, so i think that helped!!!)

It was one of those days you know was of utmost importance and we are so glad we made the trip there. In the pictures you will see he is wearing his new favorite outfit of Nike sweats with a Kobe Bryant T shirt (yes he and Jim went shopping without me!).  Today is his third day of wearing it and he is reminding me of Mac at summer camp!!

Today the director of the orphanage called our guide to say that Michael called them last night to tell them he likes us so much and from the moment of meeting us felt so good about us adopting him.  Whew.....hopefully he will remember that in the tough months ahead as he transitions to his new home, family and country.

We leave tomorrow for Guangzhou to finish the US side of the adoption.

Having a good time here but can't wait to kiss the Sands of Valleyford!!!!!

1 comment:

  1. Very heartwarming to hear how Michael's heart has already bonded to yours. The Kobe shirt has made it this far and probably needs to appear in the rest of the pictures. BTW, still no Chinese restaurants in Valleyford. Eat well for the rest of us!