That word stings.
I mean just the word conjures up images hunger and doing without, coldness, fear, hunger, and lack. Not the kinda of place anyone wants a child to grow up in.
Papa, Livy, and I had the opportunity to visit Tess and Jude's orphanage in SaiGon. That visit, although brief, changed all 3 of us forever. We saw school children in their classroom, just like any other school kids except no one is waiting in the carpool line to ask them how their day was. We saw the small "baby room" with row after row of sterile metal cribs, each with a baby... and no mama love. We saw caretakers who were spread as thin as the formula in the baby bottles.
We walked out of the Thu Duc Orphanage and never saw the world the same way again.
We are hoping to visit Mimi's orphanage on this trip too. It is very unusual for adoptive parents to visit the China orphanage that their child came from, but we know there is a slight possibility of visiting Mimi's orphanage since other families before us have been able to arrange it. We'll make the request to visit when we get to China, and pray our guides can arrange it. If we're lucky enough to get permission to visit, it is likely we will be able to meet our little pot sticker's foster parents! Fingers crossed. We know this would be an incredible link to Mazie in the future.
We know a bit about Mimi's orphanage already. It's located in the southeastern China province of Jiangxi.
|Entry/lobby of orphanage. The only thing better than the mural are the chandeliers!|
But here's the really amazing thing about this orphanage... the thing that has us tickled pink!
The orphanage was rebuilt and had a grand reopening September of 2010.
They built a building with 13 individual apartments inside of the orphanage for "group home families" to live. Currently there are 8 individual apartments on the grounds of the orphanage being used. Each apartment or "group home" has a married couple who are foster mama and foster papa to 5 orphaned babies. Each apartment has the sitting room, kitchen, one big play room, two bedrooms, (one is for the children and one is for the parents) and two bathrooms.
|kitchen in a "group home" apartment|
|One of the bedrooms with 5 cribs in a row for each baby|
To Papa and I, everything else is secondary.
***most of the photos taken by 2 families that visited the orphanage when adopting their daughters in 2011.