Wednesday, November 12, 2014

Orphanage and East Lake

Today we were granted the privilege of visiting Carter’s orphanage.  Although he did not spend a great deal of time there, we decided to visit as this was where our son started his journey to us. As we neared it, it became apparent that Carter recognized the area.  He grew quiet and sat very still.  We got off the bus and were greeted by a few of the staff: the director of foster care and international adoption and a couple of her assistants.  

We immediately went to the sixth floor.  We looked into a couple of rooms and prepared to make our way down to the fifth floor when we heard a shout and the clapping of hands. We turned and a familiar looking lady was smiling and walking at us.  She had been in the videos and pictures sent to us during our wait.  It was confusing and happened quickly. She grabbed for Carter (much to my chagrin), took him from my arms, and hugged and kissed him.  He patted her face and kissed her when she obviously requested it by pointing to her check.  Troy shot a little video; I took a picture.

He did not seem particularly pleased and quickly turned to me with outstretched arms, so we said our thanks and left, assuming she was his teacher or orphanage staff.  We came to find out later that that was his FOSTER MOTHER! Ah, regrets! There were no Madarin speakers with us, so we had no way of knowing. I could CRY! What I would have given to express to her our gratitude.  Carter was very obviously well-cared for.  He is silly, happy, and funny.  He knows how to give and receive hugs and kisses. He seems very well-adjusted and was seemingly well-prepared for this adoption. Now, she probably thinks we’re thoughtless, self-important, ugly Americans.  We did eventually tell the director to express our gratitude and explain we did not know who she was.  Sigh.  The good news?  Carter wanted to come back to US!! In fact, as we left the orphanage, he was very stressed. We had to stop for a group picture out front, and Carter wanted nothing to do with it. He wanted to get on his bus and get outta there!

(Yeah, Carter is pointing at the bus!)
(He REALLY wanted to go. I swear I'm not laughing at him. It's one of those awkward, we want a picture at the same place where we had received other photos of him in but he's freaking out because he really, REALLY wants to leave pictures. And yes. I know that all should have been hyphenated, but it's a blog not academic writing. And I'm on an iPad, so it wasn't gonna happen!)

After the visit to the orphanage, we went to East Lake.  It’s a pretty area.  Carter loved it because he got to run.  Always a highlight!  The best part of his running, at least in our estimation? He always comes back.  Sounds ridiculous and inconsequential, but in international / toddler adoption, it’s huge.  He was happy, we got some fun pictures, and we were ready to come back after the hour and half there.  The most important aspect of that little excursion?  Shorts and t-shirt weather! ;) It’s in the mid-60’s, and the Chinese look at us like we’ve lost our ever-lovin’ minds! They’re in long-sleeves and coats – some of them winter coats! We got a couple of “talkings-to” by a couple of grandmas because Carter is just in pants and a long-sleeved shirt. Cultural differences.  Haha!

 (FYI he's eating a granola bar over Dad's head.)

We’re back at the hotel now.  Carter is napping, Troy’s grabbing a bite here in the room (Ramen – I didn’t have to.  I got fried tofu with some tasty mystery sauce at the lake), and I’m updating the blog and Facebook.  A big day already, and tonight we’re going out with all the families to have a meal together at a local place since tomorrow we leave and head to Gaungzhou.  A bittersweet day.  I miss the boys like crazy and look forward to being one step closer to being back with them.  But with our departure, we leave behind Carter’s home.  We will take him from the only place he’s ever known.  Wuhan is not a particularly inviting place, but I will leave a part of me here as I did in Xi’an and Changchun.

Til later....

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