I’m not sure what I expected, but his Orphanage was not what I expected. I keep hearing and being told that he was in “one of the good ones,” “very well managed” and I would have to agree. First off, it’s HUGE! I felt like I was on a college campus. It’s not just an orphanage – it’s a social welfare institution. So there are buildings for seniors and for adults with disabilities.
This is the building that Zheng Kai lived in. They are apartment buildings. He was on the second floor. This is a picture of their family. It was hanging above the table. You can see it below on the wall of the picture of his foster parents and us together.
Us arriving – love all of the touching :)
I am so grateful to his foster parents! They were so loving and demonstrative. We talked about Kai, about how far he has come and some of the things she has taught him. We talked about his likes and dislikes – about his chipmunking :). At one point when she was telling us what a good boy he is, she said with a lift of her chin, “You are lucky to have him.” (all this through our guide obviously). Darn right! Loved her for that pride in her boy!
Other observations – a little sister was home, she ran up to Kai and grabbed his hands. Dad was cooking. Dad peeled a pear for Kai and gave it to him. (This is good. Daddy does half of the cooking in our house) Kai was totally familiar with his environment. Went and got a little chair and set it over by the toys and TV. Little sister sat beside him. There was so much love. I must have thanked her a thousand times!!
His bedroom – I loved that there were pictures of the kids on the walls.
I got the feeling that he had genuinely been loved and cared for. I am so grateful! This foster family model is funded by One Sky, a charity I deeply admire – and now am so very, very grateful for!
When it was time to leave, Kai started to cry. Sweet, sweet boy. Our hearts all broke for him. He understands what is happening. I have been waiting for something, any form of grieving but hadn’t seen any. Now we where there leaving his home for good, and tears. His foster mother and I hugged him and loved him and wiped his face. Sweet, sweet boy.
How do you thank the woman who has loved your son and prepared him for you?
He walked down the stairs all by himself – everyone wanted us to see how well he could manage them by himself. We walked across the campus to the school. Another big building, up the elevator to the classrooms. Everything was decorated so colorfully and with pictures and creations by the children. It was wonderful! We walked into his classroom – about 8 or 9 kids, 1 teacher and an assistant. The kids ranged in special needs, but with a background in Early Childhood Education, I was impressed. All of his little friends rushed around him, touching him and holding his hands. He started crying again.
His sweet teacher. Wiping his face.
Terrible picture, but this little guy just kept holding his hand.
All of the little ones were so excited - teacher set up a light box.
Kai was really sad by this point. So I thought it was time to go. We went to a conference room – we had to take care of some last paperwork. I thanked the Asst Director for all of the love and care he received here. Truly, how do you express gratitude? Of course they were saying things about us giving him a home, but he is ready for a family now. He has been given love, time and attention. We are thankful for that!
She was watching me comforting him and told Ding, our guide, that this was good. She knew he would be spoiled with us. So many emotions today!!!
We came back to the room and just chilled. We turned on Chinese cartoons and let him play with his toys. Jason went down to the Noodle Shop and brought back some fried rice and noodles for lunch. We kept the rest of the day low key.
We did run up to the lobby to get his passport in the afternoon. Yea! That is the last thing we need here in province.
For dinner we went to the Noodle and Chopstick. He had bone broth, fried rice, and hot milk for dinner. Tried to keep it as normal as possible, no weird American food!
I didn’t know what to expect going to the orphanage, but I’m glad we went. My heart now knows that he was in a loving and caring place. He’s had his final goodbyes, and those tears, while heartbreaking to watch, seemed to open up something inside of him. He was much more talkative all afternoon and evening. What a hard thing we are doing to you, Kai! I honestly believe that he is ready to take the next steps. He has been prepared and now we will help you further develop into the very best man you can be. We love you Zheng Kai! You are going to amaze all of us!