Yep, it was another amazing day. I love this team, I love this orphanage, and I love the staff. Even our driver has warmed up to us and surprised us with Chinese hamburgers today. I was able to spend more time with the head nanny and even was aloud to give her a Chinese name today. I named her Maggie after my next Chinese daughter and she loved it. I really hope that I get to visit her again some day. Speaking of Maggie, she started crying today when she was told that a team member gave their graduation money to purchase shoes, toys, and supplies for the orphanage. It was such a powerful moment.
I was able to take some pictures of the orphanage that did not include children today. I will share those here so if you have a child from this orphanage, you can see where they lived.
I spent my day evaluating kids and training the nannies. I started training one who was especially receptive yesterday and then the others all grabbed a baby and gathered around. I was also able to work with members of the rehab team. They have less training than I originally thought but they are super-eager to learn. Tomorrow they want me to train them on how to use some of their equipment. There is one boy in PT who is 8 or 9 and has CP. His condition is minor and his beautiful smile makes you forget that he has any disabilities. He does not have paperwork yet, but will make a great match for someone when it is completed.
I have spent most of my time in the 6 month - 1 year old room. There is one child there who has attached herself to me and I certainly haven’t done anything to discourage it. :-) Today the nannies showed me her life book and it was so sweet. These kids are loved and there is no doubt about it. She also wears a silver bracelet that a nanny gave her for her birthday. Did you know that on their first birthday, Chinese parents give their children a pen, an abacus, and a book then watch to see which one they choose as a symbol of what they will prefer- writing, math, or reading? They performed this ritual for her on her birthday.
A few of my team members brought cleft bottles along for the babies with cleft palates. The staff was super excited and quick to point out that you cannot get them in China. The cleft babies need those bottles in order to be healthy enough for surgery someday.
We have decided that staying in the same room each day has worked really well for this team and would be a great strategy for future teams. We have been able to form significant relationships specific nannies and kids and that would not have been possible if we had changed rooms every day.
For dinner we went to get Hot Pot. They bring out all kinds of strange, raw foods and you cook them at your place. It was an authentic Chinese experience.
Just an observation in photography for you - there is a nuclear power plant in the middle of the city. Hmm.
To wrap up this blog of random stories and facts, I thought this picture might help explain why we do this. This was made by the child of an adoptive parent. No more words necessary.