Suhui getting ready to visit orphanage
Looking at herself in mirror after getting dressed
Ready to go!
This morning our guide picked us up to go to visit the orphanage. Caleb reminded us to ask Zoe to explain to Suhui where we were going and that we were not going to leave her. Zoe told her that she has a large family now that she is going to live with but that we were going to the orphanage to say good-bye to the director (who she calls Baba, Daddy), her “teacher”, and the other children.
The orphanage was in a different part of town. I took video on the way there. There were crowds of people out shopping, walking all over the street. It was hard for the driver to drive there were so many people walking in the street. There were all kinds of food shops.
The orphanage is gated and the buildings around looked pretty old. The orphanage is very large and a pretty nice building. The director met us and gave us a tour. Suhui ran right inside like she knew her way around. The director said that her foster mother brought her here twice a month to have her heart checked. There is a medical clinic of sorts in the orphanage. We saw the rooms where they keep the sick babies. There are a good many doctors and nurses who work there.
Then we saw areas for children with mental and physical handicaps. So many sweet children! They have a Half the Sky program. Half the Sky does excellent work with the orphanages in China. They teach the nannies about child development, the kind of stimulation the children need for proper develop, the need for the children to develop an attachment to one caregiver.
The halls of the orphanage were very cold, but the rooms where the children are were warm. In China many businesses/stores/restaurants and homes our guide told us as well are not heated.
The director showed us the room where all of the children stay for 1-2 months when they arrive to be observed for any kind of problems. He said that Suhui stayed here and suggested that we take a photo of her next to one of the beds. She was quite full of herself and would not cooperate.
Here’s a photo of her sitting on the floor int that room
Baby room at Wuhan CWI
Suhui in an infant care room
Suhui walking down the drive to the front of the orphanage for photos
Suhui at front of orphanage
Director Chen and Teacher Hu with us in front of Wuhan CWI
Suhui took Caleb’s hand as we were leaving the orphanage
We asked our guide to ask Director Chen yesterday if there was anything the orphanage needed as we are supposed to bring a gift. He said that they need a small refrigerator. So today after our visit he invited us to lunch and said that we could also go buy the refrigerator. The first place we went to did not have the right kind. We told our guide to tell him that we could just give him the money to buy it. But it was important to him for us to see that he bought a refrigerator. The next store we went to had one, but it was more expensive than he thought it should be. It was pretty impressive listening to him bargain with the sales person even though we could not understand them. We could tell he was determined to get the price down. He could not get it down as much as he wanted, but we said that we would still buy it. It was $200 USD. He told us several times throughout the rest of our time with him how thankful he was that we did that even though it cost so much.
Then we went out to eat. We had many dishes. We had bean curd dumplings which Suhui loved; some sort of tomato based soup with meat and potatoes that was very good; some sort of stewed lettuce-type vegetable, reminded us of turnip greens-they were also pretty good. We also had a turnip soup, a mushroom dish that I actually liked and I’m not a mushroom fan, and a spicy frog (YES, FROG!) stew complete with little froggy bones, and a fried fish in some sort of sweet-and-sour sauce complete with the head still on. There were tanks of fish at the front of the restaurant where you could pick out you meal. The cook brought the fish to our table for approval before cooking it. Wuhan is known for it fish dishes because there are two rivers intersect here, the Yangtze and the Han. Tommy and I both agreed that this meal was much better than anything we had in Beijing. I didn’t care for the frog dish though.
We were able to ask Director Chen questions while we were shopping and eating. The most helpful thing we found out is that Suhui’s foster parents gave her whatever she wanted because they were worried about her heart condition. They were scared to let her cry. I kind of felt like she’s used to getting her way alot. But I didn’t know if it was just the way she was behaving around us. It also seems like she’s used to getting attention whenever she coughs or get hurt even slightly. She always looks to see our reaction.
We had another terrible shopping experience with her while we were shopping with Director Chen. We were buying some potato chips for Caleb, so we let Suhui pick out a bag. As we were leaving she started screaming for gum even though she had a large container of gum in the van and two bags of chips in her hands. Director Chen talked to her, but she screamed and screamed.
At lunch he told us that he had some advice for us. He said, “Don’t let her have everything she wants.” 🙂 He also talked about how smart she is and suggested that we find her a hobby, like dancing or playing an instrument, because she has lots of energy and likes to imitate people.
I was very impressed with Director Chen. He really seems to care about the children. He again expressed his desire to keep in touch and asked for our e-mail address so that he can send us a photo of the children with the refrigerator. He also said that he will send photos we send to the foster family or any gifts for them that we send to him.
Suhui with Director Chen right before we left the restaurant
Suhui’s finding spot is in the section of Wuhan called Hankou. We will go to see it on the way to the airport on Friday.
It is the policy of Hubei province to not allow contact between the foster family and the adoptive family. We had told our guide that we wished we could meet the foster family. She asked Director Chen, and he said that they had called the foster family and that the mother was visiting relatives in Shanghai for the Spring Festival and also because she was a little sad about Suhui leaving. This is different from what he has told other families about the policy. I don’t know if he was just telling us that to satisfy us or if maybe they are becoming more understanding about the need for the adopted children to have that connection to their past. Zoe, our guide, told us that she understood our desire to at least have photos of the foster family for Suhui’s sake. She said that if we got home and developed the cameras I sent to the foster family and there were no photos of the family to let her know and she will get a photo of them for us. She has been so sweet and much more helpful today. I really like her alot.
Suhui seems to be adjusting somewhat. She will play or watch tv with us a little bit away from her without crying out and asking to be held every minute. She seems to be wanting to do more with me and less with Tommy which is good in some ways that she is bonding closely with one of us. But it makes it a little harder on me. But things are getting easier. I think getting out for a while today helped make things easier.
When we talked to the boys on Skype this morning, she said, “Hello!” She loves to read the board books that I brought and repeats the words after me as I read. So cute to hear her talk in English!