Friday, January 13, 2012

Day 4 - Orphanage Visit & Update on Emma

We started the day with some video chatting with Lexie, our parents, & some of Emma's cousins.  We then made our way down to breakfast at the hotel.  We now know Emma prefers noodles for breakfast. With her one little tooth she can slurp down quite a few so we made sure that she had plenty. We have actually grown accustom to eating them as well  it's a noodle soup really.  They are actually quite delicious and we discussed adding them to our regular breakfast menu. :-)

After breakfast we got dressed and made our way to the lobby to meet our translator Eric.  At about 9:30 local time we were on our way to the orphanage.  We arrived within a half hour (KSWI is on the North East of the city).  

We first met with the office worker where she answered some questions about Emma and her time while in the orphanage and foster parents.  We found out she was closest to her Foster Mom and some other details about the foster family.  She also mentioned that when Emma arrived at KSWI she was wrapped in a cotton quilt but that they had thrown it away so did not have it for us. We did not realize the signifcance of that at the time but, as Jane later informed us later, all babies born in the hospitals are wrapped in a cotton quilt in order to keep synthetic fibers out of their surroundings.  So this provides a possibility that Emma was born in a hospital.

Anyway, next was a tour of the orphanage grounds.  We were shown several rooms -- one room with babies under 2 mos, another room with babies under 6 mos, and finally a smaller room with toddlers in it.  The orphanage worker explained that at 6 mos most babies go to foster care which is why there were very few children there between the ages of  6 mos and 2 years old.  We also saw  play rooms, sleeping rooms and activity rooms.   We were allowed to take pictures as long as no children were included.  I tried to memorize faces of children so I could convey any information possible to other mothers waiting.

In general, there seemed to be two different situations going on at this orphanage. The first is they are clearly trying to get the babies adopted and trying to keep them well fed.  Seriously, the babies in there were pretty darn big.  On the flip side, the older children and special need children seemed to be a much sadder situation. There were many children I wanted to just scoop up and take home with us.  This day will stay with me forever. You cannot un see all of those children.  They all need homes and I really hope more and more of the children find them via international adoption.

Emma did really well at the orphanage. She did not display anxiety really at all during the tour. In fact, she looked happy when we went into the 'walker' room. There were a few boys that ran up to her and said 'mei mei' (little sister) and gave her a kiss. I wanted to just scoop that boy up and take him home with us.  Many of the infant nannies said 'Guan Chun Xiao' when we walked in. So I know they remembered her from her time as a baby.

Finally, for those of you Kunming mommies -- we saw the infamous bouncy chair that all of our children's referral photos are in.  The director said they are being replaced so here is a sneak preview of the new model chair that will be present in upcoming referral photos. :-)

That evening, Jane met us in the lobby of our hotel to go out to a local restaurant for dinner.  The food was very good and the company was even better.  Jane selected 4 dishes and we all shared as it was family style.  We had a spicy beef dish with peppers, potato and eggplant curry, peanut sponge roll, and fried red beans and everything was delicious!  While eating Matt and I loaded up some small plates with food and prepared our chopsticks.... Jane pointed out that we are suppose to eat from the bowl... the mini plates are for food you don't want or waste... we all had a good chuckle.  Emma sat on Matt's lap due to the lack of a high chair so by the end of the meal they were both covered in rice and left the table an absolute mess.  The funny thing is when we take Lexie out back home she does the same.  It must be the parents :)

Emma is doing pretty well everything considered. She has started drinking again (the first few days we had very little, if anything, going in from a liquid perspective).  We also know that she understands Mandarin and has no clue what we are saying.  Her face lit up when Jane would speak to her but when we speak to her she gives us a lot of blank stares. We have been using the international laughter sign - tickling  - and that seems to be working pretty well for now! When we speak to her we call her Chun Xiao (or Xiao Xiao for short). She responds to this name and we think it makes no sense to force her to change that this week (along with every other thing in her life).

The main challenge we are having is that she is struggling with night terrors -- she starts crying between 1 am and 3 am and is basically still asleep but cries and is completely un-consolable.  This is something we are new to so if anyone has BTDT advice, let us know.  We are trying to sooth her but I can just imagine every time she wakes up she is terrified by 'who the heck are you ppl and where the heck am I?!'. Matt and I likened it to the feeling you get after a night at the bar when you wake up in a place you don't recognize (ok so this hasn't happened to us before but we watched the Hangover II on the way to Hong Kong). :-) While we realize what is going on it is very hard to watch when you can't do much of anything to help her.    When she is awake, she is a happy little baby though and we are just falling more and more in love with her everyday.

Lillie Family at the Kunming Social Welfare Institute

Today we pack up and head to Guangzhou.  Eric will pick us up in the lobby at 3pm with Emma's passport in hand.  We have enjoyed our visit but we are eagerly awaiting our trip to GZ to finish the United States requirements.  We miss Lexie more then we could have known possible.


Tracy said...

Hey Guys! Happy to hear that things are going pretty well...we seem to be having the opposite problems! Our Emmie sleeps like an angel, and she's a generally UNhappy baby during the day! Maybe we'll all be able to recalibrate each other!

Ha ha Matt almost killed you today...not ha ha that he almost killed you, ha ha that I TOTALLY know what you mean. The stress is OUTRAGEOUS and the only person who is not in the line of fire in our hotel room is Emmie!

Kam said...

Hi Christy! I'm so glad to see these pictures of the orphanage. I've wondered many times what's it like in there. Thanks so much for sharing. It is so difficult isn't it? When we traveled to Thailand for Joel, there were about 20 other toddlers in his room. He was three at the time. All of these kids came rushing up to us begging to be picked up as Joel was being held by Jason. They pulled at us and pleaded with us. It was heartbreaking. Once, a little boy came up to me and wanted me...Joel proceeded to choke him with both hands as if to say, "Back off! This is MY mama!" But you just want to bring them all home, don't you?

I sent you an email about the night terrors late last night before I saw this. Isn't that something...Joel's were from 1am-3am too. It must have to do with their sleep pattern. Hope things get better for her soon. Sweet girl.