Today we went to visit the Nanjing SWI (Social Welfare Institute) where Jian grew up. He was clearly loved there, which was wonderful to see. We had some of our questions answered, and left with many more.
The first picture is Jian in front of the building he lived signing "orphanage".
A lady and her husband met us there (we have a picture of the 5 of us next). They would take Jian home with them on the weekends and holidays. They met him at the deaf school because they have a son who attends there (who was adopted at the age of 3). They took Jian home on and off for 6 years. You can tell they really love him and are happy he is going to a home in America. Jian called them his Chinese mom & dad. Tonight, he asked if his American mom and dad and his Chinese mom and dad are friends, he was happy when we replied that we were. We were invited to their home on Saturday, and we are all looking forward to seeing them again. We were happy to meet them and be able to ask her questions. She told us she once bought him shoes and they often took him to a nice restaurant once a month. They brought us to this same restaurant for lunch and were very loving and generous to both Tanner and Jian.
The next picture is of many of the staff and administration. They all seemed to really like Jian and he was full of smiles while we were there. He kept asking to go upstairs and wanted to show us his bed and see his friends. The 4th picture is one of Jian's friends. He could sign some and was excited to see Jian. He is about to be adopted by a family in America next month. The next picture is Jian showing us his bed. We were happy he slept on a top bunk because he should be ok with the loft bed we set up for him at home!
The last picture is of me holding a 9 month old boy (yes, he's dressed like a girl, but, he's a boy). Tanner enjoyed playing with him for a few minutes and he was so sweet to hold. He was going home with a foster mother, we met her outside as we were leaving, and were told at that time that Jian had stayed with her as well. So, we're not really sure of the whole story because we'd been told different things about where he has lived. This was one of the things I meant about leaving with more questions.
While touring upstairs, we met a few other children that were special needs and were not in school. One was a 20 year old young man who was deaf. Another was a little 8 year old boy with kidney problems, and just as we were leaving we saw several children come off the elevator with different problems. This evening, I've been having a hard time with this. Thankfully, it looks as if they're cared for as best as they can be in the situation they're in, yet, it's so sad to see them there. While we were looking through the pictures, Jian was explaining how the children come to the orphanage. He said people toss the children on the road, then the police find them, pick them up and bring them to the orphanage.
Today, I was once again reminded in a very clear way, how this world is not our home and what a broken one it is. Yet, amazingly, I was able to have joy while there, because our son, who was chosen for us before the world was even made, was happy to be there and show us his friends, his bed and where he lived. We were able to take pictures there and will have these memories for him in the future.
I did not think this would be an easy trip, the entire trip to China and the trip today to the orphanage. But, I'm thankful that both have occurred. I'm thankful that we're here seeing another part of the world made by our Creator, and seeing the reality of this world and reminded of how much I have and how much I've been given, and reminded of the unfathomable and undeserved blessings I have received. You see, I too, have been adopted and did not deserve or do one bit to earn anything, but, have been given life abundantly.