It was a good day. We were able to stay in the hotel and spend quite a bit of time with the girls today. We received the paperwork back from the different cities that we have spent the last couple of days running to – we will take it with us to Guangzhou on Saturday. One of the items that we received is the newspaper post from Hope and Faith regarding their abandonment.
There are 24 littles ones on this page and the newspaper gives family members one last chance to claim their child before they become a ward of the state. It is heartbreaking to see. Many of the children have visible facial maladies that the parents are not willing or unable to fix. I have much to say about this but must wait until we get back to the U.S. before I can comment any further.
“Dang Yi Han, female, was born on February 12, 2011. She was found abandoned at Yancheng District People’s Hospital of Luohe City on February 18, 2011. She was sent to Luohe Social Welfare Institute by Yancheng Branch of Luohe Public Security Bureau on the same day. She has round face and big eyes. She has congenital meningocele. There was a small quilt left with her.”
“Dang Qi Qi, female, was born August 6, 2011. She was found abandoned at the Outpatient Dept of Kaifeng Children’s Hospital on October 5, 2011. She was sent to Kaifeng Social Welfare Institute by the community Police Affairs Brigade of Gulou No. 1 Branch of Kaifeng Public Security Bureau on the same day. She has fair skin and poor brain development.”
We are so thankful to have these reports because they are really the only key we have to their past. The girls were most likely born in a hospital but China does not fingerprint so there’s really no way to tell who the child belongs to once the baby is found. My understanding is that babies born with physical deformities are a sign of bad luck or a curse on your family. Other times, the families are just unable to financially support the physical need that the children have.
Both girls will have physical and emotional issues that we will need to work through. Hope has a mild form of spina bifida. She is very weak in her core and is effected in some other areas. Faith has an umbilical hernia that was repaired (but terribly botched). We are convinced (as is our U.S. doctor) that her poor brain development was misdiagnosed. She is a very bright and coordinated little one! Both girls have scars, some visible and some covered – but how thankful we are for these precious little ones! We will have much to work through medically once we get back stateside so we would very much solicit and appreciate your prayers for the months ahead.
For lunch today, I walked across the street to a place I have been a couple of times. I was feeling adventurous so I took Faith with me in the stroller. I got our ‘usual’ (no one speaks English in the restaurant, our guides have written in Chinese what we want and we hand it to the server) and the bag was packed up and I began the trek back across the crazy intersection. As I walking, I noticed many of the Chinese gawking (more than usual). They were looking at me, the baby and then the bag that I was carrying. Several of them would laugh at my very full bag of Chinese food. This seemed like odd behavior so once I got back to the hotel, I asked the front desk what the picture on the bag was. He said that it was a picture of one of China’s most popular wines! So I’m pushing a baby stroller and carrying what looks to be a big bag of alcohol.
We had quite an adventure trying to find the place to eat tonight. Zhengzhou is a little bigger than New York City and it is incredible to see the number of cars and mopeds and people. The crosswalks can be tricky because cars don’t stop for you in China, neither do the mopeds. Lane lines are more of a suggestion than a rule and the car horn is used constantly…but I digress.
I got directions from our guides to a nearby restaurant that had good sweet and sour pork and kung pao chicken. Many of the families with our group really raved about how good the food was so we thought we’d try it. We walked with a family that we have enjoyed and gotten to know. I followed the directions but somehow missed a street so we were taken on this wild goose chase in the middle of Zhengzhou. I stopped to ask a couple of times if we were going in the right direction and the folks on the street confirmed that we were.
After walking 20 minutes, we stopped to ask another lady and she took us on a ten block walk back toward our hotel. We were a couple blocks over from the main thoroughfare. It wasn’t scary but it was smelly and we were seeing parts of China that we hadn’t planned to see! Come to find out, we had missed a stop light, the restaurant was directly across the street from where we’re staying about a 1/2 block away. We offered her money but she adamantly refused. Nonetheless, the kids were troopers and the food was good.
We had a difficult time explaining the concept of putting the two families on separate checks. They couldn’t understand that we were ordering for our family and they were ordering for their family. When the bill came, the waitress gave us two bills but after looking at it a moment we realized that she had given us the bill for our group and the other group of CCAI families made up of 20 or more folks that were in another room. We quickly let her know that we would only be paying for the food that we had ordered and ate!
Translation is quite difficult. We tried to order separately, she didn’t understand. We asked for a fork, a spoon, American utensils – no comprendo. She didn’t understand that we needed our bill. But when we said, “money” – that she understood! 🙂
After dinner, we stopped in a little bakery and April and Grace purchased little strawberry cookies.
The bakery was very nice and had little figurines and tea sets (if you’re into that sort of thing). Very much a fufu kind of place. They also had ‘Big City’ pricing! Thankfully, Faith and Hope didn’t know what they were missing.
All in all, it was a good day. The morning was rough – April is missing home and struggling a bit with not seeing the boys. We’re all tired and weary from the busyness of keeping two little toddlers in a confined hotel room. But it’s a good weary. And a good tired. The girls really are very sweet and it has been a delight to see them progress in many things – especially in their understanding of English. Hope, the oldest, but much smaller one of the two is picking up very quickly. She likes to give kisses to Graceann. Faith is busy, busy, busy little one. Whew! 🙂 She goes and goes.
The ‘twins’ are both sleeping now and we look forward to another day tomorrow. Please continue to pray. Again, we have known the Lord’s grace and comfort but recognize our great need of wisdom in the days, weeks, months and years ahead. You need not pray for the years ahead – prayers for tomorrow would be sufficient. Much love to all. Good night.