Today was a little different from all the rest. The Internet was down in the morning so we couldn't view various things such as our email.
I had my breakfast, got ready and started reading. What was the reason today was different? We were going to the Xi'an orphanage (.By the way it's pronounced Cee'ann.) To tell the truth, I wasn't too keen on going. I thought it would be too sad, especially for me (I was from the Wuhan orphanage). So I read while I waited for Mom, Amanda, Ellen and Pat, the foster home director and other volunteers, to be ready. Brittany and Cindy (our roomies) had left earlier this morning for Yulin near the Mongolian border. Erica a little baby here whom they want to adopt needed to get her physical and paperwork ready for pre-adoption.
Finally, everyone was ready to go and we were off. We boarded what was supposed to be a minivan, but turned out to be more like a minibus. The scent of smoke lingered in the air and Amanda said that the bus driver had been smoking. As we got going, I couldn't forget all I had ever learned of secondhand smoke. However, as the ride continued, the scent seemed to fade so it wasn't too bad.
The drive was about forty-five minutes. Very interesting looking out the window and watching the Chinese scenery and people. Along the way, we picked up a Chinese woman called Kay. Her job was to interpret at the orphanage for Pat and Amanda. The reason we were going to the orphanage was so Amanda could renew her contract with them. The contract lets her take some severely ill children for care in the foster home.
When we arrived, Amanda, Pat and Kay went to the offices and Mom and Ellen and I explored the orphanage a bit and to tell the truth once again, I was surprised by what I saw. The kids in the orphanage were much better off than I'd thought. They each had a bed and a little play area. There was tons of space, several rooms for each age group and a miniature bathroom. We tried to interact with some of the children. Unfortunately, it was nap time then and we got kicked out of that room for disturbing and accidently wrecking a crib.
We headed over to the other orphanage and met the others in the very ill baby department where they were debating on who to take back to the foster home. There were several children in that room. It was so sad to see all of them there, some real tiny and boney and others with no ear and such. In the end, a tiny boy caught our eye. He had been severely malnourished and dehydrated. Amanda said he wouldn't last much longer if we didn't take him with us, so we did. Mom took him into her responsibility and we immediately found a bottle for him to feed. The state he was in was not good.
Today, I learned how lucky all of us are. We are so blessed to have food to eat and water to drink whenever we want- and sometimes a little treat now and then too! Just seeing all these kids would humble even the most vain man on earth. If only all those who are ungrateful of what they have sometimes could see the state of these babies.
So we took the little boy with us back onto the minibus and headed home. Mom wanted to call him Samuel because of a scripture in the bible. Then Pat made a joke of calling him Joseph then Will. He started out with Eric, but Amanda said it was too close to Erica. Finally, he made a decision. He would name the little baby after himself.
And so little Patrick was welcomed into the Starfish foster home that day.
Now to all those St. Patrick's students out there, anyone who's reading this. Patrick needs intentions for his recovery. He definitely needs your prayers. Mom said that Patrick was a special name because it sort of put him in the care of my school. So all St. Pat's students and anyone else reading this, pray for Patrick tonight. Pray that he will make it through and become healthy and also nice and plump.
We brought Patrick back to Starfish and bathed him, put new clothes on him and continued feeding him. Then Mom held him, just held him. And fed him too.
I went back to Little Lily whom I had taken to calling, little sister or mei mei (little sister in Chinese). She kept calling me Mama or sometimes ge ge (big brother). Huh.
Patrick seems to be doing better; he even smiled at us today! He drank nine ounces of milk in six hours. That's pretty darn good. We left him upstairs in Amanda's care. She asked if Mom wanted to take him downstairs, but Mom didn't want that responsibility- yet.
Speaking of Amanda, it's her birthday today. We went upstairs around five thirty to sing happy birthday- in English as well as Mandarin- and present her with the cake. We didn't feast on it tonight since most of the babies- excluding Little Sister- had been bathed and put in PJs.
Right now, we are downstairs, about to go to dinner with Pat, Cindy and Brittany. Well, actually, it is a farewell dinner. Pat and Cindy are leaving tomorrow, Saturday. I'll miss Cindy's chats and Pat's jokes. I hope they will be able to adopt Erica/Norma soon (that will be her new name because that was her Mom's name). I'd love it if they could. So one baby has my Mom's name and one has Pat's and our St Pat's.
Well all for now. Tomorrow's a new day, a new adventure! We will post a bunch more photos in the morning now we know they are going thru.
Looking for the perfect gift? Give the gift of Flickr!