i have so much to write about jing liu's birth city...and i will have to go back and write a post about it because i won't be able to do it justice in the 10 min i have at the moment. but i will say it was surprisingly emotional. we drove about 1 1/2 to get to fuzou (in a REALLY nice WV - leather and ac, wow, it was awesome!) and little spark plug snuggled with daddy the whole way...oh, melt me!
this is what he does when i try to take a family picture. nice clint, nice. :)
i laughed hysterically when i came home and found these!
we drove through miles of rice patties and all of the sudden, there was her town, in the middle of nowhere. i was snapping pictures, and taking it all in. it took a while to find the orphanage as well as each of the finding spots...even with a gps we had to get out and ask directions many times (and by "we" i mean the driver and our guide :)
fuzou social welfare institute (orphanage) where jing liu (emery) and jing gui (brooklyn) were taken when they were found. it was a surprisingly fancy building! it looked brand new from the outside. we decided not to pay to go inside because our girls weren't there for very long, since they were with foster families.
when my feet hit the ground at her finding spot (which is the exact documented place where an abandoned baby was found), somehow i burst into tears. i tried to hold it together for some pictures:
but most of them look like this:
it was a huge government building across the street from a hospital. i think it was so emotional because i could put a visual on her beginning. if she's tiny now, she must have been even smaller then. it's hard to picture. i know in my heart of hearts she was loved. her birth mom probably felt like she didn't have the ability to care for her...but who am i to say. we will never know the reason. whatever it was, though i feel deep sorrow, i am ever grateful for a mom who gave up a child so that she could be ours. jing liu's humble beginnings play a roll in her life, but they do not define her. she is not abandoned anymore. she is not adopted anymore. those words are now past tense. that was her past. being a part of her family is her present. she's not my adopted daughter...she's my daughter.
and she's incredible. so so incredible.
one of my goals of our trip to her finding spot was to put up a finding poster. it has her basic information like when and where she was found, and it talks about us adopting her and our desire to find her birth parents and foster parents so we can send then photos and updates as she grows. it has our contact information, including an email address that i made that will only be used for communication with anyone who sees the poster. my real hope is to have a relationship with them, or as much as jing liu desires, so she can have answers to her past. in reality, i know the chances are slim of ever finding them. but hey, we serve a big God. if He wills it to happen, it will happen. i want jing liu to know i made every effort in my ability.
we talked to the local shop owners, and the one right next door to her finding spot was nothing short of a miracle. right away, he understood what we were talking about. he tried to remember back to a year ago, but couldn't recall a baby being abandoned at that time. he was very happy to hang our poster, and even got a chair so he could hang it up high. he was very afraid that someone would take it. he promised to guard it everyday against thieves. it was really sweet to see how protective he was of just a little poster. i can see how God orchestrated him being in that spot on that day. it was beautiful to see how much he cared about jing liu and how happy he was that we were her parents. he said over and over again "lucky baby, lucky baby."
we also found brooklyn's finding spot (my dear friend nicole's daughter...i have blogged a lot about our amazing connection...don't have the time now to find the posts to link, but at the bottom of my blog look for the "chryst family".) it was emotional for me to be there, as well. it's such a strange feeling to know you are on the same ground as our daughter's birth mom. somehow it's sacred, or special, or something i can't really describe.
the town itself is very stark and industrial. cement buildings and apartments, rows and rows of backhoes and bulldozers, and farmers and hard working city folk are everywhere. it feels very different from nanchang, and ever removed from our beloved city of guilin.
foster and rowan, this one is for you, boys! check out what this big dude is carrying!!!
these lamps are everywhere throughout the town
there are LOTS of buildings being built all over
well, i'm out of time now. we have fun things planned today, and our dear friends jack and shirley are flying into guangzhou to see us tonight! we will all arive around 9pm or so. i'm hoping the little lady will sleep in the mai tai carrier so we can spend time with them tonight. soo excited!
our friend jones lives in guangzhou and we are going to his hometown on sunday to meet his family, wife and daughter. it will be an incredible experience.
i have no idea when i'll have time to blog again. maybe monday? i've been so exhausted at night from waking up at 3 am every morning, i can hardly make it under the covers before i am comatose.
i can't tell you enough how much all of the comments and sweet emails and kind comments on facebook mean to us. i read every one, even if i don't have time to respond, and it has been amazing to know and feel such love from so many people. we are having the time of our life here with jing liu, and it is a pleasure sharing it with you!
ps. i'm hating my camera this week. like really really loathing it. it's all wacky and my photos are coming out all sorts of off balance. i cringe to post them unedited, but hey, such is life.