Thursday, December 18, 2008

Visit to BaoTou Orphanage

Sisters walking into the orphanage
BaoTou City Orphanage
Wen Jun's bedroom
Us, staff and children (director is the gentleman)
Wen Jun and her "big sister"
Today, Wen Jun, Macie and I visited the orphanage where Wen Jun spent the first 9 years of her life.  It was a very heavy day.  BaoTou is 99% children with special needs.  It is very modern and clean and the staff there seem to care very much for the children.  The fact remains that I went into room after room with 6-8 babies with hydrocephalus, cleft palates, Down's, etc. and it was agonizing.  Many of the ayis remembered Wen Jun and were so happy to see her and see that she had a family.  The hardest part was Wen Jun saying goodbye to her best friend at BaoTou, a 15 year old girl with hydrocephalus.  They bawled in each others arms and the entire staff and I were bawling as well.  

After we toured for about an hour and a half, the director and his staff took us out for a traditional Mongolian lunch.  Each person had a pot of soup in front of them that was on a boiler.  In the middle of the table was a lazy susan that was piled with raw slices of lamb (traditional meat for Baotou), vegetables, noodles, tofu, etc. that you would cook in the boiling soup.  Macie and Wen Jun were given yogurt to drink and the adults all had a warm, purple taro root milkshake (!).  Macie was amazing trying everything  - she ate more than any of us!  She will NEVER be able to say that she doesn't want to try a new dish!  It was one of the most delicious lunches I have ever eaten.  We also got to visit the place where Wen Jun was found as an infant - very touching.  The 6 hours of driving today were so worth it and I will remember this day forever.


Anonymous said...

Larry & Family - Thanks for making such a difference in this world. I am praying for you guys every day. You have a beautiful family that has now grown by one :). Merry Christmas! Roy Riley

Heather said...

I got tears just reading about your daughter's moment with her friend. I hope they are able to stay in touch even though they will be half a world away. My oldest daughter (turns 4 tomorrow!) was born in BaoTou. I have never seen the SWI. Sydney was with China Care until we adopted her as a baby, but I know she spent a couple nights at the SWI. It's nice to be able to see this part of her history. Thank you and have a safe trip!

Loretta said...

My dearest family, I don't know how to say anything after reading your blog. Just knew I needed to touch base. The only thing that comes to mind is the term "bitter-sweet". My heart hurts for WenJun and all that she's had to endure in her short precious life. You know Lili had to endure so much also, but our WenJun is aware of it so much more. Please hug and kiss her from her mamamama. I can't wait to do it in person. Tell her I may never let go... I love you! Mom

Jean said...

Congratulations on the adoption of your beautiful daughter. We adopted our daughter this summer from Hohhot. What a wonderful city! We also had Jessie as our coordinator. We love her & miss her!!! Please tell her we say hello. Enjoy the rest of your trip.

Scott, Jean, Nate, Drew, and Lilymei(Wu Li Ying)Olech

Elizabeth Knezevich said...

It all looks soooo exciting. What a wonderful experience for all!!!


Whitey said...

I have been following your journey with utter amazement. You have allowed us a small window into this unbelieveable experience. Continued safe travels with your very special family.

Debi said...

For the BaoTou families - I have quite a few more pics - email me privately and I will send them to you -

Anonymous said...

You are nice people, you help like poor kids in the world.

Kim said...


My daughter is waiting in Baotou SWI. I know it looks like you were there in 2008, she would have been a baby then, but possibly in Foster care at the time. Would love to talk to you sometime. We will be traveling sometime in May or June I think.

KIM 404-354-7368