The next day we drove across town (did I mention Kunming was about the size of New York City?) to visit the orphanage where Laine had lived since she was two months old. Many times we had been told by people in the know that the Kunming orphanage was as nice a facility as you were likely to find in the world of international adoption. And the people who told us that… were absolutely right.
It wasn’t just one building; it was a campus, with classrooms, a dining hall, and lots of big playrooms filled with sunlight and toys. They even had a Chuck E. Cheese style ball pit. If the word “orphanage” makes you think of Charles Dickens, this was not that.
August 29, 2019
Yesterday was the visit to Laine’s orphanage, so there were lots of emotions. It’s clear that she was we’ll taken care of by a lot of people who genuinely cared about her.
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Walking around the orphanage with Laine was like walking around town with the mayor. Everybody knew her. We would hear people call out her Chinese name — “Xiao Fan! Xiao Fan!” — and they would want to talk to us and hold her and say goodbye.
It was all very sweet, and encouraging to us. Because, although she had slept in a room with fifteen other children, it seemed she had avoided the gross neglect that’s often inflicted on orphans. She had been cared for as well as a baby can be under the circumstances.
An orphanage is still an orphanage, though. One of main things that made me balk at the idea of adoption was the dread of going to the orphanage, seeing all the kids there, and knowing I would only be able to get one of them out.
We did see many other kids there, and many of the kids we saw will be there until they age out, and will then have to face the world with limited abilities and no support system. It’s a tough world even when you do have a mom and dad who love you. I pray God’s grace for those who are going through it alone.