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Michael's Orphanage...
Words cannot adequetly describe the events that took place today. Today we had the priviledge of not only visiting the orphange that Michael has been in since birth, but also the village that he was born in. When we first arrived at the orphanage, the Fuzhou Children's Welfare Institute, we were greeted by the Director and the Infant Director. We were first led into a meeting room on the first floor of the orphanage. We were told that usually they didn't bring parents into the children's areas of the orphanage but that they would let us come upstairs to see the area that Michael lived in. We were not allowed to take our cameras with us upstairs but we were blessed to be able to visit with all the nannies who have cared for Michael for the past 18 months and also meet many of the other children who were Michael's playmates. It was so incredible to be able to get a glimpse into the life that he has had since he was brought to the orphanage. The rooms were all very clean and the children all seemed very happy and well taken care of. There were many different special needs that we saw represented in the children in his group. There were babies with hydrosyphalis, a little boy who had dwarfism, a few different children with cleft lips and others with different special needs. The little boy who is Michael's good friend, Liu Minsen, was being adopted by a local Chinese family. Michael was very quite throughout the whole visit. It was very evident that he was overwhelmed and most likely quite scared at being back in the orphanage. It must be so impossible for him to even begin to grasp the concept that he is our son now and that we will never let him go. As we got ready to leave, we tried to express our gratitude to the women who have taken care of our son. It was very emotional for me (Sarah) to thank these women who were my son's whole world up until two days ago. These women were the closest thing to a mother that he had for the first 18 months of his life. I will forever be grateful to them for what they did for him. We left the orphanage with the promise that we would bring Michael back some day in a few years to visit

It was about an hour drive from the orphanage to the village that Michael was born in. It was a beautiful drive as we left the big city and entered into the more rural, mountianous region where his village is located. We were driving along when suddenly the driver did a U-turn in the middle of a 4 lane road and told our coordinator, Michael, that this was the Minan Village. We got out of the car and entered a different world. We were told that we were probably the only foreigners to ever visit this small village. As we walked the streets we were overcome with emotion. Somewhere in this small village, lives the birth family of our son. We will never know who they are or the circumstances surrounding his birth but we have walked on their alleys, seen their dentist office, toy stores and local Buddhist temple. The time we spent in Michael's village was priceless.


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Standing in front of Michael's orphanage complex

The rooms on the 2nd floor are where he stayed

Message inside the lobby of his building

Photo op with the head director and infant director

One last snuggle

Saying goodbye

Front door to Michael's building

The sign identifying Michael's small village

Traditional fishing boats on the river

The village was small & untouched by modern influence

An old rock bridge across the river

The rules of the village, posted for all to see

Some of the locals sitting outside the Buddist temple

The front of the temple

One of the small alley ways

Our brave guide, Michael (& little Michael with Sarah)

The only car we saw in the village

Saying goodbye one last time


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