Today we went to the orphanage that Hyrum has been in since birth. It is located in Foshan City which is about an hour and a half from where we are in Guangzhou. Most of the drive was city but just before we got to Gaoming there was a very poor area where people lived in little shacks. As we drove closer to the city Doug turned to me and handed me the camera and said "Take a picture of the nuclear reactor." I turned in shock and right next to us was a towering reactor. The road was right next to the stacks. It was so close I couldn't even get a good picture.
As we drove up to the building one of the staff met us out front. Within a minute of being there the second woman met up with us. The first lady put her arms out to Hyrum and he hesitantly went to her. I was a little concerned about that but couldn't really do anything. I just followed him and put my hand on his back as reassurance, when I could reach him.
The two women took us up to the office and answered some questions we had. We found out that Hyrum was close to another little girl that was adopted a few months ago. They said that after she left he was sad for quite a while and would ask about her often. When he saw one of her clothes he would always say it was his friends. They graciously gave him a picture of her to take home. We are hoping to be able to contact the family so the children can stay in touch. We were also told that he was a favorite of everyone including the children. He is a happy, easy going and very helpful little boy. He also kept the children in line. I have noticed all these qualities in him already. It was so good to see how much they loved him and hear what he is like.
We then were taken on a tour. The way they said tour I was under the impression that it was fairly large. When we went in we discovered that the kids are kept on the 4th floor in two rooms that are divided by a set of large glass doors. Basically it was one big room. The whole section the kids were in couldn't have been any bigger than our family room, kitchen and school room. This is where they lived from birth with one nanny at a time and up to 20 children all with special needs. Right now there are 16 kids but 10-12 are in what is called the baby room. I don't know how old the kids are when they leave this baby room but they must stay until they are at least 4.
While in this room the nanny was there with the other children. Hyrum didn't give her the time of day. All the children were sleeping when we came in so we tried to be quiet. Just like kids they all woke up right after we walked in even though we were quiet. What we saw was what I suspected, the children sleep on bare wood with a blanket over them. One child stood up and there was a wet spot on the wood where she drooled. It was so sad to see. I guess I know why the kids like to sleep on the floor for now. As the children got up the nanny showed us which crib was Hyrum's. They already put another child in it. She told him it was time to go to bed and he said "No No". She laughed and told him again. He was insistent that he was not getting in the bed. At this point I figured I needed to give him some support and picked him up. We stood there and talked a bit more and one of the women took out Hyrum's blanket and told him it was time for bed. He grabbed the blanket and held on for dear life. I held him tighter and whispered in his ear so he knew I was there to take care of him. The women talked with the guide for a minute or so and then offered for Hyrum to take his blanket if I was OK with that. Of course, I was. They apologized for it being so old and were embarrassed about it and said that was the blanket that he has requested every night since he was a baby. This is not just an old blanket but a tattered old towel. We were very grateful for this treasure.
The women next asked him if he wanted to go play. At that he started to frown that turned into an upset cry. I knew it was time to get him out of there. He had enough and needed to leave. Doug quickly guided us out and we said our good byes. When we got in the car he was very sullen and sad. He sat quietly on my lap and held his blanket tight. After a time we needed to try and pull him out of it so Doug broke out the M&M's. That helped some but he was not himself the rest of the day.
We spent the remainder of the afternoon in the hotel room laying on the bed and playing a little. We went to get some dinner and he ate fairly well but had to have his blanket with him at all times. He put it on my lap while he ate but as soon as he was done it got tucked next to him in his chair. After getting back to the room he had me hold him without getting down. We don't know what sparked it but he started to sob. He cried so hard and couldn't stop. He was so sad! It took quiet a while for him to calm down. I held him until he fell asleep. It has been a hard day for him and us. It was difficult to see such a happy sweet boy feel such pain.
The orphanage staff workers getting a kiss from my sweet little boy.
Bria playing on the slide at the orphanage.
Bria loved this little toy. We may have to get one.
This was Hyrum's crib. Exactly as the little girl left it when she woke up from her nap. Not even a blanket.
Hyrum right after they gave him his blanket. He is starting to melt down.
This is the first place we visited. We were in the office of the SWI.
He started out happy and fun.
The scene front he doors of the orphanage. The play equipment is a school next door.
In front of the orphanage with the two women that were in charge some how.
My sad little boy on the way back to the hotel.