Once inside, we met NiNi’s foster mom. NiNi has been with her since she was about two years old – as the foster mom said “when she was still unsteady on her feet”. It was clear that they loved each other. Her foster mom got teary eyed talking about her. Once the foster mom had finished hugging on NiNi, she turned and started hugging the little boy who had also been adopted. He had been in the same foster home as NiNi!!!! It was exciting to know that part of her past, could still be part of her future.
Several of the staff greeted us and took us on a tour of several of the rooms. The rooms were bright and cheerful, and the facilities very clean. We didn’t see any children, and were told they were all upstairs having a Children’s Day celebration (it’s annual holiday here in China).When we got to the area near the celebration, the orphanage director came out and met us, as well as two more children who were fostered in the same family as NiNi. Just when we thought we were getting ready to leave, the orphanage director invited us to come join the party. We walked in to a group singing, and children sitting in the seats clapping. In the front row were some officials and they stood up and gave us their seats. After the singers were finished, they started playing some fun music and many of the children went up on the stage and started dancing. They came and got NiNi and her foster brother and took them up on the stage also. I was so tickled to see NiNI start dancing and jumping up and down!! We were enjoying it so much, then the staff came and got me and the other mom, and had us go up with the kids (this is where mine and Virgil’s version of events differ – I thought I was really ‘cutting the rug’, but Virgil informed me afterwards, that I dance as poorly as he does- LOL!!!). Xiaoyun informed us afterwards that the television station, and the newspaper were there, so we may be local celebrities before it is over. They pulled Virgil and the other dad up there and we were dancing and laughing and playing with all the little ones. IT WAS AWESOME!!!
The kids were just precious, and I want to bring them all home with me. Since I know that isn’t possible, I pray I can encourage as many people as possible to start paperwork (SOON!!!!) to bring one of these sweethearts home (or maybe even two J) . After the dancing was over, we handed out candy to the kids, hugged as many as we could, and then it was time to say goodbye. Part of our hearts will always be here in Heilongjiang. NiNi did well with seeing her foster mom again, and did cry with her a little bit – which we were happy to see, because she hadn’t really cried yet. (Then I got to cry with the foster mom some myself.)
I’m so thankful we will be able to share these memories with NiNi when she gets older. What a blessing of a day!!