Our last day with the kids was a mix of feelings. In just a few short days we had fallen in love with these kids- and it was such a rewarding experience to see our babies from last year- Christopher ( now Jet), Amelia ( formerly Lucy), Frankie, Charlie, Ethan, Lucy, Bella and Quin - grown so much. Bella had weighed just a few pounds and we shared with the ayis how to wear her in the sling and take lots of time to feed her. Now she is a growing albeit tiny child with the most amazing eyes. She has had successful heart surgery and is enjoying exploring her world.
Amelia, Frankie, Charlie and Quin all have been matched with families.
And we hope that will be true for Ethan soon too. The boys have all had
surgeries and are doing so well. It is hard to believe those bitty boys
from last year have grown so. Our Amy's file is being finished and sent
off in the next week. We hope to have happy news about her lucky family
And we were delighted to hear that two of our children
had been adopted by local families the week before we arrived. And that
meant we had two new arrivals. We will share more about them in the next
Our last day entailed more playing and feeding kids. For
us seeing what is going on moment to moment in the First Hugs room is
very telling. Our program has come so far in a few years. Just two years
ago, it was a 12 hour a day program in a room with no door and the
bundled kids went back to the main orphanage at night. You can see
pictures of what that looked like on our website main page; photos taken
by the Smith Family (Gigi's Light Photography) when they adopted their
daughter from XinXiang.
We reviewed some of our concerns with our
head ayi, and later at a dinner with the orphanage director we
reiterated those issues. We are happy to say there were few. We would
like to see more scheduled reading and music time. We are going to
"promote" one ayi- an amazing, loving woman who has been with us for
four years and truly loves the kids- to assistant manager of our room.
We want our room manager/head ayi to have two days a week off!! And we
want to be sure our older toddlers get the preschool experience Krista
shared with the nannies.
It has been our privilege to visit the
children and see them grow. Fun on the playground, dancing and laughing,
seeing them play under the cribs- it has all be an amazing insight into
their daily lives. We want for all of them to be in forever families.
But in the meantime, we are so pleased they do not languish in cribs,
staring at their hands, bottles propped but instead are held, played
with, loved and treasured.
If you would like to support the work of First Hugs, you can make a donation at www.dianjiangkids.org.
Any amount is appreciated. You can sponsor a specific child and receive
quarterly reports or just make a general donation. All money goes to
pay the salaries of the ayis in the First Hugs Room. An automatically
recurring donation of any amount is a convenient way to donate any
amount monthly- $10, $20...
Thanks for following our journey.
Moya and Krista