It was very strange to leave Guangxi and head for different pastures. Our heart has always been in Guangxi, but now we were returning to the area where our littlest one began her life, Qingdao in Shandong Province in the north east of China...and we wondered what we would find there............
Shandong Province, Qingdao was like another world!!!!
.......but most importantly it also had special friends in it :-)
This is our special girl, normally VERY shy and reserved with strangers, jumping immediately into the arms of "her friend", Ms Zhang Ronghua, Qingdao CWI's Director who had come to meet us at the airport!
Her driver took us through the disrticts of Qingdao, past amazingly bright, modern, clean buildings to our hotel by the sea!!!
It was truly another world, very prosperous with European/German architecture.
The next morning we were picked up at our hotel by the Qingdao driver & staff and taken back thro the amazing streets to the Blue Sky Home
All was quiet and calm on the ground floor where there is a lovely reception area to greet visitors.
and we had another to another warm welcome and embrace from the staff.
They were VERY excited to take our little one upstairs.....
.......for a very special Birthday party
for a very special girl!!!!!!!!
The staff had arranged for all the children the same age as our daughter to be there, along with all the babies and young children who were currently at the Blue Sky Home.
Qingdao CWI, Blue Sky Home is the entry place in Qingdao for orphans who have been found around the city. Many children remain there to be assessed and treated for whatever special/health needs they may have. Thereafter the majority move to the wonderful Therapy Canter and Foster Care Community in JiazhouTown, a 2 hour drive away
The children were lovingly cared for by nannies and directors, fed with care, and encouraged to play together amongst the toys.
The walls were bright with photos of the children and the atmosphere was just wonderful!!!!!!
For the staff, the most exciting part of the Party seemed to be the presentation of the Photo Book we had created with photos of Qingdao children who had been adopted. They were soooooo excited to see "their children" at home and loved with their new families.
They all gathered round the book, asking questions and pointing to photos of their chilkdren.
There were tears of joy!
Thank goodness for our faithful friend who was there to translate all the excited questions :-)
Nannies do no tforget their children here......as the photo on this phone tells us!!!!!
The pictures on the wall show the importance of all the children in the Blue Sky Home
the bright, clean,warm cots for the babies,
the one to one care for each baby was just wonderful to see!!!!!
There were many toys inside
and more outside......
with plans to create a whole new play area, which I amsure will be in place by now.
After the sharing of gifts and stories about the children, and lots of photos,
it was time to go for lunch with the staff
Ms Zhang Rong Hua shared the story of her life and the way she came to be in charge of Qingdao CWI. She is a very dedicated and caring woman with deep love and concern for every child in her care. It is her vision that every child, no matter the extent of thie disability or special need, will be enabled to reach their full potential under her care.
She wishes most of all for all of the children to have a family.
Those who are unlikely to be adopted will be LOVED by her staff,not just cared for.
And she has great plans for how her children will be treated as they grow up within the "home"
(More on this in the next blog about the Centre at Jiaozhou Town where her dreams become reality)........)
The girls were well occupied during this time, playing with the staff and their gifts.
We had come to Qingdao most importantly for our daughter,but also to see if there was any way we could help there thro Hope4China'sChildren..
It had become very clear that it was the other way round.........and we are now hoping to partner with Qingdao in helping our Special children in Guangxi who do NOT always benefit from this level of care and expertise.
For everything there is a reason.........
But for a very special girl, it had been a very special day, overwhelming in so many ways, with many gifts, physical & emotional to treasure over the years........ but there was even more to come the next day.........
But for now,
Sweet Dreams xxx