Upon our arrival we were greeted in the carpark by the Assistant Director, the Secretary and several caregivers. They were all disappointed that we did not bring Yang Yang (Zeke) with us. We climbed the stairs to the 4th floor where they housed the children (the welfare office in DaYe also cares for retired soldiers, the elderly without children and the disabled). They wouldn't allow us to take any photographs inside the orphanage or of the children there. It wasn't a bad as I might have imagined, but it was certainly not 4 Star accommodations, the temperature outside was freezing and it didn't feel any warmer inside (guess that explains why they bundle the child in what seems to be ridiculous amounts of clothing), southern China gets no subsidies for heating in the winter, so most places don't have heat.
The orphanage was basically one large room for children to play in with a half dozen smaller rooms adjoining. One for infants, which we could not see because "the children were sleeping," and one called quarantine, which was where I was told our son slept? One other room contained four cribs and held two disabled children and a six month old healthy infant. The rest of the rooms were possibly storage, offices or just not part of the tour and one bathroom for the children which held the laundry facilities as well. I was able to ask a few questions, expressed my gratitude for the excellent care he was given, provided the circumstances of course (we could tell that the staff loved him and probably gave him extra attention as it appears that he is the only boy that was there). They wished us well, we gave them our gifts. We returned to the carpark and adjoining garden where we were given contact information and took photographs of the staff. We shook hands, said goodbye and went for lunch accompanied by the Secretary who took us to Yang Yang's finding spot which was nearby so I could see the place and take some photo's.
View out our son's window at DaYe SWI
Following that we had a nice lunch, I expressed my thanks once again to the orphanage Secretary and we left the restaurant. We made one stop before leaving DaYe to purchase a couple of souvenirs from Yang Yang's home town and made our way back to Wuhan.
I am very grateful to have had the opportunity to travel to my son's orphanage, to meet those who cared for him, to see where he spent the first years of his life, to take in the sights, smells and sounds, to be able to share these with him as he grows. I am also grateful to have seen the place where his parents had thoughtfully and lovingly placed this wonderful child to be found quickly and brought to a place where he might receive what they thought they could not give him, the place where he eventually came to us. To some my words may trite, but I am grateful for the events in both my daughter and son's lives that brought them into the family that we now share and will continue to share and cherish. Without them, I may never have know the joy that is so dear to me now as I proclaim that I have been blessed beyond measure.
Some other things...
Should you ever find yourself in Wuhan or Changsha, and need passage to Guangzhou, might I suggest foregoing air travel and take the bullet train. Seriously, about the same or maybe even less elapsed time as having to arrive at the airport early for check-in and screening, not to mention the luggage weight restrictions. On top of that, if you are travelling during daylight hours you will see beautiful parts of China you certainly won't see from the air. Did I mention that the seats are much more comfortable and there's generous amounts of legroom!