Sunday, March 25, 2007

A new team in China

Julie, Arlene, and Maire are now in China checking up on programs in Hunan and Anhui. This is part one of their blog.


The alarm clock rang at 6.30am and the three weary travellers struggled out of bed amid moans and groans, tired but eager to start their first day in Hunan. After a good breakfast, we hit the road for our first stop. The director and staff greeted us warmly, and we spent an enjoyable time meeting some of the children and sorting out any necessary paperwork. Randy and Shirley, the moderators of the foster care program also came to meet us. Director Li and her staff were delighted to see photos of children who had been adopted from the SWI and were thrilled when presented with the gift of a calendar made up of similar photographs.
They also welcomed gifts sent by prospective parents for their soon-to-be children.

In the afternoon, we went to visit the children in foster care and their foster parents. It was a fantastic experience to meet all the children and to see how healthy and happy they are. If anyone needed convincing that the foster care program is successful, spending time with the children was all the proof they needed. The love and bonding between foster parents and children was very apparent without exception and the relief and joy expressed by the children when returned to the arms of their foster parents was self-evident. One of the highlights of the day was meeting Nana, who is a marvellous lady, full of love and care for the children. She will be leaving the program as a foster mom next month as she has a new grandbaby to care for, and she will be hard to replace. All the families were thrilled with their gifts and the babies seemed to like their Beanie babies for the most part, and of course we delivered more princess clothes.

Oh were there a lot of stairs to climb up and down though! We all got a great work out. And then there was the issue of Julie joining the local women’s gambling den. Well the muscles of our legs are still telling the story and we’re getting Julie counselling for her little addiction, so all is well here!

All in all, it was a wonderful day and a marvellous first time experience for me of LWB in action. That’s all for now.

Maire ((on behalf of Julie, Arlene and herself – two Irish women and one wannabe!)

P.S. Arlene wants the world to know that she did in fact brush her hair,
despite appearances.