Wednesday, June 13, 2018

Qinzhou Visit

I'm not sure where to start in documenting this day!

We left this morning with our guide Vicky, traveling by speed train (128mph) to Ivy's hometown, a city called Qinzhou (pronounced Chin-zhou) south of Nanning. When we arrived, we first stopped by Ivy's orphanage to see where she was placed by her birth family, as well as the orphanage itself. We knew going in that we would likely not be able to enter the orphanage, and this was in fact the case. We were able to see through the gates the play area, as well as the outside of the floors on which Ivy lived (the 3rd floor as a baby, and most recently the 4th floor for the older children).

Before coming to Ch*na, we learned that the orphanage does not allow contact between the adoptive families and foster parents. We were disappointed to learn this, wanting so much to thank the couple that clearly had been taking such good care of our little girl for almost a year. We prayed that we might be able to find some way to contact them after the adoption.

Once we met our guide in Nanning, we learned that a few weeks ago when Ivy's foster sister was being adopted by an another American couple, the family was approached in the train station by the foster family's neighbor, recognizing their new little girl. Then then neighbor gave them the contact information of the foster family! We were so excited to learn this, knowing that we would also now be able to contact them!

Today, while standing outside of the orphanage gates, our guide told us that she was able to use this contact information to get in touch with the foster family, and that they were hoping to be able to meet us. We hadn't considered this would be a possibility, and were so very happy to be able to thank them face to face.

Before this meeting, we first traveled to the police station, to look up any record of Ivy's abandonment, and to meet one of the officers who came to the scene and cared for our sweet girl on that day. He had the kindest face, and we were so grateful to be able to thank him as well. He told our guide that so many babies are abandoned, it was hard to remember each one.  :( He didn't remember Ivy, but we learned that he was there that day through the police record.

Next, we drove over to the apartment complex of the foster family. We waited outside the gate for a bit, and soon I saw the face of the foster father. We were nervous about this part, not knowing how Ivy would react to seeing them again, but she did so well - allowing them to hold her (which typically I do not do, but this was a special circumstance), but still clearly seeing us as her mom and dad. While in his arms, she kept looking out to be sure I was still there. :) The foster mother soon arrived as well, and they led us to through the complex to their home. It was soon clear once we arrived that they had tried quickly to prepare for our visit. The brought out a table full of fruit and snacks. They brought out some of Ivy's shoes and insisted that we take them all with us so that she could have them for memories. :) They were so very sweet and hospitable!

We learned that Ivy was brought back to the orphanage in April, after almost a year in their care, because the foster mother started to have pain in her hands and arms and felt no longer able to care for young children. They told us that they had tried to come to the orphanage before her adoption to say goodbye to her before her adoption, but they were not allowed to enter because they were no longer fostering. They were so grateful to be able to see Ivy again and to say a proper goodbye.

The foster family kept asking our guide if we might be able to stay and visit for two more days. They were so incredibly sweet and loving. They told us that their adult biological son was busy arranging a meal for us at a local restaurant. They arranged for a friend of theirs to drive us there. When we arrived, we were escorted to the second floor, and through a door to a private dining room with an incredible spread of food for us to share. We were just overwhelmed with their generosity and kindness! We were able to spend another hour with them, learning more about their family and their time fostering. We learned that they had only fostered three children, and that once the foster children came into their home, they felt "much joy".

Their biological son was also very kind, and was able to speak with us a bit in English. He told us that when Ivy first came to them from the orphanage, that she was able to feed herself independently, but his mother spoiled her so much feeding her herself, that she "unlearned". lol It's so clear that they cared for her so incredibly well, like their own. We could never thank them enough for all they did for our sweet girl!!


  1. What a great family she had! To be loved by two totally different families on either side of the world just shows how lucky and what a blessing she is!

  2. My heart is so full reading this. Knowing how long you’ve prayed for Ivy, and the opportunity to see face-to-face how God was answering those prayers...what a blessing!