Tuesday, May 18, 2010

The orphanage in Xi'an and the clothing police.

Our final orphanage visit was to the place Emma spent the first 2 years of her life. We found this facility in Xi'an to be very large but the nannies seemed to genuinely love and care for the babies. It also seemed very clean and neat even though institutional.

When we arrived we were escorted to the 4th floor and Angie was given a book of information about Emma. Every diaper change, feeding, illness etc.. concerning Emma was recorded in this book. We were so impressed at all the bits of information so diligently recorded.

The babies were basically housed in 2 large rooms on the 4th floor. The largest room was for playing and the smaller one housed the cribs and was for sleeping. We estimated there were somewhere between 30 and 50 babies counting the "new arrivals" we weren't able to see. The director permitted us to take pictures of the large baby room with the babies ranging in age from several months to about 2 years old, but requested we not post the pictures of all the children on the internet. The babies seemed happy but we also felt they rarely left the 4th floor. The older children were kept on the lower floors and had access to a large and beautiful play area outside.

A few of the nannies that cared for Emma over the past 2 years seemed very happy to see her one more time. One of them however was a charter member of the clothing police academy. It's a bit of a joke among the China adoption community that independent of the outside temp., the Chinese must not see any skin exposed on a baby except for their face. True to form, we thought one of the nannies was going to haul us off to a Chinese Clothing violation prison holding cell if we failed to cover Miss Emma's legs. The director came back with a pair of warm pants to put on Emma, and Angie obliged until we got back to the bus :) She graciously gave the pants back to the orphanage and thanked them for letting her "borrow" them. It's interesting that even though a child is dripping with perspiration the culture here in China is that a baby must be kept warm (HOT IMHO) They also believe babies should never be given anything cold to drink as it is "not good for baby"... but then again, this is a country that deep fries scorpions as snacks :) :)

xo from Xi'an.

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