Continued from previous post... the rest of Tuesday, Feb 11th.
After a quick lunch, we headed back down to the lobby and met up with our guide, Vivian. We loaded up in a van and headed off for Dragonfly's hometown, Luoyang, to apply for her Chinese Passport. A year or so back Henan passed a law that requires adoptive parents (and child) to appear in person to apply for this passport in the child's hometown. It adds to the craziness of the whole process that is for sure! We were the only family going to Luoyang, but our agency made 3 orphanage trips with 4 other families today and will take 7 more families to 5 different orphanages tomorrow.
The drive to Luoyang about 2 hours each way. We were able to see some more of Zhengzhou as we drove. It is definitely a very industrial city.
There are lots of HUGE apartments everywhere.
We saw many of the national bird of China....... the crane! ;) Definitely lots of building going on!
After about 45 mins of driving we were out on the big highway and in the country side. At first it was flat farmland and very like the land we saw on both our trip to Luohe (Ladybug's hometown) and Kaifeng (Lil'Bug's hometown).
But after a little while the landscape changed. There were mounts of dirt and rock in places. The low hills appeared. Then we found ourselves driving through hills, narrow valleys, and a series of tunnels.
There were many homes build right into the side of the hills. Some were obviously abandoned but many were still being used as homes! We also saw some type of temple or shrine up on a hill.
Finally we crossed the river near Luoyang.
The passport office was in the new district of Luoyang and the area was very nice.
So we finally arrived at the passport office. It took only about 10 minutes to do what we needed to do as we were given IVP status. I'm just glad we did not have to wait in what looked to be an hours long line!
After the passport application was submitted, we drove through the city about 45 minutes to go visit Maria's Big House of Hope where Dragonfly has lived for the pasted 2 years and 3 months. This part of the drive looked a lot more like the China we are used to seeing.
Finally we saw it up ahead... the big blue house!
Dragonfly was SOOOOO excited as soon as she saw it. She became more and more animated as we went inside. The lobby was familiar to me from all the pictures I've seen. One of the workers saw us arrive and called upstairs to the nurses to let them know we were there. With in a few minutes someone showed up to greet us. That person was Rita! A nurse at MBHOH who care for Dragonfly for awhile and had felt especially close to her. Dragonfly was excited to see her too.
We were able to tour parts of the facility including their OR (which they are not able to use currently), the first floor, and Dragonfly's room. In Dragonfly's room, the ayis (nannies) were SO excited to see her. Her ayi who had cared for her since she arrived at Maria's at about one month of age was especially excited. But Dragonfly was the most excited of all. She glowed to be back in the place that was home to her and with those she loves so much. All her little friends, her brothers and sisters here, came up to her. Here she is being loved on by the women who have been her mothers her whole life.
The ayis where excited to show us things she can do including take a few steps on her own! They were so proud of her. They showed us around her room, the Dumbo room, and her crib.
All too soon it was time to go. Dragonfly had been well prepared and her ayi told her she needed to go with mama. She shock her head no and cried when her ayi passed her to me. The crying only last from the time we left the room and made it onto the elevator. I am so grateful for the bond she has had to her ayi. I know that I can not in a few days replace that bond. But she is secure enough and has known love and trust so that she can go with me and begin to bond to me as well. Yes, she will grieve her ayi. That is as it should be. Yet tonight she called me Mama. Dear sweet girl, in time she will learn what that really means!