Just as we were getting ready to return our dirty trays, George, our guide told us to stay put. He indicated that the Chef was preparing something special that he wanted to share with us. Huh? We just ate! So, we sat there for a bit and then the chef and his assistant emerged and set up a special table with about 8-10 chairs.
So, apparently, as the details emerged, there were two distinct reasons for this "celebration". The sous chef that I mentioned before was a student that had finished high school but had not been adopted in time. He wants to be a great chef. So, the orphanage staff was working with him to teach him to cook. There were two TV cameras there (I think they had been there for 7 days and this was their last day). This special dinner was a fun way to conclude their time. They were hosting a contest of sorts. The two prepared 4 dishes. The Directors of the Orphanage and our family were to be judges and taste each dish. We were told to guess which chef, teacher or student, had prepared each dish and which we liked the best. Before we began, the chef gave a moving speech about Colin and how happy they were that he was going to have this opportunity of a better life. George translated each portion for us. The staff were so warm and obviously loved him and were happy for him. Here is a short video clip of this exchange...
The gentleman speaking English is George, our guide for this week in Shenyang. I believe the older "chef" may be a TV anchor. George referred to him as "the anchor".
After this time in the dining hall, we were escorted to Colin's dorm and met the lady who was in charge of all the "older children" in that dorm. She has worked there for 25 years she told us, although Tom teased her that she must have started at age 5 because she was so young. We got to see his old room, meet his roommate, and tour the classroom and lounge areas. We saw the trees, swing and piano that we had seen in update pictures received earlier.
|Colin in his dorm room|
|Colin with his roommate|
Most special was the album of older photos and written updates that the dorm director gave us. It was a treasure to my Mother's heart to see his growth and to see such a happy boy. All his friends made posters for him with good-bye messages and hand prints. They will be great to decorate his very plain (at the moment) room at home.
|On the right, the woman who was in charge of the dorm. She was very nice!|
Here he is with several of his friends...
His caregivers were obviously fond of him.
After we left the dorm, my video camera died. UGH! So, I had to think fast. I may never have the opportunity to come here again and I promised updated photos to a mom who was waiting for a little girl from Colin's orphanage. So, we went to Ms. Tan's office and Colin charged the camera on her computer while we talked about these other shared list kids.
I was able to get enough "juice" for the camera to get these pics. Here I am delivering some special items for a sweet little one. She was too precious! Ya'll, when I opened her envelope for her, there was a beautiful card with photos of her family. When we opened the card, she said, "Mama, Papa, and whatever passes for "sisters" in Chinese! LOL George was able to get her to do it again so that we could get video of this sweetheart for her parents to be.
|Delivering a very special package to this sweetie from her waiting parents|
This next little one has fused fingers and some deformity of the feet. He was born in 2007. It appeared to my very untrained eyes, that all his knuckles and joints were in tact. So far as I know, he would need surgery to correct the feet and hands, but his special needs seemed very manageable and more than likely, completely correctible. He was full of energy and seemed happy to play with his friends. He was friendly and greeted us immediately when we entered the room.
I think has been my favorite day of the trip yet. (Aside from the actual adoption being completed). It was so nice being able to see a bit of our son's history and to see so clearly that he was loved and cared for by the staff there. He was one of the lucky ones. I can't wait to see what God has in store for this very special young man.
Tomorrow we will receive all of the final paperwork translated into English and then we set out to see more of this big city. We hope to see the location where Colin was found as an infant, go to see the political statues and then the Imperial Palace in the afternoon. More later friends! God Bless,