Arden returns to her orphanage, her school and her old neighborhood. Like usual, I didn't follow the rules. You're supposed to get permission to go to the orphanage, pay $400 and bring gifts. We just showed up.
Closure. And not because I said it was. And not because I wanted it to be. It is because Arden said it was. Arden surprised me when she announced to me the morning we got back home to the USA, that that part of her life was done. We were all rushing to take our showers so we could go to bed and sleep all day. As Arden was showering she told me the trip closed that part of her life. She said she tried to find her best friend, but she had moved away leaving no clues where she went. Her old dorm had been torn down. There was nothing there calling out to her. As a matter of fact, both Lael and Arden were ready to come home a couple days before we even left to come home. They were ready to come back home even before Mike and I were. I, of course, wanted to see my other kids, but other than that I was still "doing my thing." But, to my surprise, any feelings Lael and Arden had for China, didn't really come out. They didn't feel part of China. They are Americans and don't feel connected there in the least. And, if they ever want to go back for a visit it didn't show either.
Arden said to me "How do they eat the same food every day?" She also said, "There are too many people here."
Arden meeting again the assistant director of the orphanage who has worked for the orphanage for years. She is the one who brought Arden to Mike and me when we adopted her in 2005. She also brought our other kids from Guangzhou, with the exception of Pryor, to us when were there to adopt them., along with all the other kids to Mike and me. The lady in the pink shirt brought Pryor to me when we adopted him from Guangzhou. I say "me" only, because Mike was in another city getting Boone at the same time I was in Guangzhou taking care of Pryor's adoption.
I'm showing them pictures of the other kids back at home.
This place was interesting. It was on the orphanage grounds and Arden said she used to get noodles here. I wish I had gotten Arden's picture in front of this place. As usual though it all happened fast and Arden was still talking to the directors.
This is the view from the orphanage and looks exactly the same as the first time I saw it. It was the view from Arden's dorm room.
This is the school Arden attended through grade school. Stafan also attended this school, but only for about a year. It is at the bottom of the hill of the orphanage. Arden said when the teacher was mad at the class she would keep them all over until it was dark outside. Arden said it was very scary walking back to the orphanage alone in the dark. She said there were several mean dogs on the way. The other kids had parents to pick them up. : - (( Remi, Shepard and Pryor were all in foster care, so they went to other schools. Bret had not yet started school when we adopted her, so she didn't go here either.
Then a few feet away from the school is a shopping market. Arden said they would go to it sometimes. After they knew she was going to be adopted they didn't let her go anymore. They didn't want anything to happen to her. Hmmmm.... makes you wonder why they didn't care before.
Arden said this was really the only area or places she ever went to while living in China.
Arden was very excited to take us down this alley. She said she used to get noodles back here too.
Notice the man with a cigarette in his mouth. It seemed every man in China smoked! I swear their goverment must think it will be a good way to purge their population. That would take care of the unequal man woman gender problem. And since the Chinese goverment controls everything else in their lives, why wouldn't they do more to stop the smoking?
When we visited the school, it was their lunch time. Their school days are long, but they get a very long lunch period. So you see many kids in school uniforms running around this area. I've been there when lunch time starts and the front gate was packed with parents picking up their children, mostly on bikes.
Lael picked a good day to wear her rain boots.
Arden and the assistant director right before we adopted Arden.
Arden and her best friend in China. Arden was hoping to find her again, but that will probably never happen.