My very favorite part of our entire trip to Communist China!  


From day one you know your child was abandoned.   Abandoned is a bad, bad word.  You eventually get immune to the word though.  I read it is better to say the word to your child.  Let the child hear the word from someone who loves them.  That way they won't be shocked or hurt when others say it to them, and plenty of rude people do say the word to them.  They say it often.

When you adopt from China, you actually get an "abandonment decree"; which is a formal document, much like a birth certificate.  It is issued by the Chinese government and states the date when and the location where the child was found abandoned.  Some of my kids' abandonment decrees say words like "train station,"  "shopping area" or "bridge."  Places that are big and not very personal.  Visiting Communist China in the past, we never went to any of our kids' abandonment sites.  We were always too jet lagged or busy, but the main reason we didn't go is because nobody was interested in helping us find our child's abandonment spotWe had had guides point out the area before, but only in a very general way.  We would be speeding down a highway and only get a glance.  

Our host in Wuhan on this trip asked me to send him Lael's abandonment decree before we left for China.  I took a picture of her actual document and sent it to him.  I thought he asked for it so he could get us into her orphanage, since they want documentation to prove you actually lived there.  

So when we were in Wuhan driving down the road and he pointed in the direction of a big part of the city and said "That was Lael's abandonment spot," it didn't mean much to me.  Like I explained above, it has happened to us several times before.  After we had sped by the area he pointed to, we spent the rest of the day having a lot of fun and seeing a lot of sights.  So I never thought much about it again.

Because our host spoke no English and Arden did the translating, I'm sure our host didn't say a lot until something needed to be said, but on our way back to the hotel after a long day, he suddenly stopped the car.  He said, "This is Lael's abandonment spot."  He first pointed to a big commercial area.  I'm thinking... more of the same, and I'm tired.  But then he got out of the car.  We got out too.  All of a sudden he started to act like a hound dog, or maybe a detective on the move.  He walked fast.  He was hard to keep up with especially with me snapping pictures as we went.  I was sure we would end up in a big generic area like a shopping market or commercial area.  

That is not what happened.  

Then he showed me several times the address on Lael's abandonment degree matched where we were at.  We were about to see the place--the real place Lael was abandoned.  At first, we were in a typical big and busy metropolitan area.  But then it all started to changed.  It got personal and  nothing about it was generic.   


So, this is what it looked like when we first got out of the car--very commercial, and very impersonal.  


I have no idea why this man was so, so good to us, but we owe him a lot.




Lael snapchatted her "adventure." What do you call visiting for the first time the place you were abandoned? 


When he started up the bridge I realized we were really going to a specific place.  A real place.  The place she was abandoned.  


At this point he was rushing and charging on.  I wanted to stop and take it all in.  Lael stayed close behind him.  She acted as if she was as desperate as he was to find the spot.  Arden was so sweet the entire trip and translated everything, even though it wore her out at times.  







And then it got really "real."  To the left is the alley we were about to enter. 





We didn't realize it at the time, but later Arden told us he was questioning people.  He was trying to find out how long people had lived there.  He wanted to know if anyone knew Lael's birth parents.



Again, he is questioning people.  Sticking his head in doors.  That is the norm in China.  Many times I've been a few feet away from people sitting in their homes eating dinner or brushing their teeth.  These homes are small.  Smaller than our garage. 










At this point I didn't realize he is inquiring if they knew the actual people who had abandoned Lael.  If he had found her birth parents, I would have crapped!!   I wasn't looking for that.  : - )  And Lael wasn't either!!




Then we were there!  It was a tiny little court full of hustle and bustle.  The court was surrounded by tall apartments.  Older boys were sitting at a table playing a game; older people sitting around chatting; women exercising and beautiful children laughing and playing.  This was it.  He again showed me Lael's abandonment decree that showed the address and how it matched exactly where we were at. 





Arden was interested in their game.




Arden told us our host told the people why we were there and what we wanted.  They didn't seem shocked at all. 



All of us couldn't help smiling and laughing at the kids.  They didn't want us to get too close though. 


The short time we were there the little kids would run up to us, laugh, yell and run away to come right back and do it all again.  We were great entertainment.  Our host said, "They aren't afraid of you.  They have just never seen foreigners before."  I have a feeling they were calling us names.  : - )



You could tell their parents or grandparents were trying to get the little kids to talk to us.  It was obvious we thought they were adorable. 




And when we waved goodbye, the children got sad.  I thought the one in the leopard wanted to cry.  She wasn't ready for us to leave.




And then it was over!  We left, but I'll never forget it.  I'll always appreciate what he did for us.