We had the privilege of driving out to Isaiah’s home area, Loudi, Hunan.

We drove south out of Changsha, over the river Chairman Mao tried to swim across in his youth. I say tried, because apparently he would swim as far as a large inhabited island to rest before setting off for the far bank once again. A number of years ago, the inhabitants were removed from the island and it was closed to the public.  I recent years, a 100 metre high bust of the Chairman, himself, was erected there and orange groves and parkland were revitalized there.   It is now referred to as the “Orange Island” and viewing it form the bridge as we crossed the river, it indeed seemed like a lush Mt. Rushmore.

Heading southwest we again came across the tall farmer’s homes, and the rural fields backed up against reddish-orange earthen hillsides.  But this time, the hills became rolling mountains covered with thick forests.  Logging trucks passed us on the freeway and in the distance long used rice paddy terraces covered the mountain sides.  And the crazy horn honking, long distance city to city bus drivers.  Whooooeeee!  Hang onto your hats boys and girls!

Our driver knows we don’t mind detours by now, but today, a wrong turn led us along some deeply pot hole ridden roads.  Bang!  Thud!  There went the suspension.  Or so we thought.  Nope.  On we went.

Suddenly, we drove into the city of Lou Di.  Four and a half million people and an obviously large investment into constructing a beautiful new government headquarters.  If our hotel is palatial in an aging, yet charming way, the new government headquarters are leaning towards the palaces of Europe.  Quite spectacular.

We pulled off a side road to the new orphanage building and were greeted by the staff we’d met earlier at the adoption proceedings.  We paused for photos under a scrolling billboard sign, welcoming Isaiah home.  Ironically, he’d only stayed in that building for a few short nights before we met him.

After the requisite official refreshment and Q&A time in the meeting room, we toured the upstairs wing where the roughly twenty children lived.  Now, at first that may sound a small number, but we were told that there were another 80-100 in foster care, and a number at boarding school for high school.

I have so much on my heart regarding our visit with the children.  It was very difficult.  I just want to leave you with a thought.

We were graciously given access to those precious little souls for only a few minutes of their lives.  Around the world many, many people waited days outdoors just for the moment that the new royal prince would be born.  What do those two things have in common?  Well, the prince lives locked up because of media scrutiny and by the protection of his parents.  One day he will step into the royal limelight and move into his earthly role as heir to the throne.  Those children I met today?  They also live literally behind lock and key.  But not by a doting public or a watchful parent.  They are hidden from the public now, but they will not see the light of freedom.  Not unless they are pursued, relentlessly, like a parent for their child.

We pursued our Isaiah.  Will you consider pursuing your own precious son or daughter?

After our time with the children, we were invited to a lunch with the staff and officials.  It was a beautiful lunch in an interesting restaurant with a giant drum and a fountain of water that flowed next to the staircase that led to our private room.  Many Hunanese delicacies were served including local eel, cow stomach and frogs legs, alongside sweet potato greens, custard and desert balls, among many, many other dishes.  I ended up holding a very upset Isaiah and they kindly packed up a box of watermelon and buns for me to take with me.  I wasn’t sad to miss out, this time, but I appreciated their kind hospitality!

We followed our lunch with a quick photo op at his finding location, before heading back onto the expressway and driving the 2.5 hours back into Changsha.

Isaiah woke with a temperature and a nasty diaper.  He has continued to fight the fever and tummy bug all day.  It was a rough day heading back to Lou Di compounded with not feeling well.  Stephen and I took turns trying to comfort him and he’s moaning a lot in his sleep.  We felt terrible for dragging him to the SWI today, but we’ve learned that sometimes we have to do hard things with our kids for the long range goal of their grow and development.  Having these photos from today will help him hang one more piece of his past in the correct sequence.  Such an important thing as kids ask the deeper identity questions about themselves.  I just wish I could explain that to his sad little self!


DSC_8720 DSC_8713 DSC_8709 DSC_8686 DSC_8654 DSC_8643 DSC_8612 DSC_8608 DSC_8605 DSC_8475 DSC_8461 DSC_8414 DSC_8412 DSC_8409 DSC_8402 DSC_8399 DSC_8397 DSC_8392 DSC_8387 DSC_8384 DSC_8381 DSC_8373 DSC_8357 DSC_8354 DSC_8348 DSC_8344 DSC_8343 DSC_8336 DSC_8327 DSC_8321 DSC_8305 DSC_8300 DSC_8297 DSC_8295 DSC_8291 DSC_8289 DSC_8281 DSC_8241 DSC_8240 DSC_8237 DSC_8230 DSC_8223 DSC_8218 DSC_8197 DSC_8193 DSC_8181 DSC_8163 DSC_8162


Share Your Thoughts...


Protected by WP Anti Spam