That is why our thoughts so often return to Gansu Province and the orphanage in Pingliang where Henry spent his first 22 months. Today the orphanage, now called the Pingliang Children's Welfare Institute (CWI) in its brand new quarters, is a large, modern health care facility that is a stunning contrast to its former buildings where Henry lived. With a large number of children and comparatively low number of adoptions because nearly all of its children have special needs, the new facility seems to represent an earnest investment in child welfare by Chinese authorities, especially local civil affairs officials. Mrs. Yang, the orphanage's director, has obviously done a very good job in lobbying locally and promoting the important services which the orphanage provides.
|Return to Clara-Li's orphanage (2005)|
Amity Altrusa has for more than decade built on this type of nurturing interest to help orphanages in Jiangxi maintain foster care programs as a better means of housing abandoned children. In many Jiangxi counties most children assigned to orphanages today live with foster families, leaving orphanage facilities to serve children with the most severe special needs. We have long supported one of these children in foster care. She has Hepatitis B and has been an unlikely candidate for domestic adoption since she was an infant; now that she is older her prospects for foreign adoption are also very dim. Year after year, the reports we receive on her progress say she is a quiet, sometimes melancholy child who struggles with her studies at school, sometimes because of her health. Henry's dad sometimes wonders if she might be happier here in our family and wishes he could make it so; the same wish he had for a lot of children remembered this Father’s Day.
Another of our Father’s Day memories comes in the form of a gift that Clara-Li brought home from nursery school in the early summer of 2005; a plaster cast of her tiny foot with a little card that still hangs from a door in our home, a simple reminder that it sure is good both to be and to have a dad, forever. The card reads:
When daddy walks along the streetFurther reading: an article titled The Realities of Foster Family Adoption in China in the June 2011 issue of LWB’s newsletter speaks well on changing patterns in Chinese foster care, orphanage care, and domestic adoption. See it here.
And hurries home to me
He takes the quickest longest steps
That ever I did see
But when I go to walk with him
He acts quite differently
And takes the slowest, shortest ones
To keep in step with me