We were so fortunate to have the opportunity to visit Riley's Orphanage in the town of Zhengzhou. We were exhausted and weren't sure if we were all up to the emotional trip, but knew that this was a once in a lifetime chance and we better not miss it!
This probably is one of the top 10 precious photos of a lifetime! We actually met the Nanny who took care of Riley AND NAMED HER!!! Many of you know the absolutely amazing story about Riley's name, but for those of you that did not hear it. I'll tell you....
Riley's Nanny speaks English, very good English actually, and she's the one that nicknamed our daughter, Riley. When we met her at the orphanage I could see how emotional she was when she saw Riley. She approached me and we chatted. She asked what we decided to name her. I told her we're keeping the name Riley, and she immediately started crying. I told her "Wait. There is much more to this story."
I told her that we were concerned about the cost of the adoption and were pretty stressed. I prayed that I needed to know if we were on the right track, and voiced how totally dense (and did I say STRESSED!) I can be at times and begged for something obvious to know that we should continue. Three days later we received a phone call from our agency. They told us about this beautiful little girl, and gave us all her medical details, and THEN finally told us that this is odd but the Nanny gave her an American nickname, Riley. I started crying immediately! I was pregnant only once in 2004, and went into early labor and lost a little boy. We named him RILEY!
As I told the story and watched her, she could only control her emotions and started crying! She told me how happy she was to know this, and how much she knows Riley is where she's meant to be. We hugged...several times! She then rushed out into the hallway. I could see she was overwhelmed with emotion. Names are VERY important in the Chinese culture. I can only imagine how she must have felt knowing that she had such an important part in a child's life.
This was a view from the open air catwalk. Farmers were tending the fields. We could hear the sound of locusts very loudly.
This was the view from the other direction. You could see views of the town, which had many trees and grassy open areas.
Ted - Snapping shots EVERYWHERE!
Open of the Orphanage rooms. All rooms were painted with a color theme and decorated with children's cartoon characters. The rooms were all air conditioned. The man knelling is the Orphanage Officer who first brought Riley to us. He was a really sweet man.
This is a photo of our guide Rita. She was with us most of our entire trip to Zhengzhou.
Each room had a padded floor area for the children to roll around and play.
These are some of the featured children on our agency's website.
I liked this saying.
Ted holding up Nick so he could see the baby in the incubator.
An award from our adoption agency!
Beautiful artwork behind my handsome hubby. Everything in the building was handpainted. Amazing! What an experience.