Adoption China Trip Motherhood

China – Day 5 – Visit to Orphanage

Well friends, this is a post I have been dreading. Honestly, I’ve avoided blogging because I didn’t want to write about this day. It was a hard day on so many levels. I still haven’t processed everything really. So I decided to go ahead an give a brief overview and then I can tackle a more in depth post later….


There is a fine line in adoption, you want to share the experiences, high and lows, details of the journey etc. However we also must be respectful of our kids. Their past, their traumas, their stories. It really is theirs to tell. I’ll share what I can, but know that there is so much more to this day than I could ever really share here.

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We started early, had breakfast, and met our guide in the hotel lobby. We caught the 8:00am train from Changsha to Hengyang. The train was MUCH faster than I expected, I think our max speed was 300 km/hr! We saw a lot of the countryside, farms and rice fields. It was really beautiful! I wish we traveled more by train in the US, it was affordable and efficient!


When we arrived in Hengyang, I began to feel nervous. I didn’t know how Rosie would handle going back to her orphanage, especially since it was just the day before that she left there. I was concerned she would think we were taking her back. I asked our guide to please explain to her that we were just going to visit and that she was still going home with mommy. The guide starting speaking to her in Mandarin, and her little face just dropped. I have never seen her look so sad. She immediately buried her face in my chest and fell asleep. It was clearly a coping mechanism. I felt awful.

We arrived at ICC and Rosie did pretty well while we were there. I kept her in the baby carrier so no one could take her from me. She got a little agitated at times, wanted to get down etc.

I just held her tight and tried to soak in all that I could from this place she has called home for over 4 years.

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That’s all I can process for now.

We drove to her finding spot on our way to the train station. I haven’t even started to process that either. Standing there where her first mama abandoned her, for reasons we may never know…. it was humbling and just hard. Imaging her walking away from that gate without her baby… it’s gut-wrenching.



We boarded a train in Hengyang to head to Guangzhou, and by now, I was feeling awful. I was feverish and had terrible body aches. As soon as my butt hit the seat on the train I burst into tears. I tried to talk it through with Ashleigh, but my emotions were all over the place. Rosie was feeling it too. She slept on and off all day that day. She had a hard time coping too.


By the time we arrived in Guangzhou, I was a hot mess, so was Rosie. Our guide picked us up and drove us to our hotel. All of that time is a blur to me. My fever was climbing and Rosie was shutting down. We checked into our room and crawled into bed. I tried to comfort her, but she was rejecting me. She seemed angry at me. Confused. I took some medication and tried to calm down.


After an hour or two, I crawled (literally) out of bed and tried to find some dinner for Rosie. I made her some oatmeal and a snacks. Once we were both up and out of bed, we started to feel a tad better. She slowly began to smile again, so did I. We just laid low, face-timed with daddy and went to bed early! I knew if we could just sleep, that the morning would bring new mercies for us both…


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  • Reply
    shannon norrie
    January 5, 2016 at 6:57 pm

    It took me time to process our visit back to the orphanage – and I still find myself in tears when I look at the pictures I took. I agree it is her story to tell but now you have the context to fill in for her. Important visit for sure but so painful. Rosie is beautiful and you are radiant in your pictures with her. Wishing the rest of your trip goes peacefully and you are feeling better. Thanks for sharing your journey with us.

  • Reply
    April 12, 2016 at 4:27 am

    Angela, thank you for sharing that. I am so thankful that God placed Rosie in your family. Her sadness at going back to the orphanage, just really shows how much she knows she is loved by you, and belongs in a loving family. I also admire and agree with you on not sharing all of the details of this hard day. Much love and blessings.

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