Monday, May 01, 2006

A Packet of Gold

When we received our referral of Olivia we of course looked up her orphanage (Guilin SWI) right away and found out that Half The Sky Foundation was in her orphanage. I contacted them during our wait to travel and asked them if she was in their Baby Sister Program (click on underline links for more info or to see pics). They got back with me right away (within 24 hours) and said that she was indeed in their Baby Sister Program and that after we were home with her and had officially adopted her, we could request all the information they had on her. When we were in China and on "Adoption Day" we were handed a packet of paperwork that had Half the Sky written across it. I couldn't wait to get back to our room to look at it. Unfortunately it was all written in Chinese. Fortunately there were many pictures of Olivia from babyhood up to her current age and enough dates on the papers that I could figure out that these looked like developement write ups on her for every three months from when she entered into the orphanage to when we were able to get her. They also included some hand and foot prints of hers and some pictures drawn by someone. I was very excited to say the least. Very few people are this lucky to have this many pictures of their children let alone information of the months of them growing up.

When we got home I wondered how I was going to get the information translated without spending a lot of money. There was probably 20 pages of information. My daughter, Katie, who is a senior in high school says, "Hey, there is a kid in my class who is from China, I can ask him if he could do it." So the next day she asks him and shows him a page. He says "Sure, I can read that and I would love to do it, for nothing." So for the next week to 10 days my daughter keeps bringing home a few pages at a time as he translates them for us.

These pages are GOLD to me. These are written by Olivia's nanny, and she refers to herself as Olivia's "grandmother". She talks about her the first time Olivia sits up, rolls over, crawls, talks, walks, gets into a rocking chair by herself, how many teeth she has, how she interacts with other children, how she is jealous when the "grandmother" has to care for a new baby that comes to the orphanage etc. She even talks about the day our care package arrives and she shows Olivia our photo album and she points out our pictures to her and how Olivia cries when one of the other kids takes her photo album away from her.

I am planning on writing a letter to the orphanage director and one to the "grandmother" before school is over so Katie's friend can translate them for me. I will send them with some gifts and pictures this summer. I want to show them and let them know how well she is doing and thank them for the care they took care of her. I am hoping I can get the grandmother to correspond with me either by letter or email.

I have added some pictures of what a couple of the pages looked like that were in the packet.

PS: I did give Katie's friend a thank you card and I put some cash in it for him cause we all know how teens like cash and I am not sure when he offered to translate all those pages for me that he knew what he was getting himself into. HAHA!


Linda said...

That's great that you were able to get so much information from Half the Sky! Even more wonderful that you found someone so willing to translate it for you!

Lee-Anne said...

WOW! I've heard of Half Sky but I thought they were like a sponsorship organisation - that is awesome that you could get all that information. Imagine if you didn't ask? Olivia, will love you for it, as she's growing up - to know that someone cared for her so well, when she was waiting to be with you.
PS got your Announcement yesterday - MAN! you are clever, not to mention the incredible beauty of your daughter!