Long Road to China - Our Adoption Story

Trustmark National Bank account set up:

Donations can be made nation wide at any Trustmark National Bank through the account:
Phillip Smith or Niki J. Smith's Adoption Account

If you would like to mail a donation, please mail it to
Phil or Niki Smith
P.O. Box 332
Rienzi, MS 38865

Friday, July 20, 2012

Visiting GiGi's Orphanage

Today was the hardest day I've had while in China!  We visited the orphanage.  Pictures don't even do justice for the orphanage GiGi lived in for 2 years!   I've never seen conditions like this before & I cannot believe GiGi lived here for 2years!!  I've been sick all day since leaving there!  You cannot capture the smell & it was unlike any I've smelled before!  It wasn't urine or poop but much worse!   The children's rooms opened to the outside & they didn't even have doors on them!  They just had thick plastic strips.    I'm pretty positive no one even stayed with them at night as it was wall to wall cribs with no room for a chair or anything!  When we came back our interrupter said they would only show us the best part of the orphanage & that it was much worse in the other parts (which I cannot imagine anything being much worse!)  I could not have handled seeing any more – our GiGi lived here & other children are there now!  I cannot put into words how broken my heart is tonight!

There were 2 babies that had arrived yesterday.  No one was holding them & one was blue.  The baby was still alive but I seriously doubt she will live a couple more days.  Both children had a horrible cough that sounded like pneumonia!  While we were there the police arrived to leave another child but we did not see it!  Please pray for all these precious babies!  It was a life changing experience & anyone that hasn’t personally experienced it could not understand!  Phil posted some pics but he couldn't even bare to take pics of it all!  The lens would not capture the coldness & smell through the peeling paint, concrete floors, wall to wall cribs, & all the babies that lay there without anyone holding them!  

The orphanage workers were unbelievable!  They are so nice & thoughtful!  You can tell they loved the kids, but they can only do so much with what they were given!  The nannies seemed to love the children very much!  GiGi was very fond of all the workers & let them hold her.   When it was time to go she came back to me & waved bye to them.  When we got in the bus she cried & cried & cried herself to sleep!  I think she realized it was good-bye forever & was so hard on her!  No matter how bad the conditions are this was her home!  I have no doubt adopting these children is best but it hurts to see your child in such pain!  She has clung to me like never before!  A long day would be an understatement!  

 I really really thought I was going to vomit after the visit!  No American could understand the conditions if you haven’t traveled to a 3rd world country!  Phil couldn't bear to get the worst that we saw in pics because it was so heartbreaking!  It is crucial that we get these children out of there into forever families! I was planning on posting more about our visit today, but I am emotionally drained!   I will try to write more about it at a later date, but I’m just not emotionally up to any more tonight!

Thank goodness we leave here tomorrow! No one has been fond of being here & is ready to go!  We fly out at 12:50 & will land in Guangzhou at 2:05.  I'm not sure how the kids are going to handle flying (all the families & adoptive children here will fly on the same plane).  I hope the internet service will be as good there as it has been here.  We will post as soon as possible once we are there!

Pictures from XX Orphanage 
& the beautiful children
awaiting FOREVER Families
.........are you willing to change a child's life????


  1. Tom Boblitt....Kelly's husband....Lila's dad here...
    See a lot of the same kids in your photos that we saw when we were there at the end of March. We didn't really experience a smell issue but it hadn't gotten hot for the summer yet either. It was a tough trip for us too. I think the hardest thing for us was the strips on the door and the fact that the temps outside were about 35-40 and the ones inside the rooms were only about 50 degrees. The kids were cool to the touch and had tons of clothes on to help keep them as warm as possible. I would agree that the workers do the best they can with what they have. Which isn't much. The rooms were sparse but Gracie's room, which Krista, Moya and others help support were much more furnished and had more items in them to help spur development. I think our Lila is behind some due to the lack of development there but with her heart condition, maybe they were concerned about doing too much. There were babies crying when we were there without anyone picking them up much and, like Phillip, I just couldn't take as many pictures as I would have liked. I get a little upset about it just thinking about it now. Anyway, hopefully things will get better when they move to the new orphanage soon. It's discouraging to see where China places their priorities. But it's their priorities, not ours, I guess. We keep you all in our thoughts and hope you have save travels to Guangzhou. Things will be much better there and it's a more cosmopolitan city. Spend a lot of time on Shamian island and be sure to eat at Lucy's. The sweet and sour chicken is close to that at home and Kelly had grilled cheese sandwiches there a few times wtih french fries. The travelling on the plane worked out much better than what we imagined it might. It looks like your other kids are great siblings for Gigi and it's encouraging to see her so happy.

  2. I too am happy to see your Gigi so happy> Congratulations. I think Krista wrote to you about sharing what you saw. More people need to know. Enjoy the rest of your trip and your three children. Perhaps together we can change things for the kids. www.dianjiangkids.com

  3. Seeing the picture of the little girl in the crib eating her lunch... is just killing me.
    I WILL find out who she is she and why they have her there, I just don't understand. Like Moya said, we really need more people to know about this. So many people think that the conditions have gotten better, but in many rural areas like Xinxing, things haven't changed, We need to change this.
    Krista Dolan

  4. I cannot believe how well GiGi has adjusted especially knowing here home for 2 years!

    Oh she broke my heart! The big boy in the pic with my son was in a crib with the 1-2y/o children too. We couldn't figure that out.?.? There was a kid (maybe 5y/o) in the same room in the corner sitting on a potty chair eating porridge(maybe). It was just heart wrenching.
    I don't know how to help the 2 children that had been brought in the day before (especially one) if they are even still there. One was so so very sick & already turning blue. They just let us see a few rooms & then took us down stairs & they wanted to take us to eat. We didn't see any other kids & when we asked to see the older children they said they were al eating. I asked to see Gracie's room after we got downstairs. They were hesitant but when I told them I wanted pics for my daughter's future they allowed me to see it. They had to unlock the room & it was much nicer than the rest & I was so happy that GiGi was able to benefit from her room!
    We've got to get the word out about this! I'd seen pics but had no idea I would go to see things as we did there!

  5. Congratulations on your GiGi. We were there in August of 2003 and from your pics it looks as if little has changed in that time. Our daughter came with sores on her scalp from laying on the mats for extended time (which healed nicely, but still). She was under nourished and suffers some health issues to-date as a result of that (her baby teeth came in decayed, for example) but she is a bright, lovely girl who is everyone's favorite kid. And she is much loved as I'm sure your child will be also. Good luck to you!

  6. These pictures make my heart just ache. It's good to know where your child came from - but so hard at the same time.